MSE Share Index at new 2-year high

The MSE Share Index registered its third consecutive increase with a further 0.3% rise to a new 2-year high of 3,439.71 points.

Various equities closed higher today including those of the three local banks. Bank of Valletta plc edged minimally higher to close at the €2.275 level across five trades totalling just under 21,000 shares. Lower volumes were traded in HSBC Bank Malta plc with its share price edging 0.7% higher to regain the €2.72 level across 4,000 shares. Lombard Bank Malta plc recorded more significant gains with the equity jumping 3.5% to the €1.80 level across 25,000 shares.

Elsewhere in the local equity market, Malta International Airport plc inched marginally higher to regain its all-time high of €2.05 across 4,400 shares.

Similarly, RS2 Software plc continued its recovery towards its intra-day all-time high of €1.30 with a €0.01 increase for the third consecutive session albeit on lower volumes of 5,000 shares. The closing price of €1.28 represents a new record for the company.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also registered a new high as a single trade of 504 shares was executed at the €2.77 level representing a 0.7% rise over the previous close.

On the other hand, the equity of Island Hotels Group Holdings plc trended lower to its all-time low. 32,850 shares changed hands today with the share price closing the session at the €0.52 level representing a 1.9% drop from the previous close. Yesterday evening, the Group published its half-year results covering the six months ended 30 April 2013. The financials revealed a 15.8% reduction in its net loss figure to just over €2 million mainly due to a lower depreciation charge and a higher tax credit. The first half of the financial year represents the shoulder months for the Group.

The share price of Middlesea Insurance plc shed 1.1% to €0.811 on a single trade of 7,126 shares.

Meanwhile, GO plc once again recovered from an intra-day low of €1.50 to end the session unchanged at the €1.53 level across 7,000 shares. Similarly, FIMBank plc traded unchanged at the US$1.025 level on volumes of 5,000 shares.

On the bond market, following six consecutive sessions of declines, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 1,016.211 points in line with the drop in Eurozone yields back to the 1.76% level following comments by the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that the monetary policy stance in the Eurozone will remain accommodative. Demand for Bunds increased this afternoon with yields dipping lower after disappointing first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data for the US which relieved some concerns over the plans of the US Federal Reserve to trim its stimulus.