BOV share price drops to a low of €2.10

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc dropped to a low of €2.10 but partially recovered to €2.12 by the close of the session, representing a decline of 2.75% from yesterday’s close. High trading activity took place again with a total of 120,766 shares changing hands. The decline is possibly in reaction to comments made by the bank’s Chairman in an interview published today. Mr Cassar White indicated possible changes to the shareholding structure after the results of the Asset Quality Review and the stress tests are announced later this year.

The other equities of the retail banks also closed lower today. HSBC Bank Malta plc shed a further 0.7% to €2.10 on volumes of 25,001 shares with Lombard Bank Malta plc also dropping to a fresh 2014 low of €1.56 on lower volumes of 4,934 shares.

The declines in the share prices of the three retail banks forced the MSE Share Index to close 0.7% lower at 3,411.621 points.

In the IT sector, the equity of RS2 Software plc was adjusted for the dividend and the bonus share issue. Shareholders as at close of trading yesterday were entitled to the net dividend of €0.0235 per share and the 1 for 17 bonus share issue. Yesterday’s record share price of €2.46 is equivalent to €2.323. As such, the closing price of today of €2.399 represents a new all-time high and an increase of 3.3% from yesterday’s adjusted close. Volumes remained low at only 2,097 shares. Elsewhere in the IT sector, 6pm Holdings plc held on to the GBP0.75 level on volumes of 27,150 shares and Crimsowning plc eased by 1.2% to €0.86. Crimsonwing is expected to publish its March 2014 full-year results in the coming weeks.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc continued to trade at its record level of €3.00. The equity is still trading with the entitlement to the final net dividend of €0.05 per share. This dividend is payable to all shareholders as at close of trading on 14 May. GO plc dropped to an intra-day low of €1.915 but partly recovered to a close of €1.969. The final net dividend of €0.07 per share will be distributed tomorrow.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged minimally lower to 1,037.565 points as Eurozone yields rose. The European Central Bank announced after its monthly Monetary Policy meeting held today that it decided to keep its interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi stated that the bank may consider fresh monetary policy measures at its June meeting following publication of updated economic forecasts by the bank’s staff.

On the primary market, Island Hotels Group Holdings plc today issued its formal notice in connection with its €35 million 6% bond issue maturing in 2024. Earlier this week, Pendergardens Developments plc filed a prospectus in connection with an offering of two secured bonds, a 6-year bond at a coupon of 5.5% and a bond with an 8-year maturity at 6%.