Demand for HSBC builds up ahead of results

Demand for HSBC Bank Malta plc shares intensified ahead of the Bank’s half-year results publication on 27 July. The Bank’s equity climbed by a further 2.6% during this morning’s session to €2.75, representing a new 11-month high. Over 15,400 HSBC shares changed hands today. Following today’s upturn, the share price of HSBC Malta is 10.9% higher from 1 June when the Bank announced the date of the interim results publication and dividend announcement.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.06 to end this morning’s session unchanged at the €2.05 level across four trades totalling 5,213 shares. Similarly, Lombard Bank Malta plc’s share price closed the day unchanged at the €2.18 level on a single trade of 1,000 shares.

Following Monday’s 20% jump, the share price of GO plc dropped by 10% to the €1.08 level across seven trades totalling 77,500 shares. GO has yet to announce the date when it will be announcing its half-year results.

Malta International Airport plc shares were active for the first time since the publication of the half-year results last Tuesday afternoon. The share price edged 0.6% higher to regain the €1.75 level across three trades totalling 4,800 shares. Substantial bids have entered the market at €1.74 with lowest offers placed at €1.79. The half-year results for the six months ended 30 June 2012 revealed a 13% increase in net profit to €4.48 million. The airport operator also announced a revised forecast for the 2012 passenger numbers which are now expected to grow by 1.5% to a new record of 3.56 million passenger movements. The Directors declared a net interim dividend of €0.03 per share (unchanged over last year) to all shareholders as at close of trading on 25 July. Further details available at

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged minimally higher to 992.581 points despite a marginal recovery in Eurozone yields to just above the 1.20% level. The focus across international markets today was on the Spanish bond auctions for 2-year and 5-year paper which highlighted concerns over the country’s ability to handle its public finances and sovereign debt. The Spanish Treasury sold €1.4 billion in 2-year paper at 5.204% (previous auction at 4.335%) and a further €1.1 billion 5-year notes at euro-era record highs of 6.459%. Following these auctions, Spain’s 10-year benchmark yields surpassed the ‘unsustainable’ 7% level once again.