High volumes in BOV shares ahead of results

High volumes of over 59,500 shares changed hands across Bank of Valletta plc during this morning’s trading session ahead of Friday’s full-year results publication. The Bank’s share price edged minimally higher today to close at the €2.301 level for the first time since early September. On Friday, BOV is also expect to recommend the payment of a final dividend for approval by shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting in December.

Relatively high trading activity was also recorded in Malta International Airport plc with 34,672 shares changing hands at the €1.75 level, unchanged from the previous close.

A single trade of 15,000 Plaza Centres plc was executed at the €0.525 level representing a 2.9% increase from its nine-month low. In the recently published Interim Directors’ Statement, the Directors reported that average occupancy in the first nine months of 2012 had dropped to 87% but this was due to the termination of a lease for a significant area within the complex. Nonetheless, the Directors also confirmed that negotiations with potential new tenants for this area are already on-going.

Meanwhile, only a small deal of 1,500 HSBC Bank Malta plc traded this morning as the equity edged 0.7% higher to regain the €2.72 level. Also in the financial sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc retreated by 0.5% to €1.86 on volumes of 6,000 shares.

The only other active equity, GO plc, ended the session unchanged at the €0.99 level across two trades totalling 5,900 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index retreated for the third consecutive session with a further minimal decline to yet another 5-week low of 993.851 points although Eurozone yields slipped back to just above the 1.55% level. Benchmark German bund yields slid lower this morning as markets expect overwhelming demand for a 10-year Bund auction given the deepening downturn in Eurozone business activity. However, this afternoon, Eurozone yields partially recovered (although they remained below the 1.6% level) following the publication of economic data which showed that Germany’s private sector shrank by more than expected for the sixth consecutive month.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Treasury is expected to publish the prices of the upcoming issue of 3 new Malta Government Stocks for a total aggregate amount of €100 million subject to an over-allotment option of up to a further €40 million. The 3 new stocks are: (i) 3.75% MGS 2017 (IV) (Fungibility Issue); (ii) 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) (Fungibility Issue) and (iii) 4.8% MGS 2028 (I). Subscriptions will open on Monday 29 October.