Banking equities trade higher

The equities of three main banks traded higher during this morning’s session which helped the MSE Share Index advance by 0.5% to 3,071.423 points.

Bank of Valletta plc’s share price edged 2% higher to regain the €2.29 level across six trades totalling 12,100 shares. The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €2.70 to close 0.2% higher at the €2.739 level on volumes of 5,000 shares. Lower activity was registered in Lombard Bank Malta plc as the Bank’s equity inched 0.3% higher to €1.945 on a single deal of 1,000 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also closed in positive territory today with a 1% increase to the €2.10 level on low volumes of 480 shares. The Farsons Group generally publishes its half-year results covering the six months ended 31 July, by the end of September.

On the other hand, the only other active equity, Malita Investments plc, ended today’s trading session unchanged at the €0.52 level across three trades totalling 8,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged a further 0.1% higher to 996.159 points despite this morning’s rise in Eurozone yields from last Friday’s close of 1.518% to around the 1.55% level. The benchmark yields in Europe initially eased today but soon moved into positive territory as demand for the safe-haven bunds was supported by the weak US jobs data (published late last week) and the prevailing crisis in the Eurozone particularly in Greece. The European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have rejected part of a €12 billion austerity package prepared by the Greek government. The two-year plan must be approved by these three institutions for Greece to be granted the next tranche of bailout funds which it requires to avoid bankruptcy and an exit from the eurozone.