BOV touches a new 29-month low

The equity of Bank of Valletta plc closed in negative territory for the second consecutive session on increased volumes of over 56,300 shares today.  The share price slipped to a new 29-month low of €2.09 mid-way during the session before partially recovering to close the day at €2.10, representing a loss of 0.5% from last Friday’s The Bank is shortly expected to publish its interim financial statements for the period ended 31 March 2012.

Similarly, Plaza Centres plc’s share price tumbled by 2.8% to €1.75 although the equity is still trading with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.116 per share. Just under 30,000 shares were exchanged today. Plaza’s equity turns ex-dividend as from Thursday 19 April.

The MSE Share Index eased by 0.1% lower to yet another 35-month low of 2,923.618 points following the declines in BOV and Plaza.

Meanwhile, the two other active equities ended the session unchanged. HSBC Bank Malta plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.51 to close the session unchanged at €2.50 across six trades totalling just over 6,100 shares. Similarly, GO plc maintained the €0.77 level across two trades totalling 1,500 shares with offers already placed lower at €0.751. The two companies are scheduled to hold their Annual General Meeting on 18 April and 9 May respectively.

Meanwhile, no trades took place in RS2 Software plc following the publication of the 2011 financial statements last Friday evening. The IT Company reported a 17.2% rise in revenue to a record €8.8 million which led to a 46.8% rise in pre-tax profits to €2.4 million. Despite the improved profitability, the Directors did not recommended a dividend in view of the planned investment particularly in the new premises in Mosta for the provision of new services, namely transaction processing and managed services. On the other hand, the Directors proposed a 1 for 15 bonus share issue to all shareholders as at close of trading on 8 May.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped by 0.1% to 984.020 points as the Central Bank of Malta reduced most of its Malta Government Stock bid prices. Internationally, worries over Spain and Italy’s sovereign debt situation increases with Spain’s yields reaching 6.15% – the highest level since early December 2011. These concerns were also reflected in the currency markets with the euro touching a new 2-month low against the US Dollar at USD1.2996 level. Despite such concerns, European and UK stockmarkets are in positive territory.