The share price of GO plc advanced by a further 9% today helping the equity closed the week as the star performer with an increase of 14.9%. GO’s equity rallied by 21.4% from last Monday’s all-time low of €0.70 when over 800,000 shares changed hands at this level. The renewed upturn in GO follows last week’s revelations at the AGM that the transfer of properties will result in a gain of €11.4 million in the income statement during 2012.
Despite the strong upturn in GO and the 2.4% increase in the share price of International Hotel Investments plc, the MSE Share Index ended the week 0.2% lower at 2,971.832 points as the three banks and Middlesea Insurance suffered a drop in value.
Lombard Bank Malta plc bounced back from yesterday’s 76-month low of €2.30 as it edged 2.1% higher to €2.349 but on low volumes of only 140 shares. Despite today’s upturn, Lombard’s equity still closed the week 0.9% lower. Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, Lombard published its Interim Statement. The Bank stated that it maintained a prudent approach to the management of its balance sheet with its liquidity and capital adequacy ratios above the regulatory requirements. The Bank once again stressed that it holds no exposure to financial instruments of non-Maltese sovereign or corporate bodies. Lombard Bank indicated that the drop in profits registered by MaltaPost plc during the first half of their financial year to 31 March 2012, as well as a one-off trading gain registered by the Bank in the first half of 2011, are likely to negatively impact the Group’s consolidated comparative financial results for the half year to 30 June 2012.
The equities of Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc also closed the week lower. BOV’s share price shed 1.9% to end Friday’s session at a new 2012 low of €2.09 with HSBC also easing by 2% to drop back to its 2012 low of €2.50.
Ahead of today’s deadline for the publication of the Interim Directors’ Statements, four companies issued their announcements today namely, Malta International Airport plc, Lombard Bank Malta plc, Medserv plc and RS2 Software plc. GO plc and Plaza Centres plc are also expected to publish their Interim Statements shortly.
On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher today to 990.743 points as the Central Bank of Malta increased its bid prices across most maturities. This morning Eurozone yields touched a new all-time low of 1.394% as concerns regarding the future of Greece in the Eurozone continued to escalate following last night’s downgrade by the credit rating agency Fitch to ‘CCC’. The downturn in yields was also as a result of the announcement by the credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service that it downgraded 16 Spanish banks including the largest banks Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.