Volumes dwindle to an almost 5-week low

Volumes across local equities declined for the third consecutive session with only €51,775 worth of shares changing hands during this morning’s session, representing an almost 5-week low. The MSE Share Index inched marginally higher today to 3,451.611 points due to the 0.8% increase in the share price of RS2 Software plc. The IT equity regained the €2.42 level on a single trade of 2,000 shares. On Wednesday, RS2 announced a €1 million investment in a new office in Xewkija, Gozo to serve as an extension of the works and services currently provided from its Mosta office.

Meanwhile, the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc retreated by 0.1% to €2.141 on low volumes of 8,624 shares. Similarly, shallow trading activity took place in Malta International Airport plc with the share price easing minimally lower to €2.241 on just 2,000 shares.

On the other hand, no change was registered in the share price of Bank of Valletta plc as almost 9,000 shares traded at the €2.20 level. Last Friday, BOV published its 2014 interim results revealing a profit before taxation of €50.7 million for the first half of their 2013/14 financial year, a decrease of 21 per cent when compared to the pre-tax profit of €64.6 million earned in the first six months of the previous financial year. The drop is largely attributable to lower net interest income, a reduction in fair value movements as well as a lower contribution from insurance operations. A gross interim dividend of €0.0425 (-22%) was declared to those shareholders as at close of trading on 5 May.

Likewise, Malita Investments plc held on to the €0.54 level on a single deal of 10,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.2% higher to a new high of 1,036.251 points as Eurozone yields slipped to a fresh 11-month low of 1.465% as Ukraine took military action against pro-Russian protestors occupying government buildings in the country’s eastern region.