Share prices of HSBC & BOV retreat

The MSE Share Index continued to fall below its 5-week high reached last Friday with a further 0.3% decline during this morning’s trading session to 3,109.822 points. Today’s decline reflects the drop in the share prices of the two large banks.

Bank of Valletta plc’s equity traded for the first time without the entitlement to the bonus shares. Initially BOV traded at €2.30, representing a marginal rise over yesterday’s ex-bonus adjusted closing price of €2.284 (equivalent to yesterday’s close of €2.57). However, the equity dropped back to €2.28 representing a marginal decline over the previous close. Today’s session was characterised by weak volumes following the very high activity in recent days ahead of the bonus issue. The additional shares will be allotted on 12 January bringing BOV’s total issued share capital to 270 million shares of €1 each.

HSBC Bank Malta plc’s equity also declined on low volumes. The share price eased 0.8% lower to €2.58 level on activity of only 2,470 shares.

Meanwhile Malta International Airport plc held on to the €1.70 level on volumes of just under 8,900 shares. Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, the low-cost airline Ryanair announced that as from May 2012, it will operate additional routes to Malta from London Stansted, Oslo, Turin, Bournemouth, Malmo, Kaunas and Wroclaw. Following the commencement of these new services, Ryanair will operate a total of 28 routes to Malta. Ryanair’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Cawley revealed that the low-cost carrier expects to attract a total of 1 million passengers to Malta within a year.

The only two other active equities, MaltaPost plc and Grand Harbour Marina plc, also closed this morning’s session unchanged on very low volumes. GHM’s equity had last traded on 4 October 2011. Last week, the marina operator revealed that it recently concluded the sale of a 40-metre super-yacht berth at the Grand Harbour Marina in Malta. This latest sale follows the two 30-metre berths sold in 2011 for a total consideration of just under €1 million.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 986.729 points reflecting a marginal decline in Eurozone benchmark yields. The price of the 5.20% MGS 2031 advanced by 18 basis points to 102.73% on volumes of €294,000 (nominal).