MSE Share Index edges higher on gains of large-caps

Trading this morning was less intense, with just under €63,000 worth of trades taking place on the Borza. The MSE Share Index edged marginally higher to 3,299.511 points, as the decline in the share price of Lombard did not offset the gains in BOV, HSBC and GO.

A single trade of 2,000 shares in Lombard Bank Malta plc caused the price to decline by 3.1% to €1.55. The Group reported subdued performance in their interim financial statements issued yesterday afternoon, as lower interest margins as well as higher costs and impairments resulted in a 25% decrease in net profits attributable to the bank’s shareholders, despite the increase in revenues from Maltapost. The directors acknowledged that the Bank is operating in an environment where EU regulatory changes might affect the risk appetite of the Bank, although the local forecasts of GDP growth could result in new opportunities for the Group that will allow it to meet the expectations of all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc traded in positive territory this morning as their respective share prices increased to €2.12 and €1.975 respectively.

Similarly, GO plc reached yet another 6-year high, closing this morning at €2.43 on shallow activity of 3,400 shares across 2 deals.

The share price of International Hotel Investments plc retained the record-low €0.65 level touched yesterday on activity of 12,797 shares. Tomorrow IHI will be announcing the interim financial results for the 6 months ending 30 June 2014 .

The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index advanced further to 1,069.633 points. Benchmark Bund yields were below the 1% mark, although they regained their 1% level later on this morning. Eurozone economic data issued earlier on today signalled decelerating but positive growth in August, while inflation in July rose just 0.4% on the year, which is the weakest since October 2009.