MSE Equity Price Index extends gains

The MSE Equity Price Index on Wednesday extended Tuesday's gains by a further 0.46% to 4,423.973 points as the gains in four equities including BOV and Farsons outweighed the declines in RS2 (-2.5%) and Tigne’ Mall (-0.5%). Trading volumes remained subdued as only €0.16 million worth of shares changed hands on Wednesday.

Bank of Valletta plc rebounded by 1.7% from its near three-year low of €1.74 to the €1.77 level across 16,689 shares. Eligible shareholders had until today to participate in the 1-for-4 rights issue at a price of €1.43 per share.

Within the same sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc recaptured the €1.80 level (+0.6%) after recovering from a fresh fourteen-month low of €1.75 across a total of 5,435 shares traded.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc and Mapfre Middlesea plc advanced by 2.9% and 1.1% to the €9.00 and €1.80 levels respectively on light volumes.

Low trading activity also took place in the equities of Medserv plc and PG plc which maintained the €1.12 and €1.45 levels respectively. Yesterday, PG announced that the company’s board of directors resolved to distribute a gross interim dividend of €0.02422 (net: €0.01574) per share which is payable on 11 December 2017 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 29 November 2017.

A single deal of 35,000 shares left the share price of FIMBank plc at the USD0.615 level.

Malta International Airport plc also closed the day unchanged at the €4.66 level after failing to hold on to an intra-day high of €4.67 (+0.2%). A total of 6,400 shares changed hands.

Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc shed 2.5% to the €1.501 level across 16,824 shares.

The equity of Tigne’ Mall plc also performed negatively today as it slipped by 0.5% to €0.965 on 35,000 shares.

The RF MGS Index trended higher for the fourth consecutive day as it added a further 0.24% to an over five-month high of 1,133.941 points. The indicative opening bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta for the Malta Government Stocks issued last February – i.e. 1.50% MGS 2027 I (issued at 100.5%) and the 2.20% MGS 2035 I (issued at 100.25%) – reached new record highs of 104.22% and 106.41% respectively. Euro zone sovereign yields continued to move lower today (bond prices gained) amid growing concerns about a possible government shutdown in the US if lawmakers fail to reach a budget accord this week.

Meanwhile, ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch warned that “while a too quick end to the buying program could lead to excessive market reactions, we should not forget that the longer the programme lasts, ... the greater the risks will become”.

Mr Mersch also added that “a credible perspective for an exit from QE is therefore key in curbing risks.”

Listing of the newly issued 3.75% Virtu Finance plc 2027 took place on Wednesday whilst trading is expected to commence on Thursday.

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