Large caps lift MSE Share Index

Gains across most of the large cap equities lifted the MSE Share Index 0.7% higher to 3,357.495 points on increased equity market volumes totalling €219,190.

The equity of Bank of Valletta plc extended its positive run with the fifth successive increase as its share price edged a further 0.4% higher to €2.26 across 5,000 shares. This month marks the end of the Group’s financial year with the preliminary results generally published by the end of October. This year the publication of the financial statements will also coincide with the publication of the results of the Asset Quality Review and stress tests undertaken by the European Central Bank (ECB) across 131 systematically important banks across Europe in anticipation of assuming its role as the single supervisor of such banks. The results will not only establish the financial and capital position of each bank but will also make recommendations on how each bank should strengthen its balance sheet.

Similarly, the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc moved 2% higher to regain the €2.04 level on a single trade of 2,000 shares.

GO plc remained well supported with its share price inching minimally higher to €2.49 on volumes of 31,200 shares. Yesterday, GO announced that it was granted regulatory approval from the Cypriot competition authority with respect to its acquisition of an initial 25% stake in Cablenet (a Cypriot telecommunications provider).

The share price of Malta International Airport plc advanced by 2.2% to recapture the €2.30 level albeit on low volumes of 2,300 shares. During the course of this morning’s session, the airport operator revealed that passenger movements during the month of August climbed by 8.6% to a record 551,179 passengers on the back of an unprecedented increase in the seat load factor to 86.5% coupled with a 6.6% growth in seat capacity and a 5.1% increase in aircraft movements.

On the other hand, the equity of Plaza Centres plc slipped 1.7% lower to the €0.59 level on a large trade of 160,000 shares.

Meanwhile, no change was registered in the share price of Tigné Mall plc at the €0.515 level across a deal of 38,000 shares. Similarly, RS2 Software plc held on to its all-time high of €2.79 on shallow volumes of 2,452 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to a new high of 1,078.771 points reflecting the temporary reversal in Eurozone yields yesterday afternoon and this morning following the surprise decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut interest rates and initiate an asset purchase programme. However, by this afternoon yields moved upwards again to regain the 0.972% level as some risk appetite returned following the aforementioned action by the ECB.