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 http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2012/interim-results-mia12/

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.