All local active equities trade higher

Four equities traded higher during this morning’s session on the local equity market with the MSE Share Index rising by 0.4% to a new 3-week high of 3,010.921 points.

HSBC Bank Malta plc edged 0.4% higher to regain the €2.60 level on volumes of 3,000 shares. Last Friday, the Bank published its preliminary 2011 financial results revealing a 6.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €88.3 million. The 2011 results were characterised by a number of one-offs such as the sale of the card acquiring business and the €6.9 million unrealised gain from an adjustment in the methodology of the insurance business on the income side and an €11 million charge relating to a voluntary retirement scheme on the costs side. Excluding such extraordinary items, HSBC Malta’s profitability is line with that of 2010. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.072 per share payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 13 March. Further details on the 2011 results of HSBC Malta maybe found at http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2012/full-year-results-hsb02/.

Also in the financial sector, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc was lifted 0.9% higher to €2.20 across nine trades totalling 5,659 shares. Similarly, Lombard Bank Malta plc’s equity advanced by 0.8% to regain the €2.53 level on a single trade of 1,000 shares.

The only other active equity, GO plc, recovered from an intra-day low of €0.82 to close this morning’s session 2.3% higher at the €0.849 level. Just over 5,900 shares changed hands today.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved marginally higher for the third consecutive session to 988.013 points. There were insignificant movements in Eurozone yields as markets await next Wednesday’s cash injection by the European Central Bank.

Following the announcement of 14 February, Corinthia Finance plc this afternoon announced that it has been granted approval by the Listing Authority to issue a new €7.5 million bond maturing between 2019 and 2022. The coupon was set at 6% with holders of the maturing 6.75% bond being given preference. Further details on this new bond issue will be included in the Prospectus which will be available electronically from Wednesday 29 February.