High volumes in BOV shares

High volumes of over 118,700 Bank of Valletta plc shares traded today – the last session during which investors could gain entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.13 per share. In spite of the dividend entitlement, BOV’s share price closed minimally lower at €2.465 after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.43 touched during the initial stages of this morning’s session. The Bank’s shares turn ex-dividend tomorrow but still carry the entitlement to the 1 for 9 bonus issue.

Fresh sell orders saw Lombard Bank Malta plc dip 1.7% lower to another 7-year low of €1.77 on a single trade of 26,763 shares. This afternoon, the Bank issued an Interim Directors statement explaining that during the period from 1 July 2012 to date, net interest income has remained at the same level as that recorded in the previous comparable period. Meanwhile, non-interest income is marginally lower given last year’s gain on the disposal of securities which was not repeated this year. Overall, pre-tax profit is lower than that of the comparable period last year. Loans and deposits registered satisfactory increases and the Bank continues to boast robust fundamentals including capital and liquidity ratios.

FIMBank plc’s share price also retreated 1.3% to US$0.78 on a small deal of 520 shares.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc edged minimally higher to close at the €2.655 level across two trades totalling 5,000 shares.

On the IT front, 72,000 RS2 Software plc shares were traded at the €0.60 level, unchanged from the previous close. Likewise, Crimsonwing plc held on to the €0.38 on a trade of 1,000 shares with best bids now placed at €0.395.

All other equities active today, namely International Hotel Investments plc, GO plc and Middlesea Insurance plc, ended the trading session unchanged.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved minimally higher to 999.947 points as Eurozone yields inched higher to close in on the 1.35% level given the expected strong demand for Italy’s bond auction. Nonetheless, upward trend in yields was limited by the prevailing concerns over Greece and its significant problems of liquidity.