BOV and IHI close at new 2010 highs

During today’s trading session on the Malta Stock Exchange, the three large caps continued to advance sending the MSE Share Index up a further 0.75% to 3,725.325 points. The equities of Bank of Valletta plc and International Hotel Investments plc closed the day at new 2010 highs of €3.829 and €0.92 respectively.

The gains registered by BOV over the last three sessions helped the equity completely recover the losses sustained in the early part of last week. Continued interest by investors for BOV shares ahead of the upcoming 1 for 5 bonus share issue forced the equity to rise by 0.7% to close at a new 2010 high of €3.829 on volumes amounting to 11,024 shares.

HSBC Bank Malta plc also continued to advance. The share price of HSBC rose by a further 0.8% to close the day at an 8-month high of €3.175. Since the publication of the Interim Statement on 12 November, HSBC’s equity has climbed by 10.2%. In the Interim Statement, HSBC stated that since the half-year end on 30 June 2010, the Group performed satisfactorily with revenue and profits continuing the positive trend reported during the first six months of 2010 when HSBC Malta registered a 21% increase in pre-tax profits to €42.2 million.

IHI’s equity rose by a further 2.2% to €0.92 on lower volumes of 11,900 shares on lower levels of supply in the market below the €1.00 level. Further bids remain outstanding at this level with offers at €0.94. On the other hand, the share price of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc declined by 1.2% to €1.70 on 2 trades totalling 10,000 shares. Elsewhere, Lombard Bank Malta plc and Island Hotels Group Holdings plc closed unchanged at €2.80 and €0.90 respectively.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.13% higher today to 992.49 points as indicative bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta advanced following the decline in eurozone benchmark yields below the 3% level. Few trades took place in Malta Government Stocks. The market price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 added 18 basis points to 102.80% on volumes of €98,600 (nominal).

Shortly prior to the close of today’s trading session, PAVI Shopping Complex plc published its half-year results for the 6-month period ended 31 October 2010. PAVI registered a 5% increase in overall revenues to €14.2 million and a pre-tax profit of €0.43 million, significantly higher than the profitability in the first half of last year of €0.2 million. The Directors expressed their confidence that the company’s financial performance will continue to improve in the foreseeable future.

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