BOV trades ex-dividend and share price drops 4.2%

Following last week’s 7.5% increase, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc today traded without the entitlement to the final net dividend of €0.104 per share and the equity declined by €0.15 (4.2%) to close the day at the €3.45 level. Trading activity in BOV shares remained high with over 60,300 shares changing hands today across thirty five deals. This dividend will now be paid on 17 December once approved by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting to be held the day before. Meanwhile BOV shares are still trading with the entitlement to the 1 for 5 bonus share issue which will become effective early next year.

The equities of the other two domestic banks, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc, both reversed some of last week’s gains but volumes remained low. HSBC eased 1% lower to €2.87 on just 700 shares whilst Lombard Bank edged 0.7% lower on a single deal of 1,500 shares.

Following last week’s 2.5% drop, International Hotel Investments plc declined a further 1.3% this morning to close at the €0.77 level. Two trades amounting to 15,000 shares transacted today. On Friday evening IHI published its Interim Directors’ Statement in which it stated that despite the forecasted improved performance in the second half of 2010, the Group expects operating results for full-year 2010 to be below the level registered in 2009. On the other hand, forecasts for the first quarter of 2011 suggest an improved performance over the corresponding quarter of 2010.

On the bond market, the focus is currently on the new Malta Government Stock issues. Investors wishing to apply for a maximum of €100,000 (nom) have until next Wednesday to submit their applications.

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