Higher volumes lift Lombard from multi-year low

Fresh demand entered the market today helping the equity of Lombard Bank Malta plc advance from its multi-year low of €1.80 to regain the €1.87 level (+3.9%) on higher volumes totalling 33,828 shares. Nonetheless, Lombard’s equity still ranks amongst the worst performers of 2012 with a year-to-date drop of just over 30%.

Lower volumes were evident today across the other active equities in the financial sector. Bank of Valletta plc recouped from an intra-day low of €2.25 to close unchanged at the €2.27 level on volumes of 2,875 shares. BOV ended the week 1.8% higher. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc dropped by an equivalent percentage this week after easing by a further 0.2% today to the €2.75 level across 9,548 shares. Middlesea Insurance plc shares also edged €0.005 lower today to end the week 3.9% lower at the €0.75 level.

Elsewhere in the local equity market, Malita Investments plc shares eased 2% lower back to its July IPO price of €0.50 as it traded for the first time this week on a single deal of 1,000 shares. MaltaPost plc was also active for the first time this week easing marginally lower to €0.709 on a single trade of 2,600 shares.

GO plc ended this morning’s session unchanged at the €0.99 level across four trades totalling 6,000 shares to end this week 1.1% higher – the fourth consecutive weekly gain. The shares of Malta International Airport plc also preserved this week’s earlier gains as a further 3,400 shares changed hands today at the €1.75 level representing a 0.9% weekly increase. Similarly, a single trade of 2,000 Simonds Farsons Cisk plc was executed at the €2.40 level representing a 2.1% weekly rise.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged minimally higher to close the week at 994.953 points, representing a weekly drop of 0.2%. The benchmark MGS Index trended lower this week in line with the surge in eurozone yields to above the 1.60% level as investors’ risk appetite improved on the back of positive economic data from various corners across the world, a good start to the US third quarter earnings season as well as higher expectations of a bailout request by Spain and the granting of the next tranche of aid to Greece.

This morning the Treasury announced the 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). Offer prices will be determined on Thursday 25 October 2012 ahead of the opening of subscriptions on Monday 29 October.