Further gains in BOV continue to lift MSE Share Index

The MSE Share Index closed in positive territory for the second consecutive session with a rise of a further 0.2% to 3,488.525 points mainly due to continued gains in Bank of Valletta plc following last Thursday’s full-year results publication.

BOV revealed a 5.4% increase in net profits to just over €79 million for the financial year ended 30 September 2013. The record performance was mainly due to the positive fair value movements of €17.4 million and the significant increase in share of results from the insurance associates to €12.4 million. These offset the 11.4% decline in net interest income to €131 million and the 12.2% increase in loan impairments to €25.6 million. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.13 per share (up 11.1% over the previous year’s final dividend) and a 1 for 10 bonus issue. Shareholders as at close of trading on 14 November will be eligible for the dividend whilst the cut-off date for the bonus issue is 14 January 2014. The share price advanced by a further 0.7% today to a new five and a half year high of €2.599 across thirty deals totalling 46,925 shares.

The equities of the two other retail banks also registered positive movements. The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc edged minimally higher to €2.65 on volumes of 11,500 shares and Lombard Bank Malta plc edged 2.7% higher to the €1.90 level on a small deal of 1,000 shares.

The share price of GO plc climbed by 1.3% to the €1.52 level across two trades totalling 4,300 shares. Similarly, RS2 Software plc edged minimally higher to €2.171 after failing to hold on to a new all-time high of €2.20 across low volumes of 2,266 shares.

The only other positive performing equity was Malita Investments plc with a 0.8% increase to €0.53 on a single trade of 2,800 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of Malta International Airport plc slipped by 1.9% back to the €2.06 level on volumes of 6,000 shares. The airport operator is expected to publish its October traffic results in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc held on to the €2.84 level on a small deal of 2,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index was practically unchanged at 1,022.819 points as Eurozone yields remained below the 1.7% level in anticipation of further monetary stimulus by the European Central Bank (ECB) which is scheduled to meet this Thursday.