Equity index drops below 3,500 points

The local equity market closed in negative territory for the fourth time this week thus reversing most of last week’s gains. The MSE Share Index shed a further 0.3% today to end the week below the 3,500 points level as most active equities, including the two large banks, traded lower. Following this week’s decline, the Index is now just 0.8% higher than its value at the beginning of the year.

Bank of Valletta plc closed lower for the second consecutive session as its share price declined by 0.2% today to the €3.68 level on volumes of over 13,000 shares. BOV ended this week in negative territory with a 0.5% drop – the first weekly negative performance in six weeks. Investors buying BOV shares until Friday 7 January 2011 will be entitled to the 1 for 5 bonus issue which is expected to be approved during the Annual General Meeting taking place on 16 December.

HSBC Bank Malta plc also shed a further 0.3% this morning on low volumes to close the week 1.3% lower. Lombard Bank Malta plc registered a weekly drop of over 3% for the second consecutive week offsetting some of the initial positive reaction to its Interim Directors’ Statement earlier this month. In their statement the Lombard Directors had stated that the Bank will remain on course towards the attainment of another positive set of financial results for the year ending 31 December 2010.

Further support for GO plc shares at the €1.90 level. 14,000 shares exchanged across ten trades. Meanwhile no announcement as yet from the Greek telecoms company Forthnet following the substantial volumes of shares traded in recent days on the Athens Stock Exchange. Almost 14.5 million shares were exchanged representing 9.3% of the total issued share capital.

MaltaPost plc was the sole positive performer of the week as the equity yesterday climbed 2.5% to a fresh multi-year high of €0.95 – just €0.018 below its all-time high. The Company is shortly expected to announce the date when a Board Meeting will be held to discuss and publish the September 2010 full-year results and recommend a dividend to shareholders.

On the bond market, various corporate bonds were active today with highest volumes in the 6.2% Mizzi Organisation Finance plc and the 7% MIDI plc bonds. Meanwhile the Treasury today effected all refunds to those applicants who were unsuccessful in applying for the full amount of Malta Government Stocks requested. A total of €53.9 million was refunded by the Treasury. Trading in the new MGS issues will take place as from next Tuesday 30 November.

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