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HSBC shares rally by 4.4 per cent

The MSE Equity Total Return Index surrendered a large portion of last week’s gain, as it declined by 0.33 per cent to close the week at 8,605.443 points. In the equity market, 18 issues were active, of which 10 traded lower, while five ticked higher. Total turnover was lower than the previous week’s €1.6 million as €1.4 million were generated across 199 transactions.

On Tuesday, HSBC Bank Malta plc announced that profit before tax for 2017 amounts to €49.8m, which translates to a decline of 19.9 per cent over 2016.

The bank reported that net dividend for the year, however, is 54 per cent higher than the prior year at €40.2 million. A final net dividend of €0.081 per share will be paid on April 19, 2018 to shareholders who are on the bank’s register on March 13, 2018.

In the wake of this announcement HSBC enjoyed a strong week, as it hiked by 4.4 per cent to a four-month high of €1.90.

Also in the banking industry, Bank of Valletta plc was the most liquid equity of the week as 232,159 shares changed hands over 45 transactions. The equity recaptured the €1.82 price level, translating to a modest 0.55 per cent gain in share price.

In the same sector, the considerable gain registered by FIMBank plc in the previous week proved unsustainable, as the share price slumped by 8.82 per cent, back to the $0.62 price level. A total of 7,674 shares were traded in a single deal.

Lombard Bank Malta plc moved in the opposite direction as a couple of trades on slim volumes notched the price up by 2.56 per cent to €2.40.

GO plc traded seven times throughout the week as 11,320 shares were exchanged. The outcome was a 0.56 per cent fall in the share price, settling at €3.54.

International Hotel Investments plc shares traded in negative territory for the third week in a row, as two transactions on slim volume caused the equity to drift 2.42% lower to €0.605.

Malta International Airport plc announced on Wednesday that the Board of Directors approved the financial statements for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The company’s profits for 2017 increased to €24.2m. Revenues were up to €82.4m from €73.1m in the previous year. The board is recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.07 per share on all shares settled on April 6, 2018.

This week, the equity traded 0.81% lower, closing at €4.92.

A total of 5,600 MaltaPost plc shares traded across three deals during the week. As a result, the equity ticked 2.09 per cent higher, to close at €1.95.

RS2 Software plc was unable to break its negative trend as it has now traded in negative territory for each of the eight weeks of 2018. This week, a total of 16 deals of a combined 50,147 shares, dragged the share price 1.53 per cent lower to €1.29.

In the food and beverage industry, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc logged a considerable price fall of 3.36 per cent to €7.20, albeit traded just twice on slim volumes.

The retail conglomerate, PG plc drifted a further 2.88 per cent lower to end the week at €1.35.

A couple of deals totalled a volume of 3,000 shares.

The oil and gas logistics company, Medserv plc traded four times as 18,000 shares changed hands. The equity price fell to €1.12, translating to a reduction in value of 3.45 per cent.

In the property market, MIDI plc headed the list of fallers as it slumped by 4.49 per cent to €0.34. Trading volumes amounted to 139,000 shares across six deals.

The most liquid equity in the sector however, was Trident Estates plc as a turnover of €222,950 was generated over 23 deals. The equity registered a negative weekly movement for the first time since it started trading, closing lower at €1.91.

In the same sector, Malta Properties Company plc continued its positive trend by posting further gains of 3.83 per cent, climbing to €0.488. Total volume stood at 20,344 shares over six deals.

Its peer, Malita Investments plc traded flat at €0.83 despite registering 13 transactions of a combined 69,500 shares.

Elsewhere, a single deal of 100 Mapfre Middlesea plc shares had no effect on the share price. Likewise, Plaza Centres plc generated a turnover of €55,457, closing unchanged at the price €1.01.

In the corporate debt market a total of 41 issues were active during the week of which 14 gained ground and 8 headed in the opposite direction.

The  5.1% 6PM Holdings plc Unsecured € 2025 headed the list of gainers, bouncing back from last week’s negative performance with a 4.74 per cent price increase, to close at €99.50. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 5% GlobalCapital plc Unsecured € 2021 was down to €96.02.

Yields in the sovereign debt market were up, as a total of 22 issues were active of which the absolute majority amounting to 16 headed south, while four closed higher.

The 5.1% Malta Government Stock 2022 experienced a considerable fall in value of 4.83 per cent, closing at €121.34. The 5.5% Malta Government Stock 2023 followed suit as it was down by 2.92 per cent.

The 2.3% Malta Government Stock 2029 was one of the few exceptions that posted gains, as it climbed by 0.77 per cent to €110.

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