Declines in HSBC & BOV push Index to fresh 4-week low

Declines in the share prices of HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc during this morning’s session were the main reason for the 0.2% drop in the MSE Share Index to a new 4-week low of 3,443.22 points.

The share price of BOV edged 0.4% lower to €2.37 on volumes of just over 10,000 shares. Similarly, HSBC’s equity slipped 0.4% lower to close the week at the €2.62 level across eleven deals totalling 85,892 shares.

The equity of Tigné Mall plc also trended in negative territory during this morning’s session to €0.515 on a single trade of 44,000 shares. The Company is scheduled to publish its 2013 half-year results next Thursday 29 August.

On the other hand, fresh bids lifted the share price of Island Hotels Group Holdings plc by 4.5% to a new 5-week high of €0.70 on increased volumes of 161,500 shares.

The equity of Malta International Airport plc reversed some of the recent declines with a 0.5% increase to regain the €1.95 level. The airport operator is scheduled to pay the net interim dividend of €0.03 per share on 23 September. Similarly, new bids lifted the share price of Plaza Centres plc 0.9% higher to €0.565 on volumes of 42,000 shares to effectively reverse last Wednesday’s dip.

Meanwhile, GO plc ended the session unchanged at the €1.60 level across three deals totalling 7,000 shares. Likewise, no changes were registered in the share price of Crimsonwing plc at the €0.739 level on a deal of 32,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher as the decrease in the bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker on the short-to-medium term Malta Government Stocks was offset by the increase in the bid prices of the longer dated paper. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy to highlight the fact that the benchmark Eurozone yields have reached the 1.976% level for the first time since late March 2012. The recent upward trend in yields has been supported by widespread speculation that the US Federal Reserve is close to start reducing its stimulus program as well as by today’s comments from a representative of the European Central Bank (ECB) stating that there is no argument in favour of an interest rate cut.