HSBC & BOV up on increased volumes

The MSE Share Index gained 0.67% today mainly as a result of the positive movements in the share prices of Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc.

The positive sentiment surrounding BOV following the publication of a strong set of financial results led to sustained demand for the Bank’s shares again today. As the market opened this morning, the share price climbed 1.1% higher as most outstanding offers at the €3.70 level were immediately snapped up. This level was maintained during the day with further trades effected at €3.70. By the close of the session, over 37,000 shares traded. This heightened activity is possible in view of the proposed 1 for 5 bonus share issue which will take place in January 2011. Investors purchasing BOV shares until Friday 7 January 2011 will be eligible to this bonus share issue.

The upswing in BOV’s equity and the announcement made last Friday afternoon by HSBC also helped HSBC’s share price move 1% higher to the €2.91 level. Activity in HSBC shares increased to over 22,000 shares as investors reacted positively to the announcement that the positive trend in revenue and profitability registered in the first half of 2010 continued during the second six months. In August HSBC had announced that it registered a 21% increase in pre-tax profits to €42.2 million.

GO plc, Plaza Centres plc and Middlesea Insurance plc also registered gains in their equities with Plaza Centres up 1.2% to €1.72 – the highest price level since June 2009. Plaza and Middlesea still have to publish their Interim Statements. Although the share price of International Hotel Investments plc continued to trade at the €0.77 level, volumes to 50,000 shares this morning.

Last Friday the Treasury announced that it received 4,935 applications from the general public with a total value of over €152.6 million compared to the €100 million Malta Government Stocks on offer. The Treasury is expected to publish the allocation policy this afternoon.

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