BOV and MIA advance

The MSE Share Index closed this morning’s session 0.5% higher at 3,390.71 points following gains in the shares prices of Bank of Valletta plc and Malta International Airport plc. BOV’s share price recovered by 1.4% to the €2.13 level on activity totalling 26,000 shares. After the close of today’s trading session, BOV issued its Interim Directors Statement updating the market on its performance since the end of the first half of its 2013/14 financial year on 31 March 2014. The Bank reported that the period under review was once again characterised by a decline in the interest margin in part due to the prevailing low interest rate scenario as well as the negative overnight deposit rates with the European Central Bank. BOV explained that demand for business credit was weak although this was partly offset by a robust demand for home loans. Meanwhile, customer deposits continued to grow leading to an increase in liquidity. On the other hand, BOV confirmed that it registered an increase in fees and commission income, fair value movements improved moderately while expenses increased, mainly attributable to higher regulatory costs.

The share price of MIA advanced by 2.2% to regain its all-time high of €2.35 on volumes totalling 5,756 shares. This morning, the company issued its interim results showing a 29.9% increase in pre-tax profits to a new record of €10.4 million. MIA declared an unchanged net interim dividend of €0.03 per share payable to all shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 12 August.

The three other active equities closed unchanged. GO plc held on to the €2.38 on low volumes of 2,050 shares. Weak activity was also registered in Middlesea Insurance plc (2,555 shares at €0.87) and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (1,450 shares at €2.87).

Last night Malita Investments plc issued their interim financial statements revealing a 26.6% in net profits to €7.05 million. The company declared a gross interim dividend of €0.015 per share (net: €0.00975) to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 6 August. The interim dividend which represents a slight increase over last year’s interim dividend will be paid on Friday 12 September.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index retreated by 0.12% to the 1,060.136 points, following the slight recovery in Eurozone benchmark yields to the 1.16% level as US economic data issued yesterday late afternoon induced investor confidence. Yields had dropped to a new all-time low of 1.11% level earlier on this week.

This afternoon, the Treasury issued a press release announcing that the auction for institutional investors which was scheduled to close next Monday 4 August 2014 has been cancelled as the total amount of applications received from retail investors exceeded the amount of €180 million. An allocation policy will be announced next week.