IHI’s decline weighs on MSE Share Index

The MSE Share Index closed minimally lower at 3,304.165 points, as the 4.1% drop in the share price of International Hotel Investments plc offset the gains in 3 other equities. IHI’s share price retreated back to its July low of €0.70 on activity amounting to 28,657 shares. IHI has yet to announce the date of publication of its interim financial statements as at 30 June 2014.

The share price of the 2 large-cap banks both closed higher. HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced by 1.6% to regain the €1.95 level despite trading ex-dividend on volumes amounting to 16,500 shares. Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc closed minimally higher at €2.11 on higher activity amounting to 46,000 shares with substantial support maintained at the €2.10 level.

The other positive performer of the day was GO plc with a 0.4% increase to the €2.38 level on low volumes amounting to 5,400 shares. The telecoms group this morning reported an improved performance during the first 6 months of 2014, largely as a result of an increased client-base despite the competitive market environment. GO’s operating profit (before exceptional items) amounted to €11.8 million, an increase of 13.3% over the comparable period in 2013. Pre-tax profits of €8.5 million represent an increase of 3.1% over the first half of 2013.

Meanwhile, 6PM Holdings plc continued to maintain the GBP0.735 level as a further 25,000 shares were exchanged earlier on this morning. Last week, 6pm published its interim results showing a strong increase in profits during the first six months.

The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged up to a new record of 1,065.985 points as the Central Bank increased the bid prices of all medium and long-term government stocks. Meanwhile, Eurozone yields maintained the 1.06% level (close to the record lows registered earlier on this month), as safe haven bonds remained sought after despite the weak economic data in Germany.

No trades took place in the new 2% MGS 2020 (V) which was admitted to the Official List yesterday. The indicative bid price quoted by the Central Bank of 102.44% represents a premium of 69 basis points from the recent issue price of 101.75%. Meanwhile, the Treasury has not yet disclosed the date of any refunds to applicants and the listing date of the 4.1% MGS 2034 (I).