Farsons shares regain the €1.80 level

Fresh bids helped the equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc recover from last Wednesday’s 5.3% plunge as its share price advanced by 5.9% during this morning’s trading session to regain the €1.80 level as all offers at this level (amounting to 7,452 shares) were snapped up. The upturn in Farsons’ equity follows the strong set of interim results published on Wednesday afternoon. During the six months ended 31 July 2011, the Farsons Group reported a 21% rise in net profit to €2.6 million. Farsons also declared an unchanged net interim dividend of €0.0133 per share to those shareholders as at close of trading on 4 October.

The last trading day of the month was also positive for International Hotel Investments plc as its share price climbed 5.3% to regain the €0.80 level on low volumes of 1,610 shares. Meanwhile the two large banking equities slid lower. HSBC Bank Malta plc retreated back to the €2.63 level across eleven trades totalling more than 12,000 shares. Bank of Valletta plc’s experienced a more pronounced drop of 1.3% to €2.501 on volumes of almost 19,000 shares.

Overall, the MSE Share Index today climbed 0.5% to 3,108.287 points thereby closing the third quarter in negative territory with a quarterly decline of 6.6%. Coupled with the 12% drop in the first half of the year, the local equity benchmark currently sits 17.8% below its value at the beginning of 2011. During the three months ended 30 September, only four equities traded in positive territory, including RS2 Software plc which still ranks as the 2011 top performer with a 20.8% increase. On the other hand, most equities including the five largest equities by market capitalisation, traded lower. The worst performer was GO plc which slumped a further 18.8% during the third quarter as investors continued to shun the equity on the back of widening losses at the Greek company Forthnet.

On the bond market, following two negative quarters, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed 1.6% during the third quarter of 2011 to 988.912 points. The recovery reflects the downturn in Eurozone yields as investors sought “safe-haven” assets amid the region’s sovereign debt crisis and the global economic turmoil.