A total of 167,290 RS2 Software plc shares changed hands today representing 0.4% of the total issued share capital. The fresh demand for RS2’s shares helped the equity edge 4.2% higher to regain the €0.50 level. The only other positive performing equity today was HSBC Bank Malta plc which recovered from an intra-day low of €2.845 to end this morning’s session 0.2% above the previous close. A total of 17,451 shares traded today with the equity closing at €2.90. The HSBC Malta Group last Friday published its half-year results revealing a 5.7% increase in net profit to €34.5 million reflecting the 2.4% increase in net operating income to a record €99.1 million and the significant decline in impairments to €0.8 million which offset the 5.8% increase in the Group’s cost base. The Directors declared a gross interim dividend of €0.10 per share which represents a 22% increase over the June 2011 interim dividend. This dividend is payable on 22 August to all shareholders as at close of trading on Friday 3 August.
On the other hand, Bank of Valletta plc failed to hold on to the €2.10 level as new offers entered the market pushing the Bank’s share price 1% lower back to the €2.08 level on volumes of 12,323 shares.
Malta International Airport plc also edged 1.1% lower to the €1.75 level on a single deal of 1,000 shares. The airport operator’s equity turned ex-dividend last week and the net interim dividend of €0.03 per share is expected to be paid on 10 September.
The share price of Plaza Centres plc retreated to a new 17-month low ahead of the Company’s half-year results publication tomorrow. A single deal of 4,000 Plaza shares was transacted at €0.55, representing a 4.8% drop from the previous close.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index was practically unchanged at 992.989 points as Eurozone yields remained close to the 1.40% level. Markets now await the respective monthly monetary policy meetings of the US Federal Reserve on Tuesday followed by those of the Bank of England and the European Central Bank on Thursday. Focus is particularly placed on the ECB’s meeting following last week’s comments by the President of the Bank Mario Draghi committing to do whatever it takes to save the single currency.
Also worth noting is the suspension of trading in the 7% GAP Developments plc 2013 bonds after the company failed to publish its financial statements within the required timeframes. Since the notice of the suspension of trading last Friday, the following day the company announced that it will be publishing its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2011 on 2 August 2012 following a meeting of the Board of Directors.