HSBC and BOV close lower on high volumes

The MSE Share Index closed lower for the second consecutive session this year as the share prices of both large banks declined with high volumes transacted during this morning’s trading session. The MSE Share Index declined by 0.2% today to 3,762.834 points possibly on some profit-taking following the rally in December.

HSBC Bank Malta plc saw a total of 109,000 shares change hands this morning. Initially the price edged up to €3.21 on a deal of 50,000 shares and after dropping back to €3.20 another 50,000-share deal was transacted at the €3.22 level. The equity failed to hold on to this level with the share price drifting to €3.189 by the close of the session representing a 0.3% drop from yesterday’s level.

Bank of Valletta plc also started this morning’s trading session on a positive note as its share price reached the €3.899 level. However, similar to the trend in HSBC, BOV’s share price later eased back to the €3.87 level, representing a 0.5% decline from yesterday’s closing price. Investors have until next Friday 7 January to gain entitlement to the 1 for 5 bonus share issue.

The only positive performer today was Island Hotels Group Holdings plc. This equity partially recovered from its drop of 5.9% in 2010 as the share price gained 4.2% today to regain the €0.99 level across two trades amounting to 5,000 shares. Further offers of over 44,000 shares remain unsatisfied at this level.

Meanwhile last year’s top performers, namely MaltaPost plc and Malta International Airport plc, closed unchanged as they held on to their respective highs. The postal operator recovered from an intra-day low of €0.98 to close unchanged at its all-time high of €1.00 on volumes of 3,639 shares prior to the Company’s full-year results publication tomorrow. Similarly, MIA closed unchanged at €1.66 after an initial trade was executed at €1.66.

The local bond market also closed in negative territory as the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker lowered its Malta Government Stock bid prices following a marginal recovery in the benchmark Eurozone yield to 2.93%. Consequently the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slid 0.09% lower to 993.156 points.

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