BOV’s share price advances to the €2.09 level

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc edged 1.5% higher to regain the €2.09 level (the highest price since 17 May) across eight trades totalling 7,550 shares. Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, BOV announced that it has received the Malta Financial Services Authority’s conclusion with respect to the sales practices adopted by the Bank in connection with the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund (LVMMPF). The findings of the MFSA, which may be appealed by the Bank within 30 days, alleges breaches of certain conditions and guidelines. The Authority has now directed the Bank to fully cooperate with a review of the investors’ individual files to determine whether each respective investor falls within the experienced investor category. In its notice, the Authority stated that those investors not eligible to invest in the Fund shall be eligible for compensation from the Bank amounting to €1 per share less any compensation already received. Moreover, the MFSA imposed an administrative penalty of €203,150 on the Bank in this respect, part of which may be returned to the Bank following the completion of the individual investors’ file review. Overall, the Bank explained that this will not have a material impact on the results for the financial year ending 30 September 2012.

On the other hand, HSBC Bank Malta plc held on to the €2.48 level on low volumes totalling 4,416 shares whilst Lombard Bank Malta plc fell 0.4% back to its multi-year low of €2.25 on a single trade of 3,000 shares.

Further support for GO plc shares was evident above the €0.90 level as a further 45,000 shares changed hands at the €0.92 level during this morning’s trading session. The equity of the quad-play telecom operator is amongst the top performers this year with a 22.7% rise as a result of the improved sentiment towards the Group following its Annual General Meeting during which it was announced that it is reviewing ways how to extract values from its property portfolio.

International Hotel Investments plc preserved last week’s 7.1% rise as just over 8,000 shares changed hands at the €0.90 level. Meanwhile, following last week’s 1.9% drop, RS2 Software plc shares slipped a further 2% during this morning’s session to its lowest closing price this year of €0.50. Following today’s downturn, the IT equity is 11.2% below its highest level this year possibly in view of the lack of a dividend announcement to shareholders despite the justification provided by the company of the significant growth opportunities that lie ahead.

On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed in positive territory for the fourth consecutive day with a further 0.1% rise to a 7-month high of 991.165 points despite a marginal recovery in Eurozone yields from last Friday’s all-time lows. Internationally, the focus was on economic data which revealed easing inflationary pressures for the fourth consecutive month. This spurred speculation on whether the European Central Bank (ECB) will now consider cutting its benchmark rate in order to stimulate Europe’s ailing economies.