BOV up 0.4% on rising volumes

Bank of Valletta plc’s share price advanced by 0.4% today to regain the €2.27 level on increased activity totalling 32,312 shares helping the equity partly recover from yesterday’s 1.3% decline. The upturn in BOV shares today helped the MSE Share Index close in positive territory with a slight gain to 3,094.311 points.

The only other active equity was GO plc which closed unchanged at the €0.90 level on low volumes of 3,200 shares. Last week, the shareholders of Forthnet S.A. (in which GO has an indirect investment) rejected all the resolutions presented to them during the Extraordinary General Meeting including a €30 million rights issue in line with the conditions of the restructured debt. Prior to the meeting, GO also announced that it was opposing these resolutions.

This morning, MaltaPost plc held its Annual General Meeting during which shareholders approved all the items on the agenda including the final net dividend of €0.04 per share and the option to take the dividend either in cash or in new shares at the attribution price of €0.98 per share. The cash dividend or allotment of new shares will take place on 30 January 2012.

On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index reversed most of this year’s declines as it edged 0.1% higher to 988.8 points following an increase in the Malta Government Stock indicative bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta.

On the international front, following the credit rating downgrade of nine Eurozone countries by Standards & Poor’s (S&P) last Friday, the rating agency yesterday announced that it lowered the credit rating of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’. This is a reflection of the reduced creditworthiness of the sovereign states guaranteeing the bloc’s bailout fund. As a result, benchmark Eurozone yields moved marginally higher as they regained the 1.8% level. However foreign equity markets shrugged off the downgrade with most major international indices trading in positive territory today.