Minimal movements across local equities

No significant movements were recorded across local equities during this morning’s trading session with the MSE Share Index easing minimally lower to 3,314.638 points.

The equity of GO plc was the sole positive performer today as its share price inched marginally higher to regain the €1.40 level across 5,000 shares in anticipation of a Board of Directors meeting scheduled for next Wednesday 20 March to consider and approve the 2012 full-year results and also to consider the declaration of a dividend.

On the other hand, following yesterday’s 1.4% drop, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc drifted a further 0.2% lower to €2.26 on volumes of 16,317 shares.

Similarly, MIDI plc retreated minimally to close at the €0.314 level across two trades totalling 36,000 shares. A single trade of 1,000 Island Hotels Group Holdings plc was transacted at the €0.648 level representing a 0.2% drop from the previous close.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc held on to the €2.75 across 14,330 shares on the last day for the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.079 per share. The shares turn ex-dividend as from tomorrow. The final dividend will be paid on 27 April subject to shareholders approval at the Annual General Meeting on 18 April.

The 2012 financial results of Plaza Centres plc, published this morning, failed to generate any trades in its shares. The Company announced a 2.4% increase in revenue to €2.25 million despite a dip in occupancy to 84% due to the vacation of certain office space. Nonetheless, the increase in income was offset by marginal increases in various cost items including depreciation, net interest expense and taxes, leading to a net profit figure of €0.82 million representing a 1.7% drop from the previous year’s profitability. The decline in profits was reflected in the final net dividend of €0.0247 per share compared to the 2011 net dividend of €0.0251 per share. The dividend will be paid on 5 June (subject to shareholder approval at Annual General Meeting on 31 May) to all shareholders as at close of trading on Friday 26 April.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved 0.1% higher to regain the 1,011.241 points level as Eurozone yields drifted back to the 1.46% level following weak demand and higher borrowing costs at an Italian debt auction. Meanwhile, the Malta Stock Exchange announced that trading in the two new MGS’s will commence as from tomorrow.