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Sharp slowdown in trading activity

The share index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.54% to reach a five-day high of 4,631.853 points.Most of

Most of today’s gains were due to the 4.9% rise in the share price of RS2 as well as the positive performance of HSBC and BOV shares. However, trading volumes were weak as only €0.1 million worth of shares changed hands during today’s trading session. Despite today’s rebound, the local equity benchmark still finished the week in negative territory by 0.27%.

RS2 Software jumped 4.9% from its adjusted post-bonus share issue price of €1.47,7 to a near three-month high of €1.55 across 14,725 shares. RS2 is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on June 20.

In the banking sector, HSBC advanced by 0.4% to regain the €1.98,8 level albeit on just 2,000 shares. On the other hand, Bank of Valletta extended yesterday’s gains by a further 0.5% to close at the €2.19 level across 5,450 shares. BOV is due to pay its recently declared net interim dividend of 2c93 per share today week.

PG plc moved higher for the first time this week as the equity rebounded by 2% to recapture the €1.29,5 level across 21,568 shares.

In the property segment, two deals totalling 10,000 shares lifted the equity of MIDI 3.2% higher to an over four-week high of 32c as the equity traded for the first time since turning ex-dividend yesterday. The company is due to hold its annual general meeting tomorrow.

In contrast, Malta Properties Company eased minimally lower to the 51c1 level on trivial volumes. MPC’s annual general meeting will be held next Thursday 25 May.

GO plc also slipped 0.4% to the €3.48 level after only partially recovering from an intra-day low of €3.45 (-1.3%) across a total of 2,125 shares traded.

Meanwhile, Malta International Airport maintained the €4.12 level across 5,210 shares. On Tuesday, MIA published an interim directors’ statement revealing its financial performance during the first quarter of 2017.

During this period, MIA reported a 15.8% increase in turnover to €13.4 million (Q1 2016: €11.6 million) and a 33.2% surge in EBITDA to €5.82 million (Q1 2016: €4.37 million).

Similarly, profits after tax jumped by nearly 69% to €2.47 million when compared to €1.46 million generated in the first three months of 2016. The directors stated that the promising start to the summer season provides an optimistic outlook for the rest of 2017 with expectations for an overall positive result for 2017.

Similarly, MaltaPost plc held on to its five-month low of €1.95 on two deals totalling 1,725 shares. Last week, the postal operator published its interim results showing a 7.2% improvement in net profit to €1.19 million when compared to the corresponding period last year.

Looking ahead, the directors noted that the company will continue seeking further diversification of services. Furthermore, the directors expressed their confidence that the positive trend in the interim period will continue throughout the financial year.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index moved higher for the third consecutive day as it advanced by a further 0.16% to a five-week high of 1,126.254 points.

Although euro zone sovereign yields posted some slight gains today, yields across the single currency bloc remained largely under pressure following the most recent controversial events in the US involving President Trump and his alleged connections with Russia.

On the economic front, German producer prices in April jumped by a better-than-expected 3.4% year-on-year– the highest increase in over five years. Month-on-month they also improved by a better-than-expected 0.4%.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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