MSE Share Index slides to 16-week low

Further selling pressure across many of the local equities forced the MSE Share Index to drop by a further 0.8% to a fresh 16-week low of 3,517.109 points.

The share prices of both Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc closed lower. HSBC shed a further 0.4% to the €2.421 level across eight deals totalling 12,396 shares. Similarly, the share price of BOV edged 0.1% lower to €2.248 across fourteen trades totalling just over 28,000 shares.

Amongst the large cap equities, International Hotel Investments plc also trended in negative territory with a 4.7% drop back to the €0.839 level on volumes of 30,000 shares.

The equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc dropped by 0.3% from its all-time high as 2,167 shares traded at the €2.99 level. The only other negative performing equity was 6pm Holdings plc with a 1.4% drop back to the GBP0.71 level on shallow volumes of 7,000 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of GO plc edged 0.7% higher to €2.09 across 12,710 shares in anticipation of the full-year results which were published shortly after the close of this morning’s trading session. GO’s 2013 financial statements revealed a 41.5% drop in pre-tax profits to €15.6 million which is largely due to the one-off €11.4 million gain in relation to disposal of property reported in 2012. In fact, normalised EBITDA declined by 5.7% to €48.4 million. GO plc recommend a net dividend of €0.07 per share (2012: €0.10). Shareholders as at close of trading on 1 April 2014 will be entitled to this dividend which will be paid on 9 May subject to approval by shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 6 May.

The share price of FIMBank plc inched minimally higher to the US$0.842 level on a single trade of 4,208 shares.

Meanwhile, Malta International Airport plc opened at a new high of €2.28 before closing the day unchanged at the €2.25 level on high volumes of almost 37,000 shares.

The equity of Crimsonwing plc maintained the €0.81 level on volumes of 26,315 shares. Likewise, the share price of Malita Investments plc and Medserv plc ended the session unchanged on shallow volumes.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased minimally lower to 1,027.100 points as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields continued to recover despite the prevailing tensions between Ukraine (supported also by western allies) and Russia.