MSE Share Index at 6-week low

The local equity market ended in negative territory for the third consecutive session sending the MSE Share Index a further 0.6% lower to a new 6-week low of 3,079.019 points. The local equity benchmark continues to trail most major indices around the globe with a year-to-date decline of 18.6%.

Bank of Valletta plc’s share price gained 1% to close at €2.425 on fresh bids in the market and lack of supply at the €2.40 level. A total of 34,624 shares traded today across ten trades. Tomorrow is the last day during which BOV’s equity trades with the entitlement to the recommended final gross dividend of €0.08 per share. BOV’s equity then turns ex-dividend as from next Monday.

On the other hand, a single trade of a mere 1,551 International Hotel Investments plc shares was transacted at the €0.78 level representing a 4.8% drop from the previous close. This contrasts with the trading activity earlier this week when a total of 374,172 shares were exchanged helping the price edge 0.5% higher to €0.819. In its latest communication to the market last week, the IHI Group explained that following the end of the hostilities in the Libyan capital, the Corinthia Hotel Tripoli is now gradually returning to normal operations. Moreover, works on the Corinthia Hotel in London, which partially opened its doors in April, are expected to be completed by year end ahead of its first full-year of operations in 2012. IHI’s Directors also stated that the other IHI-owned hotels have registered an improvement in their operating performance over 2010.

The only other active equity today was HSBC Bank Malta plc which closed unchanged at the €2.65 level on low volumes of 1,240 shares.

This afternoon, the Treasury is scheduled to publish the offer prices of next week’s new Malta Government Stocks issues. Last week, the Treasury announced the issuance of two new MGS’s for subscription by the General Public for amounts up to €100,000 (nominal). These are the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) and the 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) for a total aggregate amount of €100 million with an over-allotment option of another €44 million. Subscriptions open on Monday 14 November and close on Wednesday 16 November. Further details available at http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2011/new-stock-issues-mgs10/.