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Positive start to 2018

The MSE Equity Price Index started the new year on a positive note as it advanced by 0.21% to 4,518.307 points.

Trading activity on the local Borza was spread across 12 equities but most trades were transacted in the equity of Bank of Valletta plc which maintained the €1.80 level across 295,289 shares – representing nearly 88% of the total value of equities traded today.

Also in the retail banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc retained the €2.30 level on a single deal of just 904 shares.

Likewise, Malta International Airport plc remained unchanged at the €4.70 level on 1,100 shares. MIA announced in the local media last week that on 31 December the airport operator welcomed six million passengers during 2017, representing an increase of over 17% compared to the previous comparable period.

In the property segment, MIDI plc and Malta Properties Company plc held on to the €0.35 and €0.48 levels respectively on light trading volumes.

In contrast, Plaza Centres plc gained 1.8% to the €1.11 level across 1,800 shares.

International Hotel Investments plc climbed 2.1% to a near eight-month high of €0.64 on volumes totalling 28,250 shares.

HSBC Bank Malta plc (6,596 shares) and GO plc (1,180 shares) each gained 0.3% to €1.79 and €3.56 respectively.

The other positive performing equity today was Mapfre Middlesea plc which advanced by 2.1% to recapture the €1.82 level across 2,500 shares.

Meanwhile, Medserv plc erased most of the significant gains registered last Friday as the equity plummeted by 8.7% back to the €1.15 level on two deals totalling 4,465 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc retreated by 0.2% to the €8.50 level across 1,720 shares. Listing of the shares in Trident Estates plc (the property arm of Farsons being spun-off from the Group) is expected to take place on 30 January 2018.

The RF MGS Index kicked-off 2018 in negative territory as it plunged by 0.54% (the sharpest daily drop since late June 2017) to a near six-month low of 1,113.148 points. Euro zone sovereign yields surged when compared to last Friday possibly reflecting the sharp reduction in the amount of bond purchases that the European Central Bank will start conducting as from this month as well as the persistent upward trend in the price of oil. Moreover, fresh data issued today showed that the unemployment rate in Germany fell to a record low of 5.5%.

www.rizzofarrugia.com

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