Banking equities lose further ground

The equities of the two large banks continued to decline during this morning’s trading session on further selling pressure forcing the equity market to register losses for the seventh consecutive day. The MSE Share Index eased 0.1% lower to 3,071.765 points. HSBC Bank Malta plc slipped 0.5% lower to a close of €2.651 on volumes of over 21,000 shares. On similar volumes, Bank of Valletta plc retreated by 0.2% to close below the €2.50 level.

On the other hand, GO plc climbed by 2.4% to €1.265 across three trades totalling just over 4,600 shares. The only other active equity, RS2 Software plc, traded unchanged at the €0.55 level on volumes of over 16,000 shares. Both companies are scheduled to issue their respective 2011 interim results next week.

Meanwhile, high trading activity continued to take place in the bond market. Across Malta Government Stocks another €14.3 million (nominal) traded today despite a sharp decline in the Central Bank of Malta bid prices in line with the strong recovery in eurozone yields to the 2.25% level. The price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) dropped by 105 basis points from 103.05% to 102%. This led to a 0.4% decline in the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index to 987.116 points – the lowest level since 8 August.

On the corporate bond market, the recently listed 4.8% BOV plc 2018 notes traded for the first time as €20,000 (nominal) changed hands at 102.25% compared to the recent offer price of 100% (par). Another notable improvement was registered in the 7.5% Mediterranean Investments Holding plc 2014 bonds which climbed to 94.99% from 90%.

Premier Capital plc, which had issued €25 million in bonds in March 2010, issued their 2011 half-year financial statements earlier on today. The Premier Group reported a 21% increase in EBITDA to €2.5 million. An interim dividend of €650,000 was declared. Later on this afternoon, GlobalCapital plc is expected to publish their interim results.