BOV & GO trade in opposite directions

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc edged marginally higher today to €2.13 on low volumes of 5,659 shares. Similarly, shallow trading activity took place across HSBC Bank Malta plc with 5,875 shares changing hands today as the share price ended the session unchanged at the €2.11 level. This morning, HSBC published its Interim Directors’ Statement revealing that its profitability during the first few months of 2014 was below that of the corresponding period last year due to interest margin compression, slow loan growth, a reduced contribution from the life insurance business, increased regulatory fees and higher loan impairments.

Meanwhile, the share price of GO plc droppedto an intra-day low of €1.90 before partially recovering towards the end of this morning’s session to close 1% lower at the €1.95 level across seven deals totalling 12,338 shares.

No change took place in the share price of FIMBank plc at the USD0.78 on a single trade of 29,457 shares. Likewise, Malta International Airport plc held on to the €2.25 level on just 620 shares and a further 1,900 shares of RS2 Software plc traded at the equity’s all-time high of €2.40. Similarly, Medserv plc traded unchanged at the €1.30 level across three trades totalling 9,000 shares.

Apart from HSBC Bank Malta plc, a further five companies with a December year end published their Interim Directors’ Statements updating the market on their respective performance since the start of this year. Most notably, Lombard Bank Malta plc reported downward pressures on profitability arising from the more stringent regulation and regulatory fees being imposed on banks whilst Middlesea Insurance plc’s financial performance was mixed with the improvements in the insurance business being offset by lower positive fair value movements in the Group’s investment portfolio.

It is also noteworthy to highlight that during the first quarter of 2014, Plaza Centres plc reported a 10% increase occupancy which was reflected in an equivalent increase in revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

In its announcement, 6pm Holdings plc noted that it continued to register profits month after month whilst having a healthy sales pipeline. The Directors explained that the Group is committed to continue investing in its own solutions whilst also seeking new business opportunities in other geographical locations, namely Scotland, Canada and the United States, following the setting up of a new subsidiary in Ireland.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased lower for the first time in four sessions with a marginal dip to 1,040.483 points as Eurozone yields rebounded to regain the 1.324% level.