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Share index relatively unchanged

The share index closed today’s session relatively unchanged at 4,717.813 points as the uplifts in BOV and Plaza were offset by declines in GO and RS2. Meanwhile, a further six equities retained their previous closing price.

Bank of Valletta moved back into positive territory with a 0.5% increase to €2.24 across 12,528 shares. This afternoon, BOV announced that its board of directors is scheduled to meet today week to consider and approve the group’s financial statements for the interim period ended March 31.

The only other positive performing equity was Plaza Centres plc with a 4.8% jump to the €1.10 level across five deals totalling 28,908 shares. The equity will continue to trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of 4c52 (net: 2c94) until Wednesday. The equity will turn ex-dividend as from Thursday.

On the other hand, GO eased 0.1% lower to close today’s session at the €3.47,4 level across a single deal of 9,500 shares.

Similarly, RS2 Software trended in negative territory today as it shed yesterday’s gains to move back to the €1.58 level on shallow volumes of 7,605 shares.

On Tuesday evening, the company published its preliminary 2016 financial statements revealing a net profit of €0.58 million compared to €4.83 million in the previous financial year largely due to a drop in revenue, increase in operational expenses as well as unfavourable foreign exchange movements.

Nonetheless, the group still boasts a healthy business pipeline and the drop in profitability is largely due to its international expansion plans as well as its strategy to focus on the managed services side of the business whilst being very selective on licence sales.

The directors recommended the payment of a final net dividend of 1c (2015: 1c58) to all shareholders as at the close of trading on May 17.

Meanwhile, no changes were registered in the share prices of HSBC (€2.09) and Lombard (€2.48,8) on the back of insignificant volumes. Today, HSBC paid out the final net dividend of 2c7 per share whilst Lombard is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting today week.

Likewise, no movement took place in Malta International Airport (€4.19) and Simonds Farsons Cisk (€7.40) amid shallow trading activity.

In the property segment, 13,333 shares of Malita Investments traded unchanged at the 74c level and Tigné Mall held on to the €1.05,9 level across 26,000 shares.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index slipped by 0.18% to 1,124.127 points as euro zone sovereign yields rebounded sharply despite reassuring comments made yesterday by three European Central Bank top officials who indicated that it is too early for the ECB to withdraw monetary stimulus to the single currency economy.

The 10-year benchmark German Bund yield surpassed the 0.25% level again from 0.18% yesterday. On the economic front, an index gauging the prices of goods sold by German manufacturers showed a slightly less-than-expected 3.1% growth in March year-on-year.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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