BOV share price down 1.5% after MFSA penalty

During this morning’s session, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc dropped 1.5% to the €2.66 level after the administrative penalties of €197,995 and €149,821 announced yesterday imposed on BOV and its 60% owned subsidiary, Valletta Fund Management Ltd respectively. The Malta Financial Services Authority fined these two companies after it concluded that they had been in breach of certain Standard Licence Conditions and Investment Services Guidelines related to the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund. The MFSA mainly pointed out a number of shortcomings with respect to investment restriction (v) which prohibits the fund from investing in underlying funds that may be leveraged more than 100% of ‘net assets’ being ‘total assets less total liabilities’. This morning BOV issued a company announcement to inform the market of its intentions to appeal the MFSA’s decision as both BOV and VFM are of the view that the conclusions of the MFSA are wrong in fact and at law”. Over 14,000 BOV shares changed hands today with further bids unsatisfied at the closing price.

HSBC Bank Malta plc inched 0.6% lower to €2.93 on very low volumes of 350 shares. GO plc’s share price touched an intra-day low of €1.34 on two occasions today before partially recovering to close at the €1.36 level, representing a 0.7% drop from the previous close. The share price of the Greek company Forthnet, in which GO has an indirect investment, is also under intense selling pressure as this morning it touched a new all-time low of €0.29. The Greek telecoms Group is currently in advanced negotiations with its banks to extend the maturity of its outstanding loans.

All three IT equities listed on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange were active today. 6pm Holdings plc recovered some of its recent declines as its share price edged 6.7% higher to regain the GBP0.32 level across two trades totalling 20,000 shares. Meanwhile Crimsonwing plc retreated by 4.4% to a new 18-month low of €0.35 on thin trading activity of 1,500 shares. The share price of RS2 Software plc held on to yesterday’s gains as a further 10,000 shares changed hands at the €0.53 level.

Plaza Centres plc shares closed 5.3% higher at the €1.79 level. A single trade of 3,000 shares was transacted.

Overall the MSE Share Index dropped a further 0.5% lower to 3,342.429 points – the lowest level in June. On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index jumped 0.2% higher to 976.278 points as benchmark eurozone yields this morning tumbled back to the 2.92% level due to the increasing possibility of a Greek sovereign debt restructuring and accumulating concerns of the subsequent contagion effect across the whole European bloc.