Large cap equities trade higher

During this morning’s trading session on the Borza, the three largest equities by market capitalisation all traded higher helping the MSE Share Index rise by 1% to 3,390.81 points – its highest level in the last 2 weeks.

The equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc gained for the third time this week with a 0.2% increase to €2.48 across 15,205 shares. New bids also lifted the share price of Bank of Valletta plc 0.9% higher to €2.37 on lower volumes of 9,784 shares.

Similarly, the share price of International Hotel Investments plc jumped 4.9% to €0.86 across nine deals totalling 40,800 shares.

Malita Investments plc also performed positively with a 4% increase to the €0.52 level across 29,000 shares.

Meanwhile, the only other active equity, namely Crimsonwing plc, traded unchanged at the €0.74 level across 20,000 shares.

The interim results published yesterday by Simonds Farsons Cisk plc failed to instigate trading activity in the company’s shares. Highest bids are placed in the market at €2.75 with lowest offers at the €2.80 level compared to the last closing price of €2.78. During the six months ended 31 July 2013, the Farsons Group registered a 1.1% increase in profits after tax to a record €3.8 million due to the positive impact from the political activities organised in the run up to the general election, another record year in terms of tourist numbers as well as increased export volumes and turnover. These elements offset the adverse impact emanating from the intense competition and lower demand for carbonated soft drinks and water due to lower than average temperatures in July. Furthermore, the food importation arm lost representation of key brands following consolidation by a foreign principal. The Directors declared an interim dividend of €0.0333 (to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 1 October) which is substantially higher than the previous year’s interim dividend as the Group seeks to balance the interim and final dividend payments.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased minimally lower to 1,020.649 points despite a further decline in benchmark Eurozone yields on further confirmations by European Central Bank (ECB) executives that the ECB will be maintaining an expansionary monetary policy stance for as long as necessary. Furthermore, demand for ‘safe-haven’ bunds also increased today after some deputies in the Italian parliament threaten to break the coalition if former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is expelled.