BOV’s share price at a new 46-week low

Following last Friday’s 1.8% drop back to the €2.75 level, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc retreated by a further 4% during this morning’s session to a new 46-week low of €2.64. Volumes increased to over 25,600 shares today on renewed selling pressure in BOV’s equity following last week’s announcement that the Bank will be offering to buy-back the shares of the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund. Shareholders of the Property Fund have until 30 June to accept BOV’s offer of €0.75 per share. If all investors accept the offer, the Bank will incur a charge of €14.5 million in its income statement.

Elsewhere in the secondary market, Malta International Airport plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €1.729 as the share price dropped back to the €1.70 level representing a 0.6% decline from the previous close. Four trades amounting to 6,800 shares executed today ahead of the May passenger numbers expected to be published next week.

The only other two active equities, International Hotel Investments plc and GO plc, both closed unchanged at €0.80 and €1.37 respectively on low volumes.

Overall, the MSE Share Index dropped 1% lower today to 3,346.228 points representing an 11.5% drop since the start of 2011. On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged another 0.1% higher to a new 6-week high of 978.196 points as benchmark Eurozone yields dropped back to the 2.99% level this morning. The downturn in yields followed comments made by the President of the European Central Bank late last week confirming that an interest rate increase is not likely in June. Eurozone yields are also being forced lower by weakening economic prospects and fresh concerns on the sustainability of EU sovereign debt particularly of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

Today the two new Malta Government Stocks began trading with gains registered in both the 6-year and the 19-year bonds. The price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 rose to 102% compared to the recent price in the primary market of 100.75% while the 4.25% MGS 2017 traded at 101.58% representing an increase of 83 basis points from the recent offer price.