Share prices of HSBC and BOV both retreat

The share prices of both HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc closed lower today leading to a 0.5% drop in the MSE Share Index to 3,103.774 points (the lowest level since 20 July). HSBC’s equity reversed some of its recent gains despite still trading with the entitlement to the gross interim dividend of €0.10 per share. The share price retreated by 1% to the €2.87 level across four trades totalling 13,000 shares. BOV closed in negative territory for the second consecutive session with a further 1.2% drop back to the €2.055 level across six trades totalling 12,185 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of 6pm Holdings plc jumped by 14.3% to the GBP0.32 level across six trades totalling 25,000 shares.

The only other two active equities during this morning’s session, GO plc and FIMBank plc traded unchanged at €1.05 and USD0.85 respectively.

Earlier on today, Plaza Centres plc publish its half-year results showing a 4.9% increase in revenue to a record €1.12 million while costs declined leading to a record pre-tax profit of €685,013, representing a 9.6% increase’s from last year’s figure. Occupancy remained high at 91% in spite of an increase of 1,700 sqm in rentable area following the completion of the third extension in March 2011. The Directors noted that occupancy is expected to edge lower in the coming weeks following the termination of a lease of an office tenant occupying a large area. However, negotiations with new tenants for this area are already underway. Looking ahead, the Directors expect the Company to maintain the trend reported in the first half of 2012 during the remained of the year.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 994.356 points as Eurozone yields slid back to the 1.30% level. Benchmark yields in Europe retreated for the first time in seven days over doubts on the possible actions that may be taken by the European Central Bank (ECB) in the upcoming monthly monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Moreover, economic data published today showed that inflation in the Eurozone remained at 2.4% (higher than the maximum ECB target of 2%) for the third consecutive month whilst the level of unemployment continued to increase.