Banks hold onto recent gains; MGS allocation policy published

The MSE Share Index closed minimally higher at 3,493.601 points as the equities of the two large banks held onto their recent gains while GO plc and FIMBank plc traded higher.

Bank of Valletta plc’s equity closed the session unchanged at the €3.70 level after touching an intra-day low of €3.69. During the past six trading sessions, BOV’s share price climbed 7.2% despite trading without the entitlement to the final dividend. HSBC Bank Malta plc also close the day unchanged at the €2.91 level with substantial support becoming evident at the €2.90 level.

GO plc edged marginally higher to close at €1.895 after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.86. A total of 6,144 shares traded today. Today Forthnet (in which GO and its major shareholder have a 40% stake) published its 2010 third quarter results. During the three months ended 30 September, the Greek telecoms Group continued to grow its customer base with revenues increasing by 9.3% to €101.9 million. However increased expenditure, particularly higher cost of sales and marketing expenses, offset the rise in revenue resulting in a 2.9% drop in EBITDA to €16.7 million with the adjusted EBITDA margin also declining from 18.4% to 26.6%.

The only other active equity today was FIMBank plc which edged 1.1% higher to US$0.95 across five trades totalling 62,254 shares. Yesterday FIMBank issued its Interim Statement in which it announced that the Group’s performance for the second half of 2010 continued to show the positive trend experienced during the first half when profits after tax increased by 16.4% to USD3.39 million.

Further to last week’s announcement by the Treasury that the €100 million Malta Government Stock issue was oversubscribed, today the Treasury published the allocation policy. All the 338 applications for the 3.75% MGS 2015 totalling €6.2 million (nominal) have been accepted in full. Meanwhile the 4,829 applicants of the 5.25% MGS 2030 will receive the first €20,000 in full and only 36% of the balance (rounded up to the nearest 100). Interest on these stocks will start to accrue from tomorrow.

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