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  • MSE Share Index in positive territory for the second consecutive session with a further 0.1% increase to 3,046.267 points as BOV’s 0.9% increase offset the 2.4% drop in Lombard’s share price. Meanwhile, all other active equities, including HSBC and RS2, ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 997.257 points as eurozone yields slipped back to around the 1.40% level after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that it will not be possible for Greece to deviate from the targets set by the bailout. Moreover, although Ms Merkel said she would be willing to discuss with her Greek counterpart, no decisions will be taken during tomorrow’s meeting as any potential action will only be taken after a full review of Greece’s financial situation by officials of Europe and the International Monetary Fund.
  • Locally, as yields dropped, the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker raised its bid prices with the new record prices for the 5.10% MGS 2029 at 103.67% (compared to the July 2012 offer price of 101%) and the 5.20% MGS 2031 at 102.98%.
  • Lombard Bank’s share price slid a further 2.4% during this morning’s session to close at yet another new 7-year low of €2.05 on weak volumes of 2,300 shares ahead of this afternoon’s interim results publication. The financials for the first six months of the year revealed a 36.5% plunge in the profitability of the Lombard Group. This follows a 6.5% drop in net interest income to €6.8 million reflecting the Bank’s prudent and cautious approach which yields low returns as well as the adverse effects of the changes in the tariffs imposed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on MaltaPost plc’s financials. Moreover the half-year figures of the Lombard Group were also adversely impacted by the non-occurrence of a gain on the sale of investments of €1.2 million that took place last year as well as an increase in loan impairments to €0.46 million in line with the Bank’s provisioning policy in the prevailing challenging circumstances. Further details available here.
  • On the other hand, BOV’s equity advanced by a further 0.9% to reach another 5-month high of €2.20 across eight trades totalling 10,431 shares. Since reaching a 34-month low of €2.00 on 20 July 2012, the Bank’s equity has recovered by 10% on volumes of over 240,000 shares which represent less than 0.1% of the Bank’s total share capital.
  • Also in the financial sector, HSBC’s equity held on to the €2.64 level on volumes of 4,352 shares. Yesterday the Bank paid out its recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.10 per share (net: €0.065).
  • Similarly, GO maintained the €1.00 level on a small deal of 300 shares. Forthnet, in which GO has a material indirect investments, was scheduled to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting this morning as it seeks shareholders’ approval on a number of changes in the Company’s share capital as well as a minimum €30 million rights issue. No announcement on the outcome of this meeting has yet been published by Forthnet.
  • Higher volumes amounting to over 61,200 shares traded in RS2 Software at the €0.50 level, unchanged from the previous close. The IT Company is expected to publish its half year results by the end of this month.

 

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