The MSE Equity Price Index moved higher for the second consecutive day on Thursday with a gain of a further 0.14% to 4,298.212 points.

Four equities trended higher, another two performed negatively whilst the remaining five closed the day unchanged. Most of Thursday's activity took place in IHI and BOV with these two shares representing nearly 75% of the total value of equities traded.

International Hotel Investments plc retained the €0.63 level across 200,000 shares. IHI will be publishing its interim financial statements tomorrow.

Bank of Valletta plc held on to the €1.51 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.50 (-0.7%). A total of 72,483 shares changed hands.

Malta International Airport plc (890 shares) and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (2,720 shares) maintained the €5.55 and €7.35 levels respectively.

PG plc managed to hold on to the €1.38 level after opening at a low of €1.35 (-2.2%) on activity totalling 6,036 shares. On Tuesday, PG reported a net profit of €7.66 million for the financial year ended 30 April 2018 compared to €7.36 million in the previous year. The directors declared a net dividend of €0.0236 per share which will be paid on 5 September. Coupled with the net dividend of €0.0157 per share which was paid on 11 December 2017, the total net dividend distribution for the year amounts to €0.0394 per share. This represents a payout ratio of 55.5% which is in line with the indicated dividend policy at the time of the equity IPO of a minimum dividend distribution of 50%.

MIDI plc surged by nearly 6% to a fresh all-time high of €0.54 across 15,000 shares. The company’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet today to consider and approve the interim financial results as at 30 June 2018.

Within the same segment, Plaza Centres plc climbed 1% to the €1.04 level on two deals totalling 10,000 shares.

Both Lombard Bank Malta plc (8,000 shares) and RS2 Software plc (5,000 shares) gained 0.8% to €2.42 and €1.19 respectively.

Meanwhile, Lombard’s postal subsidiary – MaltaPost plc – lost 2.4% to a fresh 2018 low of €1.61 albeit on trivial volumes.

Medserv plc shed 3.7% back to the €1.05 level on a single deal of just 5,000 shares. On Monday, Medserv published its interim financial statements as at 30 June 2018 showing a recovery in EBITDA to €3.4 million (H1 2017: €2.9 million).

In their commentary, the directors provided an overview on the outlook of the Group’s various operations in different geographic regions. The company also expressed its confidence that given the growing volumes of business, it expects to achieve the forecasted EBITDA of €6.81 million this year and this is projected to significantly improve in 2019.

The RF MGS Index extended its recent negative streak as it moved lower for the sixth consecutive day by a further 0.14% to a fresh near four-year low of 1,086.689 points. Malta Government Stock prices mirrored movements in yields of peripheral countries as the Italian 10-year yield has now reached its highest level in three months at over 3.2%. On the economic front, the publication of fresh data disappointed expectations including readings of surveys gauging business and consumer confidence within the single currency area as well as harmonised inflation in Germany.


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