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HSBC share price reaches near 3-year high

The share index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.41% to yet another near nine-year high of 4,666.920 points.

Today’s uplift in the local equity index was largely driven by the 1.7% jump in the share price of HSBC, which climbed to a fresh near three-year high of €1.97,8 across 45,073 shares.

The HSBC board of directors is set to meet on February 21 to consider and approve the preliminary statement of annual results for 2016 and also consider the declaration of a final dividend to be recommended during the annual general meeting to be held on April 13.

Last Friday, the bank also announced the redemption of its €58.2 million 4.6% subordinated bonds on February 1.

Also in the retail banking sector, Lombard advanced 1.3% to an 11-month high of €2.33 albeit on a single deal of just 1,000 shares. Lombard is due to reveal its 2016 financial results on March 9.

Thin trading activity also took place in the equities of Medserv and Simonds Farsons Cisk which closed the day 3.1% and 2.8% higher at €1.66 and €7.25 respectively.

Malta Properties Company maintained the 57c1 level also on shallow volumes.

Among the large companies, GO held on to its near eight-month high of €3.30 after recovering from an intra-day low of €3.26. A total of 3,000 shares traded.

Similarly, Malta International Airport closed flat at €4.10 across 3,765 shares.

This morning, MIA revealed its 2016 traffic results and provided forecasts for 2017. During 2016, MIA registered a 10% increase in passenger movements to a record of 5.08 million movements – the seventh consecutive year of record passenger movements.

The airport operator is expecting a further growth of between 2% to 3% in passenger numbers during 2017 to 5.2 million. Furthermore, for the first time ever, MIA also presented a set of financial targets for the upcoming 12 months.

MIA is expecting to generate €73 million in revenues in 2017 which should lead to an EBITDA figure of over €40 million and a net profit of over €20 million. MIA is also budgeting €18 million in capital expenditure whilst its net debt is estimated not to exceed €14 million in 2017.

Moreover, annual taxes and dividend contributions to government are expected to be in the region of €14 million.

In contrast, Bank of Valletta eased 0.4% to the €2.26 level on heightened activity totalling 76,063 shares. Tomorrow is the last trading day for entitlement to the bonus share issue as the equity turns ex-bonus on Friday.

The other negative performing equity today was RS2 Software which retreated by 0.2% to the €1.81 level across 17,900 shares.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index extended yesterday gains by a further 0.09% to a five-day high of 1,138.131 points. The benchmark 10-year German Bund yield hit an intra-day low of 0.249% today from a high of 0.299% yesterday.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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