Today marks the end of the third quarter with the MSE Share Index registering a 0.7% increase over the previous quarter to 3,386.853 points. The local equity market has underperformed the larger international stock markets which registered strong gains in the summer months. Despite the mild recovery of local share prices in the last three months, the Index is still 2.1% lower year-to-date following the 5.2% drop recorded between April and June.
Index heavyweights Bank of Valletta plc and International Hotel Investments plc ended the third quarter in positive territory. BOV climbed 4.9% to €3.24 and IHI jumped 6.3% to regain the €0.85 level. The best performer during the period was Plaza Centres plc with an 11.2% rise to €1.685 following the publication of its 2010 interim results which revealed a further increase in profitability as occupancy levels were maintained above the 90% level.
On the other hand, the worst performers this quarter were GlobalCapital plc and Middlesea Insurance plc with double digit declines. GlobalCapital slumped 14.7% to €1.28 after reporting a €1.4 million loss during the first six months of 2010. Middlesea’s equity reversed the gains registered in the first half of the year as its share price slipped 11.6% to the €0.93 level.
Malta Government Stocks also performed positively during the past three months on high trading activity especially in the 20-year paper.
This afternoon FIMBank plc announced that it has submitted an application to the Listing Authority for an issue of 4.25% 2013 Bonds denominated in both EUR and USD. The Bonds will be offered to the General Public at par. However, preferred applicants (namely shareholders, bondholders, Directors and employees as at 30 September), can subscribe to these bonds at the preferential price of 99% representing a 1% discount to the par value. Subject to approval by the MFSA, the proceeds from this Bond Issue will be used to provide funding for the longer-term international trade finance business of the FIMBank Group.