HSBC’s equity lifts MSE Share Index

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced by 2.3% to a 3-month high of €2.65 although volumes remained low with only 7,000 shares changing hands. The Bank’s equity will trade with the entitlement to the recently announced final gross dividend of €0.072 per share until next Tuesday 13 March. The shares will subsequently trade ex-dividend as from 14 March.

The upturn in HSBC Malta lifted the MSE Share Index 0.7% higher back above the 3,000-point level as the only other active equity, Bank of Valletta plc, ended the session unchanged. BOV’s share price failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.13 to close unchanged at the €2.12 level on volumes of over 13,700 shares.

No other equity was active today as investors await the next wave of full-year results expected to be published this month including: Plaza Centres plc (8 March), FIMBank plc (12 March), Lombard Bank Malta plc (15 March), Medserv plc (21 March) and Malta International Airport plc (22 March). A further seven companies with a December year-end have yet to announce the date of their respective 2011 full-year results announcements which have to be published by the end of April as specified by the Listing Rules.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved lower for the third successive day to 987.465 points. The bid prices by the Central Bank of Malta again did not correspond to the prevailing downward pressure on the benchmark Eurozone yields. Yields across the eurozone dropped on continued concerns relating to economic growth in Europe and to Greece’s sovereign debt crisis.