BOV well supported at €3.05; MGS prices announced

Bank of Valletta plc shares remained well supported at the €3.05 level after the initial setback on Monday in reaction to the Bank’s Interim Directors’ Statement and media reports highlighting the conclusion of a report by the MFSA on one of its investigations into BOV’s property fund. Trading activity in BOV shares remained high with a further 62,000 shares changing hands today.

The MSE Share Index closed 0.2% lower as declines in the share prices of HSBC Bank Malta plc (-0.3%), GO plc (-1%) and Middlesea Insurance plc (-2.8%) offset the gains in Malta International Airport plc (+0.6%) and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (+0.5%).

HSBC’s equity failed to hold on to the €3.51 level with the share price easing by 0.3% to the €3.50 level on volumes of 23,558 shares. GO’s share price dropped 1% to €1.90 on weak volumes of 3,200 shares on lack of support for this equity as the market awaits further developments from its Greek investment.

On the other hand, the share prices of Malta International Airport plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc recovered marginally. MIA’s equity edged 0.6% higher to the €1.81 level as the announcement of the 14.9% growth in the January 2011 passenger numbers continued to generate demand for these shares. This afternoon, low-cost carrier Ryanair announced a new route to Glasgow as from 14 April 2011. The share price of Farsons traded up 0.5% to an eight-month high of €1.81.

The local bond market moved back into negative territory as the benchmark eurozone yield reached the 3.28% level. As a result the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped 0.4% to a new 19-month low of 979.316 points. This afternoon the Treasury published the prices of the new Malta Government Stock issues. The Government is offering a total of €200 million in two stocks: the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) at 101.25% (YTM: 4.03% per annum) and the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) FI at 101.50% (YTM: 5.13% per annum). Subscriptions will be accepted between Monday 14 and Wednesday 16 February.

As a result of tomorrow’s public holiday, trading on the Malta Stock Exchange will resume on Friday 11 February.

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