HSBC & BOV help MSE Share Index close higher

Positive movements in the share prices of HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc lifted the MSE Share Index 0.3% higher during this morning’s trading session to 2,936.958 points. The share price of HSBC edged 0.4% higher to close at the €2.51 level on volumes totalling 8,100 shares. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual general Meeting later on this afternoon. During the meeting, shareholders will be asked to approve a number of resolutions including the payment of a final gross dividend amounting to €0.072 per share. Once approved, the dividend will subsequently be paid on 27 April.

Similarly, BOV’s equity rose by 1.2% to regain the €2.125 level ahead of the Bank’s interim results publication scheduled for Friday 27 April. A total of 7,369 shares BOV shares changed hands today with few other bids unsatisfied at the closing price.

GO plc also closed in positive territory with a minimal increase to the €0.80 level across three trades totalling 4,500 shares. The quad-play telecom operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 9 May.

Meanwhile, the only other active equity was Lombard Bank Malta plc whose share price slid 2.6% lower to a new 75-month low of €2.40 across three trades totalling 20,000 shares.

This afternoon, MIDI plc issued a Company Announcement and a press release to clarify its position with respect to recent media comments regarding the planned development at Manoel Island following an interview with the Company’s Chairman Mr Albert Mizzi. The Company confirmed that it is still committed to develop Manoel Island and also clarified Mr Mizzi’s comments that Midi cannot be expected to give up its ‘right’ to develop the approved area on Manoel Island without being reimbursed for obligations already settled and compensation for what it would forego. Furthermore, the press release issued by MIDI also confirmed that 95% of the 280 residential units built so far have been sold and delivered whilst all the outlets at Tigne Point have been rented out. Also, the press release confirmed that the CEO, Mr Ben Muscat relinquished his post for personal reasons. MIDI is scheduled to publish its 2011 full-year results on 30 April.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index rose by 0.1% to 984.787 points. It was a volatile day for Eurozone benchmark yields which dipped below the 1.74% this morning before spiralling all the way up to the 1.77% level. However benchmark yields eased back to the current 1.73% level reflecting investors’ flight to quality on the back of growing concerns over the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. This was evidenced in the latest bond auction by Germany with demand amounting to almost twice the amount on offer.