BOV and HSBC drag the MSE Share Index lower

The MSE Share Index shed 0.5% to 3,321.763 points due to the declines in the share price of the two large banks. As Bank of Valletta plc started trading ex-div, the equity declined by 1.8% to €2.24 across 13 deals totalling 18,786 shares. The dividend will now be paid out on 18 December 2014 subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 17 December 2014.

Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc edged 0.2% lower to the €1.97 level across six deals for a total of 20,620 shares. Shortly after the closing of today’s session on the Borza, the local banking group issued an interim directors’ statement explaining that since 30 June pre-tax profits continued to decline given the reduced level of income from lending activities on prevalent low interest rate scenarios and an adverse environment for the insurance business as well as increased compliance related expenses, regulatory costs and impairment charges. The Directors, however, reiterated that the Bank is adequately capitalised and liquid.

On the other hand, the shares of Malita Investments plc gained 3.5%, reaching a fresh all-time high of €0.60 across three deals for a total of 27,000 shares.

Meanwhile, the shares of International Hotel Investments plc and FIMBank plc traded at unchanged price levels across single trades. IHI held on to the €0.56 level across 7,200 shares while FIMBank continued to trade at the USD0.63 level on volumes of just 1,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index reversed yesterday’s 0.1% decline to regain the 1,091.558 points level as Eurozone benchmark yields were once again below the 0.79% despite the better than expected 0.2% growth in Eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter of 2013.