BOV shares remain well supported

The equity of Bank of Valletta plc edged higher for the seventh consecutive session with a minimal increase to its six-year high of €2.50 on sustained volumes of 32,907 shares across twenty four deals.

The best performing equity today was Middlesea Insurance plc which jumped by 8.3% to close at the €1.00 level for the first time since August 2011.

The only other positive performing equity was Crimsonwing plc with a 1.3% increase to the €0.81 level across two trades totalling 12,500 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of Malta International Airport plc eased despite the announcement of the record number of passengers recorded in 2013 and the further growth projected for 2014. This morning, the airport operator issued a company announcement and held a press conference announcing a 10.5% increase in 2013 passenger movements to a record 4.03 million. The growth achieved in 2013 was due to the 10.2% increase in seat capacity to over 5.1 million seats coupled with a marginal increase in the seat load factor to 78.5%. Looking ahead, MIA is forecasting that passenger numbers for 2014 will be 2% higher than those registered in 2013 to yet another annual record of over 4.1 million passengers on the back of a further 2.6% growth in seat capacity to 5.3 million seats. On the secondary market, the equity of MIA slipped by 0.7% to the €2.165 level across 15,115 shares.

Similarly, FIMBank plc’s share price shed 0.5% to the USD0.95 level on low volumes of 3,120 shares. The results of the joint-voluntary bid by Burgan Bank and United Gulf Bank (UGB) are expected to be published in the coming days.

Meanwhile, no change was registered in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc as the equity held on to the €2.55 level across eleven deals totalling 21,399 shares. Likewise, Lombard Bank Malta plc maintained the €1.90 level on low volumes of 2,600 shares.

GO plc and Malita Investments plc also closed unchanged at €1.85 and €0.535 respectively. Two other equities maintained their previous closing level. Medserv plc held on to the €1.30 level across 12,800 shares and 13,430 shares of RS2 Software plc changed hands at the €2.30 level.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased for the third consecutive session with a drop of a further 0.1% to 1,025.924 points as Eurozone yields this morning inched marginally higher. However, by this afternoon yields slumped back to the 1.73% level after Spain reported worsening unemployment which reached 26.03% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Furthermore, investors shunned the riskier sovereign bonds following a sharp increase in new issues across the Eurozone.