HSBC and GO decline further

The share prices of HSBC Bank Malta plc and GO plc continued to decline during this morning’s session forcing the MSE Share Index to drop by a further 0.5% to yet another 6-week low of 3,640.298 points.

HSBC’s share price slid to an intra-day low of €2.49 before only partially recovering to a close of €2.50, representing a 2.3% decline from yesterday’s close on volumes of just below 20,000 shares. The equity of HSBC has come under pressure after the Bank announced a 5.15% decline in pre-tax profits to €90.5 million and the Directors recommended a final dividend to €0.052 (-34.2%) largely due to new regulations.

Selling pressure was also evident across GO shares as the telecoms equity only partially recovered from an intra-day low of €2.06 to end this morning’s session 0.2% lower at €2.095 on shallow volumes of 5,000 shares.

The only other negative performing equity was FIMBank plc with a 0.9% drop to a new 2014 low of US$0.89 on a deal of 5,000 shares. The trade finance specialist is scheduled to publish its full-year results on 11 March.

The equity of Bank of Valletta plc also declined at the start of today’s session dropping to a low of €2.36 – the first time since early November 2013. However, the equity subsequently recovered to regain the €2.40 level representing no change from the previous closing price. Just over 19,000 shares changed hands today further offers at the closing price and highest bids at the €2.38 level.

Similarly, the equity of Island Hotels Group Holdings plc ended the session unchanged at the €0.90 level on a deal of 500 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of RS2 Software plc edged 0.6% higher to regain the €2.365 level on volumes of 12,000 shares. Recently the Company issued an announcement revealing a new indefinite licence with OKQ8 – an owner and operator of around 700 petrol stations in Sweden with annual revenues of over €2 billion.

Likewise, the share price of Middlesea Insurance plc edged 2.2% higher to regain the €0.92 level on low volumes of 1,260 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 1,027.842 points as benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields slumped to the 1.56% level amid the political and military tension in Ukraine and Russia. Given this instability, investors are seeking ‘safe-haven’ assets and as a result this also led to the strengthening of the US Dollar which reached a 2-week high against the euro at USD1.3656 (equivalent to €0.7323 per USD1).