Few trades on the local equity market

During this morning’s trading session, volumes shrank and only 3 equities were active. HSBC Bank Malta plc was the only mover of the day with a 0.7% decline to the €2.93 level. Meanwhile GO plc and Loqus Holdings plc closed unchanged. The decline in HSBC’s share price forced the MSE Share Index to drop by a further 0.2% to a new 5-month low of 3,448.180 points.

GO recovered from a fresh 2-year low of €1.461 to close unchanged at the €1.49 level during a final-minute trade. A total of 18,000 GO shares traded this morning.

Today FIMBank plc announced that FIM Holdings plc, the new parent of the FIMBank Group, published a Prospectus in connection with an Exchange offer to all shareholders of FIMBank plc. FIMBank plc shareholders on the share register as at 30th March 2011 will be offered an equal amount of shares in the new holding company, thus effectively replacing the FIMBank plc shares which are currently listed on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange. The change in the Group’s structure is primarily aimed at optimizing the tax burden of the FIMBank Group. Further details and a copy of the Prospectus is available from https://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/exchange-offer-details/. Separately, FIMBank plc also announced an attribution price of USD0.85 per share for those shareholders opting to receive new shares rather than a cash dividend.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index retreated by a further 0.1% to close at a new 22-month low of 972.561 points as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields reached the 3.44% level in anticipation of a hike in interest rates by the European Central Bank. In fact, this afternoon the ECB announced a 25 basis points rise in its reference rate from the historically low level of 1%. This was the first time since 2008 that the ECB raised its reference rate in view of accelerating inflation.

On the secondary market, high volumes again recorded in certain Malta Government Stocks. Just over €5.2 million (nominal) traded in the following three securities: 5.1% MGS 2014 (I); 7.8% MGS 2018 and 5% MGS 2021 (I).