HSBC & BOV close in opposite directions

HSBC Bank Malta plc closed marginally higher during this morning’s session at €2.625 across eight deals totalling 26,465 shares. Meanwhile, the equity of Bank of Valletta plc failed to hold on to a new 2013 high of €2.50 to end the session 0.4% lower at €2.48 on high activity amounting to 61,097 shares. This afternoon the Bank announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 31 October to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2013. The Directors will also consider the payment of a final dividend.

Also in the banking sector, FIMBank plc eased 1.1% lower back to the USD0.945 level across two deals totalling 6,100 shares.

Similarly, GO plc’s share price only partially recovered from an intra-day low of €1.45 to end this morning’s session at the €1.48 level representing a 0.7% drop from the previous closing price on volumes of 12,600 shares.

Meanwhile, the equity of Malta International Airport plc regained the €2.00 level on fresh demand for the shares of the airport operator. The share price advanced by 1.5% on volumes of 37,000 shares. RS2 Software plc shares gained 2% to yet another all-time high of €2.04 on a single deal of 2,400 shares. The share price of the IT company has rallied by 193.1% since the start of the year mainly due to the GBP8.5 million licence acquired by Barclays Bank plc and the subsequent acquisition of a 10% stake in RS2. Barclays had also indicated its willingness to acquire a further 10% from the market.

The only other positive performing equity was Plaza Centres plc with a 4.5% jump to the €0.585 level on low volumes of just over 2,000 shares.

On the other hand, the other three active equities, namely International Hotel Investments plc, Middlesea Insurance plc and Malita Investments plc, ended the session unchanged on insignificant volumes.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged minimally higher to 1,019.225 points as Eurozone yields eased further to 1.84%.

Gasan Finance Company plc this afternoon announced that it was granted approval by the Listing Authority of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to issue a new €25 million bond carrying a coupon of 4.9% and maturing between 2019 and 2012. The Prospectus of the new bond will be available as from Friday 25 October.

Likewise, International Hotel Investments plc also received the necessary regulatory approvals to issue a new €10 million 5.8% Bond redeemable in 2023. IHI will be granting preference to holders (as at the close of trading today) of the 6.5% Bonds maturing on 27 March 2014 by swapping the maturing bond for the new bond. The Prospectus containing further details will be available as from tomorrow whilst application forms will be mailed to holders of the maturing bond on 23 October.