Bank share prices decline on profit taking

The local equity market closed today’s session in negative territory as the share prices of the two large banks declined due to some profit taking. Although the MSE Share Index dropped 0.8% to close below the 3,500-point level, the local equity benchmark is still 3.7% higher than its value at the end of last week.

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc initially held on to the €3.70 level but gradually declined mid-way during the session on some profit taking. The equity slipped 1.3% lower with activity remaining high at over 35,500 shares. Investors who purchase shares until Friday will be entitled to the final gross dividend of €0.16 per share. Meanwhile the bonus issue of 1 new share for every 5 held will be eligible to those shareholders as at 7 January 2011.

The decline in BOV’s share price also left its mark on HSBC Bank Malta plc. HSBC’s equity closed 1.7% lower at €2.95 but activity was limited to just 4,340 shares.

Elsewhere Middlesea Insurance plc and Loqus Holdings plc closed the day unchanged at €1.00 and €0.18 respectively.

On the bond market, the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield again lower eased to 2.43% resulting in further upward revisions in the bid prices for Malta Government Stocks. The 20-year government paper rose another 10 basis points to 102.10%. Tomorrow afternoon, the Treasury is scheduled to publish the prices of the new Malta Government Stocks which will be on offer for subscription by the General Public between Monday 8 November and Wednesday 10 November.

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