The MSE Share Index today trended in negative territory, after heavy-weight HSBC slipped 2.5% following a sharp decline in FY2014 profits and dividends. Meanwhile four of the other five active equities ended the session in positive territory. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher to 1,127.043 points, following a dip in Eurozone benchmark yields.

The offer period for retail investors for the new Malta Government Stock offerings closes on Wednesday 25 February. The new MGS’s are as follows: (i) 2.0% MGS 2020 (V) FI at 105.75% for every €100 nominal giving a yield to maturity of 0.937% per annum; (ii) 3.0% MGS 2040 (I) at 100% (par) for every €100 nominal giving a yield to maturity of 3.000% per annum.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc lost 2.5% and closed at €1.97 after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.95 on high volumes amounting to 143,332 shares. Shortly prior to the market open, HSBC Malta issued its preliminary full-year results for 2014 showing a 42% decline in pre-tax profits to €52 million. This was due to lower income and higher costs as well as a steep rise in impairment charges. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.026 per share representing a 44.4% decline from the previous years’ final dividend. Combining the final dividend with the interim dividend of €0.045 per share, the total gross dividend in respect of the 2014 financial year amounts to €0.071 per share representing a 48.1% drop from the previous year’s total dividend. Shareholders as at the close of trading on 18 March will be eligible to receive this dividend on 24 April 2015 subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 22 April 2015. The Directors also recommended a 1 for 9 Bonus Issue to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 27 April 2015.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc gained 0.7% and closed at €2.126 across shallower volumes of 33,591 shares after briefly touching a new 2015 high of €2.15. Similarly, GO plc ended today’s session in positive territory gaining 0.4% to €2.68 on low volumes of 3,820 shares.

A single trade of 2,000 shares was transacted in Malta International Airport plc helping the equity close 1.5% higher at a fresh record level of €2.65 level. The company will be publishing its 2014 financial statements tomorrow. Middlesea Insurance plc also had a positive session closing 1% higher at the €1.02 level.

Meanwhile, Grand Harbour Marina plc maintained the €1.75 level on muted volumes of 1,200 shares.


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