Following the declines in the previous three trading sessions, the MSE Share Index partially recovered by 0.12% to 4,718.103 points reflecting the gains in the share prices of BOV (+0.5%) and GO (+0.3%) which outweighed the 0.1% drop in FIMBank. Meanwhile, three equities traded unchanged. Trading volumes slipped to just €0.17 million.

Bank of Valletta plc continued to trade within a tight range as it gained 0.5% to the €2.20 level across 20,474 shares.

GO plc advanced 0.3% to the €3.51 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €3.45 on shallow volumes. Shareholders as at 29 March 2017 will be eligible to receive a net dividend of €0.11 per share.

Also among the large companies, HSBC Bank Malta plc (15,300 shares) and Malta International Airport plc (10,750 shares) closed unchanged at €2.051 and €4.15 respectively. Shareholders of MIA as at 6 April 2017 will be eligible to receive a final net dividend of €0.07 per share.

MIDI plc maintained the €0.33 level on a single deal of 10,000 shares. The Company is due to reveal its 2016 financial results on 20 April 2017. Last Friday, MIDI revealed that it has now appointed Jefferies International Limited as financial advisor for the purposes of identifying and selecting a suitable strategic partner to financially support the development of Manoel Island.

Meanwhile, FIMBank plc traded for the first time since the publication of the 2016 financial results last Wednesday. The equity eased by 0.1% to the $0.889 level across 45,000 shares.

Following the losses incurred in the previous three financial years, the trade finance specialist posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of $4.92 million during 2016, mainly on the back of significantly lower expenses and impairments. The Directors recommended a 1 for 80 bonus issue to shareholders as at close of trading on 7 April 2017, subject to approval from shareholders as well as regulators.

This afternoon, Malta Properties Company plc published its 2016 preliminary results showing a net profit of €2.56 million – an increase of 37.2% from the previous comparable period – on the back of significantly reduced finance costs (€0.78 million) and a €1.7 million fair value adjustment to the Company’s properties. The Directors did not recommend the distribution of a dividend.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index extended yesterday’s gains by a further 0.1% to 1,112.060 points even though euro zone sovereign yields rose again today. Following last week’s results of the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, political risks seem to be diminishing also in France as candidate Emmanuel Macron is looking more likely to be the frontrunner in the upcoming presidential election. Meanwhile, in the US, three members of the Federal Open Market Committee signalled a slower pace of interest rate hikes than bond markets had been expecting. Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a further 25 basis points to a range of between 0.75% and 1.0% but stopped short of predicting a sharper pace of monetary policy tightening over the next two years.

Stock markets are volatile and subject to fluctuations which cannot be reasonably foreseen. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

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