BOV and HSBC dominate trading activity

The equities of the two large banks were the only active shares during this morning’s trading session on the local stock exchange. The share price of Bank of Valletta plc reversed yesterday’s decline as it edged 0.4% higher to regain the €2.12 level across eight trades totalling more than 25,500 shares.

Higher volatility was evident in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc. After opening unchanged at €2.649, the equity slid back to an intra-day low of €2.58 before closing the day at the €2.60 level, representing a decline of 1.8% on the day. Thirteen trades were transacted today amounting to 24,750 shares. The Bank’s equity will trade with the entitlement to the recently announced final gross dividend of €0.072 per share until next Tuesday 13 March. The shares will subsequently trade ex-dividend as from 14 March.

No other equities were active today as investors possibly await the publication of the full-year results during the coming weeks. In fact, Plaza Centres plc is expected to shortly publish its 2011 full-year results. FIMBank plc (12 March), Lombard Bank Malta plc (15 March), Medserv plc (21 March) and Malta International airport plc (22 March) are expected to follow suit in the coming days and weeks.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved lower for the fifth consecutive session with a further 0.1% drop to a new 2-week low of 986.827 points. Significant declines were registered in the prices of the longest-dated Malta Government Stocks. The trend in the local MGS benchmark (which should move in the opposite direction of yields) failed to follow the movements in Eurozone yields which have been under pressure in the last few days due to escalating concerns over the growth potential of Europe’s economies and the uncertainty surrounding the granting of Greece’s second bailout which is linked to the successful completion of the voluntary debt swap with private investors.