MSE Share Index slumps to 2-month low

The MSE Share Index trended lower during this morning’s session (the seventh daily decline in the last eight sessions) with a decline of a further 0.2% to a fresh 2-month low of 3,596.095 points as the share price of the two large banks remained under pressure.

In fact, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc touched a fresh 4-month low of €2.32 before partially recovering to end the session at the €2.33 level which still represented a 0.4% drop from the previous closing price. A total of 18,710 shares changed hands today across fifteen trades. Likewise, Lombard Bank Malta plc shed 2.1% to €1.80 on a single deal of 1,000 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2013 full-year results next Friday 14 March.

Meanwhile, after closing lower during six of the past seven sessions, the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc inched minimally higher to end the session at the €2.44 level on continued high activity totalling 45,567 shares. The equity is still trading with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.052 per share and will turn ex-dividend as from Thursday 13 March. Moreover, shareholders as at the close of trading on 24 April will also be entitled to a 1 for 9 bonus share issue.

Elsewhere in the secondary market, the equity of RS2 Software plc held on to its all-time high of €2.38 across seven deals totalling 19,300 shares. The IT equity is scheduled to publish its 2013 financial figures on 22 April.

The only other active equity was Simonds Farsons Cisk plc with a 0.7% decline back to the €2.96 level on volumes of 6,566 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index declined for the fifth consecutive session with a drop of a further 0.1% to 1,025.946 points as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields continued move higher to 1.64% after the European Central Bank (ECB) yesterday decided to keep its reference interest rate unchanged. Furthermore, the ECB’s President Mario Draghi once again waived concerns that the low inflation prevailing in the region is comparable to the deflation experienced by Japan in the 1990s.