High volumes across large cap equities

Trading activity across the three largest equities by market capitalisation remained strong today with a total value of €0.6 million worth of shares changing hands during this morning’s session. The return to high trading volumes also buoyed investor sentiment as the local equity market closed in positive territory for the third consecutive session. The MSE Share Index closed minimally higher at 3,866.725 points as the marginal gains in HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc offset the decline in International Hotel Investments plc.

Following yesterday’s 2.9% drop, BOV’s equity was well supported at the €3.05 level during today’s session. A total of 108,000 shares traded today across 51 deals with the share price closing 0.3% higher at €3.05. This morning media reports revealed that the Bank has 30 days to reply to the MFSA in respect of a report drawn up by the regulatory authority following an investigation into the Bank’s property fund.

HSBC’s equity also edged 0.3% higher to break through the €3.51 level on volumes of over 40,800 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2010 full-year results on Friday 18 February.

Meanwhile IHI’s share price closed 0.5% lower at the €0.97 level after failing to maintain its recent high of €0.98. Over 103,000 shares were transacted during this morning’s session with further bids unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers now placed at the €0.98 level.

The local bond market moved back into positive territory as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield declined to the 3.22% level. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 982.757 points but this overall movement in the MGS market still shows a 1% drop since the start of 2011. Investors now await tomorrow’s publication of prices with regards to the upcoming Malta Government Stock issues, namely, the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) and the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) Fungible Issue.

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