Equity market closes lower

All of the active equities during this morning’s trading session trended lower with the exception of Crimsonwing plc which held on to the €0.55 level across 30,000 shares. The IT Group is expected to shortly publish its Interim Directors’ Statement with an update on its performance since the Group’s half-year ended on 30 September 2012 with a pre-tax profit of €0.55 million.

On the other hand, the shares of the two large banks drifted lower with Bank of Valletta plc’s share price easing minimally lower to close at €2.278 across ten deals of 21,170 shares ahead of the Bank’s Interim Directors’ Statement expected to be published shortly.

The shares of HSBC Bank Malta plc dropped by 1% to the €2.723 level on a single deal of 8,000 shares. Also in the financial sector, FIMBank plc slid 2% lower back to the US$1.00 level on increased volumes of 21,272 shares. HSBC is due to publish its 2012 full-year results on 4 March whilst FIMBank is scheduled to report its 2012 figures on 6 March.

Selling pressure also evident across GO plc shares as the equity retreated for the first time since 12 December. Today, the equity released some of the 23.8% uplift it registered since mid-December with a 2.5% drop back to the €1.35 level on volumes of 32,630 shares.

Minimal declines and low volumes in the shares of Malta International Airport plc and Malita Investments plc as they ended the session at €1.788 and €0.52 respectively. The airport operator is scheduled to publish its 2012 preliminary results on 20 March whilst Malita will reveal its maiden full-year results on 22 February.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slipped marginally lower to just below the 1,008-points level mainly reflecting the lower bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker for the longest dated MGS. The benchmark Eurozone yields remained fairly stable at around the 1.61% as the successful Spanish bond auction (comprising €5.6 billion worth of 6 and 12 month bills) failed to ease the political concerns that arose in recent days on Spain and Italy.