The share price of Bank of Valletta plc was heading for a 2% decline until a final trade of 2,000 shares helped the equity recover from an intra-day low of €2.45 to close unchanged at €2.50. Volumes remained high with a total of 38,683 shares changing hands today. Shareholders as at close of trading tomorrow will be entitled to the final gross dividend of €0.08 per share (€0.052 net of tax).
The only other active equity was HSBC Bank Malta plc whose share price closed unchanged at the €2.70 level on continued low volumes of 1,100 shares.
On the bond market, Eurozone yields remained well below the 2% level as markets await developments from the G20 summit. Prior to the summit, the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that they have withheld the latest tranche of bailout money to Greece, amounting to €8 billion, pending the referendum called by the Greek Prime Minister. The two institutions also stated that the funds will only be released if the Greeks accept the latest bailout fund offered to them at last weeks’ EU summit.
Moreover, markets are also awaiting news from the European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting which will be headed by the new President Mario Draghi. After increasing its refinancing rate by a total of 50 basis points (in April and July) to 1.5% to counter inflation, the Bank is now under pressure to reverse the recent hikes in response to the growing economic uncertainties.