Further increase in Farsons’ share price

Following yesterday’s 2.8% increase, the share price of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc edged a further 0.6% higher this morning to end the week with a gain of 3.4% following the publication of the January 2012 full-year results on Wednesday afternoon. The Farsons Group registered a record financial performance with a 6.3% increase in the net final dividend to €0.0567 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 17 May.

The best performer of the week was International Hotel Investments plc with an increase of 10.8% to €0.82 following Monday’s company announcement in which it was revealed that IHI will be inviting a number of potential investors consisting primarily of sovereign funds and other institutions, to participate in the subscription of new shares through a private placement.

In the banking sector, the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc dropped back to its 2012 low of €2.50 today on low volumes of 4,273 shares. Meanwhile, the equity of Bank of Valletta plc remained inactive as the market awaited the publication of the interim results which took place shortly after the close of today’s session. BOV reported a 9% increase in pre-tax profits to €49.1 million and the bank declared a gross interim dividend of €0.06 per share (8% above last year’s interim) payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 7 May.

The equity of RS2 Software plc was active for the first time since the publication of the 2011 full-year results two weeks ago. The share price was unchanged as 10,000 shares changed hands at the €0.55 level today. The IT Company reported a 17.2% rise in revenue to a record €8.8 million which led to a 46.8% rise in pre-tax profits to €2.4 million. Despite the improved profitability, the Directors did not recommended a dividend in view of the planned investment particularly in the new premises in Mosta for the provision of new services, namely transaction processing and managed services. On the other hand, the Directors proposed a 1 for 15 bonus share issue to all shareholders as at close of trading on 8 May.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index advanced as all the indicative Malta Government Stock bid prices edged higher following a drop in Eurozone yields towards the record lows. This took place following the two notch downgrade of Spain by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s.