BOV share price climbs 7.4% on high volumes

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc rallied this morning on renewed demand for the equity following last Friday’s publication of record full-year results. BOV’s equity advanced by 7.4% to €2.498 across sixty trades totalling 153,436 shares. The market reacted positively to the Bank’s record pre-tax profits of €110.7 million and the recommendations of a final gross dividend of €0.13 per share as well as a 1 for 9 bonus share issue. BOV registered an increase in net interest income but the financial performance was also positively impacted by the €8.7 million in fair value movements on the Bank’s bond portfolio and the higher profits from the insurance companies. On the other hand, the results also reflected the higher impairment provisions, the rise in costs following the signing of a new collective agreement as well as a €4.6 million charge related to the estimated compensation payments BOV will have to settle in relation to the on-going client complaint review. Further details on the results available at http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2012/full-year-results-bov17/.

Some of the positive sentiment surrounding BOV’s equity also spilled over onto HSBC Bank Malta plc shares with a 1.4% rise to the €2.799 level across ten trades totalling 23,260 shares. Meanwhile, Lombard Bank Malta plc maintained the €1.86 level across two trades totalling 5,500 shares. The Bank last week announced that it intends to raise its equity stake in MaltaPost plc from the current 67.72% to not more than 74.5%. The postal operator also traded unchanged today at the €0.72 level on a single deal of 1,000 shares.

GO plc’s shares edged 1% higher to close at €1.01 for the first time since 17 August. A total of 4,000 shares changed hands today. This morning, certain international media reports revealed that WIND Hellas Telecommunications S.A. has tabled a bid for the telecoms division of Forthnet S.A. Last week, Forthnet had announced that it is in discussions with WIND Hellas on a potential consolidation of business activities and strategic alliance.

On the IT front, 16,000 RS2 Software plc shares changed hands at the €0.60 level, representing no change from the previous close. On the other hand, the share price of 6pm Holdings plc eased by 3.1% to GBP0.31 on a single deal of 4,300 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged a further 0.1% higher to reach 996.359 points. This reflects the slide in Eurozone yields back below the 1.5% level following last week’s disappointing corporate results as well as renewed concerns over Spain and Italy after former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened to bring down Italy’s technocratic government. As a result, demand for ‘safe-haven’ German Bunds soared.

Today marks the opening of subscriptions for the three new Malta Government Stocks. The new stocks and the respective prices are as follows: 3.75% MGS 2017 (IV) FI at 105.00% (YTM: 2.633%); 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) FI at 102.50% (YTM: 3.982%); 4.8% MGS 2028 (I) at 100.75% (YTM: 4.732%). The total aggregate amount on offer is of €100 million subject to an over-allotment option of up to a further €40 million. Subscriptions close on Wednesday 31 October.