MSE Share Index regains the 3,200-points level

The MSE Share Index this morning edged 0.4% higher to regain the 3,200-points level for the first time in a month. Today’s upturn was mainly due to the 0.4% increase in Bank of Valletta plc to the €2.429 level across nine trades totalling 18,700 shares.

Similarly, GO plc moved 0.8% higher to close at the €1.099 level across six trades totalling 10,300 shares.

Fresh demand also pushed up the share prices of Crimsonwing plc and FIMBank plc. The IT equity surged 7.1% to a new 21-month high of €0.45 on volumes of 60,528 shares. Crimsonwing last week published its half-year results revealing an improvement in profitability to €475,161 (compared to a break-even position in the six months ended 30 September 2011) on the back of a combination of increased revenues (especially in the UK and at Crimsonwing Promentum) as well as cost savings particularly related to the restructuring undertaken in Crimsonwing NL.

FIMBank’s share price edged 6.4% to regain the USD0.83 level on a single deal of 3,000 shares. The trade finance specialist will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting on 31 January 2013 seeking shareholders’ approval on a staged offer by Burgan Bank and United Gulf Bank (both subsidiaries of KIPCO) which will ultimately see the two entities controlling the Bank.

Meanwhile, all other active equities closed unchanged today. Most notably, Plaza Centres plc maintained the €0.54 level across a single trade of 92,000 shares.

This afternoon, MaltaPost plc published its full-year results covering the financial year-ended 30 September 2012 revealing a 31.2% drop in profitability to €1.3 million reflecting the impact from the tariff changes imposed by the Universal Postal Union. Despite the drop in profits, the Company maintained the final net dividend at €0.04 per share and is offering shareholders the option to take up the dividend either in cash or in new shares at the attribution price of €0.70. The statement issued this afternoon also reveals the Directors’ expectations of future improved performances after the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) approved tariff increases, most of which came into effect on 19 November 2012. Moreover, the Directors envisage further diversification of the Company’s portfolio of services with the introduction of insurance products as well as new services related to document management, archiving and hybrid mail activities.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased 0.1% lower to 1,002.656 points as benchmark 10-year Bund yields eased back below the 1.4% level on fresh concerns that budget discussions in the US may be reaching an impasse. This also outweighed the relief on the market from the Greek debt deal.