HSBC share price up to an 18-week high

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc continued to advance ahead of the interim financial statements which are due to be published on Friday 27 July. The equity edged 1.5% higher to close at an 18-week high of €2.64 on volumes totalling 15,525 shares. This helped the MSE Share Index gain 0.47% to 3,053.837 points.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.065 as all outstanding bids at the €2.05 level were satisfied. Volumes increased to 51,379 shares today with fresh support entering the market at the €2.02 level.

Following yesterday’s 5.8% decline to a 16-month low of €0.565, the share price of Plaza Centres plc partly recovered by 2.5% to €0.579 on a single deal of 3,000 shares. Plaza Centres is scheduled to announce its interim results on 31 July.

No further trades took place today ahead of the interim reporting season which starts next Tuesday 17 July with the publication of the half-year results by Malta International Airport plc. The airport operator recently announced that it registered a 1.6% increase in passenger movements during the first six months of 2012 to a record 1.58 million passengers.

On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher again to a new 1-month high of 989.540 points as the Central Bank of Malta increased the bid prices for the longest dated bonds. Eurozone yields remained hovering around the 4-week low of 1.30%. During this morning’s bond auction, Germany managed to sell its 10-year paper at an average yield of 1.31% which is the lowest ever paid during an auction on this maturity. Furthermore, the yield on Spanish 10-year debt dropped to 6.68% from yesterday’s high of 7.016%. The drop in yield reflected the announcement by the Spanish prime minister of reductions in spending cuts and a hike in VAT to 21% from the previous level of 18%. These new austerity measures will reduce the budget deficit by a further €65 billion.