BOV & Lombard at multi-year lows

Trading activity continued to take place around a few of the equities. This morning the four banks were active together with the telecoms operator. The MSE Share Index eased by 0.2% to 2,967.136 points as the losses registered in the equities of BOV and Lombard Bank offset the gains in FIMBank.

Bank of Valletta plc’s equity dropped by a further 1.4% to close at a new 30-month low of €2.05 on lower volumes of 11,630 shares compared to the heavy volumes that took place yesterday. Likewise, the share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc also retreated by 2.1% to a 77-month low of €2.30 on activity of 8,925 shares.

On the other hand, FIMBank plc advanced by 4.9% to USD0.85 on increased volumes totalling 60,940 shares across 3 deals. In the interim statement published last Thursday, FIMBank provided an update on its operational performance and announced that the due diligence process by Burgan Bank on FIMBank is progressing but no developments could be reported at that stage.

The equity HSBC Bank Malta plc briefly touched a fresh 2012 low of €2.499 level but closed the trading session unchanged at the €2.50 level. A total of 25,540 shares changed hands during this morning’s session.

The only other active equity was GO plc with a single trade of 2,500 shares executed at the previous day’s closing price of €0.86. GO is the only local company that has so far failed to publish its Interim Statement covering developments since the start of the year.

Plaza Centres plc will be holding its Annual General Meeting tomorrow when shareholders will be asked to approve the customary resolutions as well as special resolutions related to a change in the nominal value and a subsequent 3-for-1 share split. On Monday Plaza issued its Interim Statement revealing that profitability increased while expenses were maintained at a lower level during the first few months of 2012. Plaza also announced that it is already negotiating new lease contracts for the office area to be vacated in summer and the company anticipates that it will be reaching an agreement before the end of August 2012.

On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved higher to 989.024 points as the Central Bank of Malta adjusted most of the indicative bid prices upwards. These movements are in line with the renewed downturn in Eurozone 10-year towards 1.41%. The increase in Eurozone benchmark bond prices came about after German’s Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed the idea of creating Eurobonds – debt issued and backed by the entire Eurozone together.