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  • The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s decline by a further 1.25% to 4,414.326 points as the four largest companies by market capitalisation (BOV, HSBC, IHI and MIA) all suffered losses. Trading volumes eased considerably as just over €212,000 worth of shares changed hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index slipped by 0.26% to 1,134.018 points as the yield of the benchmark 10-year German Bund advanced from 0.54% to 0.57%. In the absence of any major macro-economic data, euro sovereign yields reflected the recovery across equity markets, following one of the worst ever start to a new year.
  • The equity of Bank of Valletta plc retreated to the €2.35 level (-1.2%) across 12,300 shares. Tomorrow is the last day for investors to gain entitlement to the 1 for 12 bonus share issue.
  • Also in the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc and FIMBank plc also closed the day in negative territory. In fact, HSBC lost 1.1% to the €1.731 level across 43,659 shares whilst a single deal of 17,000 shares dragged the equity of FIMBank down 4.5% to the USD0.63 level. Last week, HSBC confirmed that, as part of its planned programme aimed at improving its productivity and cost effectiveness, it intends to accept 130 applications for early retirement from its staff members. The estimated cost of this one-off expenditure (to be provided for in the financial year ended 31 December 2015) is approximately €14.7 million. This will enable the Bank to reduce annual operating costs by approximately €4.4 million as from 2016.
  • Malta International Airport plc and International Hotel Investments plc also closed lower. The share price of the airport operator failed to maintain its all-time high of €4.30 and retreated by 2.1% to the €4.21 level on weak volumes of 2,140 shares. The equity of IHI shed 4% to the €0.72 level on activity of 29,000 shares.
  • The other negative performer of the day was MaltaPost plc as the equity shed 3.6% to the €1.87 level across 12,000 shares. The company will be holding its Annual General Meeting this Friday. The Board of Directors will be recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.04 per share. Shareholders had the option to receive the dividend either in cash or by the issue of new shares at an attribution price of €1.80 per share.
  • The postal operator’s parent company, Lombard Bank Malta plc, regained its multi-year high of €2.485 (+1.4%) across 1,499 shares.
  • Grand Harbour Marina plc and GO plc also traded positively on shallow volumes. The equity of the marina operator gained 3.0% to the €1.03 level on just 2,000 shares whilst GO advanced 0.3% to the €3.08 level across 5,320 shares.
  • The other positive performer of the day was Malta Properties Company plc (29,003 shares) as the equity closed at the €0.56 level, representing a 1.8% increase over the previous closing price.
  • Meanwhile, three other active equities closed unchanged. Loqus Holdings plc, MIDI plc and 6PM Holdings plc closed at €0.12 (1,000 shares), €0.35 (10,300 shares) and GBP0.70 (4,154 shares) respectively.

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