HSBC up 1.1% as first half profits unchanged

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc gained 1.1% to €2.73 during this morning’s session on low volumes of 9,700 shares. This morning, the Bank published its half-year results revealing an unchanged pre-tax profit of €53 million as the 6.1% drop in net interest income to €63.5 million was offset by a good performance from the Life Assurance business as well as higher profits from the disposal of available for sale securities. The Directors also approved the payment of an unchanged interim gross dividend of €0.10 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 12 August. Further details on the results available at http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2013/interim-results-hsbc05/.

Crimsonwing plc also performed positively during the first trading session of the week. The equity touched a new all-time high of €0.72 before easing back to the €0.70 level which still represents a 1.5% increase over the previous close. A total of 82,000 shares changed hands today with the equity still trading with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.01 per share.

Medserv plc also featured amongst the positive movers today with a 0.3% increase to regain the €3.71 level on a deal of 7,000 shares. Similarly, MaltaPost plc’s share price edged 1% higher to close at the €1.01 level on low volumes of 1,000 shares.

On the other hand, all the other five active equities ended the session unchanged. In the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc held on to the €2.32 level across six deals totalling 6,940 shares and Lombard Bank Malta plc ended the session unchanged at the €1.85 level on low volumes of 4,202 shares. Likewise, FIMBank plc maintained that US$0.99 level on a small deal of 1,200 shares.

Elsewhere, Malta International Airport plc ended unchanged at the €2.04 level on volumes of 9,700 shares. The airport operator this afternoon published its July traffic statistics revealing a 5.8% increase in passenger movements reaching 471,210 – a record number for the month under review. The growth was achieved on the back of a 9% increase in seat capacity which offset the 2.5 percentage point decline in the seat load factor to 82.6%.

The only other active equity was Malita Investments plc which traded unchanged at the €0.51 level on a single trade of 4,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed 0.2% to 1,026.94 points as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield slipped back to the 1.67% level following last Friday’s US jobs report. The data showed that the increase in the number of employed people in the US in July was lower than expected and as such markets are now expecting the US Federal Reserve to maintain its US$85 billion monthly asset purchase programme beyond the September monetary policy meeting.