BOV share price closes at new 2010 high ahead of bonus issue

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc gained 1.1% this morning closing the week at a new 2010 high of €3.81 on increased demand for these shares in anticipation of the 1 for 5 bonus issue which was approved during yesterday’s Annual General Meeting. Investors have until 7 January 2011 to gain entitlement to the bonus share issue. Yesterday shareholders also approved the distribution of a final net dividend of €0.104 per share which was paid to shareholders today. Almost 29,000 shares change hands today with lowest offers now available at the €3.85 level.

HSBC Bank Malta plc’s equity held on to the strong gains of 5.8% of the past three sessions as a further 28,000 shares trade at the €3.10 level. During the past fourt trading sessions over 98,000 shares changed hands on intensified demand in anticipation of the full-year results publication due by the end of February.

The gains by HSBC and BOV helped the MSE Share Index to close this shortened week 1.5% higher at 3,557.173 points – the highest level since 2 August 2010. While HSBC and BOV closed higher, GO plc and International Hotel Investments plc declined by 1.3% and 1% respectively this week.

The worst performing equity was Island Hotels Group Holdings plc as lack of support for the shares resulted in a decline of a further 11.1% today to a fresh all-time low of €0.80.The share price of IHG tumbled by 15.7% this week.

Middlesea Insurance plc recovered some of yesterday’s 4.3% drop as its share price edged 2% higher this morning to regain the €1.02 level on volumes amounting to 10,810 shares.

Elsewhere in the banking sector, FIMBank plc closed the week 1.1% higher with Lombard Bank Malta plc easing by 0.35% to €2.561. Volumes in FIMBank’s equity increased to 184,000 shares during the past four trading sessions.

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