HSBC & BOV trend lower

The MSE Share Index registered its third consecutive decline with a further 0.2% drop to 3,422.471 points amid dwindling volumes. Today only €29,392 worth of shares changed hands – the lowest daily activity since late January 2013.

Today’s decline in the local equity benchmark was mainly due to the declines in the share prices of the two large banks. HSBC Bank Malta plc eased 0.7% lower to €2.72 on low volumes of 3,750 shares. Similarly, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc eased 0.2% back to the €2.275 level on just 4,000 shares.

Meanwhile, the only other active equity, Malita Investments plc, ended the session unchanged at the €0.51 level on a single deal of 19,607 shares. Malita will be publishing its interim results on 12 August.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index reached yet another all-time high after rising by 0.1% to 1,027.809 points in line with the further drop in benchmark Eurozone yields to below the 1.52% level for the first time since mid-June. Yields in Europe have been on a downward trend in recent weeks after markets were reassured that central banks around the globe will maintain the current stimulus measures. This was also the case yesterday when the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke explained that although the US Central Bank is expected to start reducing its asset purchase program by the end of this year, the US Federal Reserve may change its course if the economic outlook worsens. Most medium and long term MGSs were priced higher by the central bank of Malta today.