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BOV, HSBC and IHI lift share index

The share index trended higher for the second consecutive session with an uplift of a further 0.87% to 4,677.919 points as the three largest equities by market capitalisation trended higher.

On the other hand, the other six active equities ended today’s session in negative territory.

Following four consecutive sessions of declines, the share price of Bank of Valletta advanced by 3.1% to the €2.06 level across 27 trades totalling 63,110 shares.

Earlier this week, BOV published its extracts from the management accounts covering the first six months of 2017. During the period, the BOV Group reported a 7.9% increase (excluding the €22 million one-off gain registered in the first half of 2016) in pre-tax profits to €68 million as the downward pressure on net interest income was outweighed by the growth in non-interest income as well as a €6 million reversal of impairments.

The bank will publish another set of results covering the 12-months ending September 30 by the end of October and preliminary results covering the 15 months ending December 31 (BOV is changing its financial year end) by the end of March 2018. BOV is also planning a €150 million rights issue to strengthen its capital base.

Similarly, HSBC moved 0.9% higher to the €1.99,8 level on very thin volumes of 759 shares despite turning ex-dividend. The net interim dividend of 3c per share will now be paid on September 11.

Insignificant trading activity was also evident in International Hotel Investments as 2,000 shares changed hands at the 61c8 level representing a 2.8% increase over the previous closing price.

On the other hand, FIMBank eased minimally lower to the 79c9US level across four deals totalling 120,000 shares. FIMBank is expected to publish its interim financial statements following a board of directors meeting held today.

In the financial services sector, Mapfre Middlesea also trended in negative territory with a 2.1% drop back to the €1.86 level on low volumes of 572 shares.

Medserv also eased 0.6% lower back to the €1.36,2 level on shallow volumes of 4,034 shares. Medserv is scheduled to reveal its 2017 interim results on August 23.

Similarly, the equity of MaltaPost retreated by 1% back to the €1.98 level across 8,226 shares.

In the property segment, Malta Properties Company slid by 1% to a new 2017 low of 50c on volumes of 93,270 shares. Yesterday, the company published its 2017 interim results revealing a 21.6% drop in pre-tax profits to €0.73 million largely due to a decline in revenue as well as an increase in administrative expenses.

The directors did not declare an interim dividend in view of the company’s upcoming development projects.

Malita Investments also eased minimally lower to 75c9 on just 3,000 shares. This morning, the company published its 2017 interim results revealing a 97.4% increase in pre-tax profits to €9.69 million.

However, after accounting for a tax charge of €8 million (mainly related to deferred tax provisions on the company’s investment properties), the net profit for the period under review amounted to €1.68 million (June 2016: €3.9 million).

The directors recommended an improved net interim dividend of 0.858c which is payable on September 7 to all shareholders as at the close of trading on August 16.

On the bond market, following three consecutive sessions of increases, the RF MGS Index eased 0.1% today to 1,127.04 points despite further downward pressure across most eurozone yields in view of the rising tensions between the US and North Korea.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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