HSBC share price up 2.7% on high volumes

The MSE Share Index advanced by 0.7% during this morning’s session to 3,088.14 points mainly due to the 2.7% jump in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc.

HSBC’s equity closed at the €2.70 level on high volumes amounting to over 106,000 shares. Shortly after the closure of today’s trading session, HSBC Malta published its Interim Directors’ Statement revealing that the Bank’s financial performance during the period from 1 July to date was broadly in line with expectations. Apart from outlining the prevailing challenging trading conditions and the respective effect on the Bank’s operations, the announcement also revealed that the Bank is expecting a more difficult year during 2012. The Board of Directors approved a plan to achieve sustainable cost savings by the end of 2013. In this respect, HSBC revealed that their 2011 financial statements will be adversely impacted by a one-off restructuring charge of approximately €10 million mainly relating to early retirement schemes which will be offered to the Bank’s employees. In the concluding statement by the Bank’s CEO, Mr Alan Richards explained that although HSBC Malta remains highly liquid and well capitalised, it needs to maintain its focus on cost and risk management as trading conditions are becoming even more challenging.

Elsewhere in the local equity market, Bank of Valletta plc and International Hotel Investments plc edged marginally higher on low volumes. Meanwhile, following last week’s announcement which revealed the waiver of landing fees for the winter period, the share price of Malta International Airport plc slipped a further 2.9% today to close at the €1.65 level on a single deal of 2,800 shares. After today’s downturn, MIA’s share price is now 0.6% below its value at the beginning of the year.

A small trade of 100 Medserv plc shares was transacted today ahead of tomorrow’s Board of Directors’ meeting which is expected to discuss the possibility of declaring an interim dividend. Medserv’s share price slipped 0.3% to a new 25-month low of €3.84.

Five trades totalling 35,000 shares of MaltaPost plc were transacted today at the €0.98 level, unchanged from the previous close. On Thursday 1 December the postal operator is scheduled to publish its financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2011.

Subscriptions for the new Malta Government Stocks are open until tomorrow. Two new MGS’s are available for subscription by the General Public for amounts up to €100,000 (nominal). These are the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) and the 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) for a total aggregate amount of €100 million with an over-allotment option of another €44 million. Subscriptions close on Wednesday 16 November. Application forms available from http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2011/pricing-of-new-stocks-mgs11/.