HSBC drops back to its 2011 low

During today’s trading session on the Malta Stock Exchange, the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc declined by a further 0.4% to drop back to its 2011 low of €2.60. A total of 25,918 shares changed hands today. During the last five sessions, the Bank’s share price slipped by 3.4% while Bank of Valletta plc closed unchanged at the €2.50 level after the equity failed to hold on to the gains registered in the earlier sessions of the week. The MSE Share Index closed in negative territory this week with a 0.9% drop to 3,127.594 points mainly due the decline in HSBC.

A single trade of 968 MaltaPost plc shares pushed the equity 3.1% lower this week to the €0.95 level ahead of the publication of the postal operator’s financial results for the year ended 30 September 2011. MaltaPost’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet next Thursday 1 December to approve the publication of the financial statements and recommend the payment of a dividend to shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

GO plc’s share price slipped 1.9% lower this week to €1.04 with Simonds Farsons Cisk plc and Crimsonwing plc also ending the week in negative territory on low volumes.

On the other hand, International Hotel Investments plc edged 1.1% higher during the last five sessions after fresh bids emerged during Tuesday’s session to help the equity recover the previous day’s 7.1% drop.

Malta International Airport plc was active for the first time since the publication of the Interim Statement last Monday with the share price advancing by 0.6% to regain the €1.70 level. In this week’s announcement, the Directors confirmed the continued growth in passenger traffic during the second half of the year. In fact, MIA recently increased its 2011 passenger growth forecast from +3.2% to a rise of at least 4.5%. As such, the Directors announced that the Company’s financial results are expected to be ahead of the projected figures for 2011 figures and also of those registered in 2010 when MIA’s pre-tax profits amounted to €17 million.

The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped for the fourth consecutive session to close the week 1% lower at 971.113 points – a new 7-month low. This is in line with the increase in eurozone yields from 1.73% as at 9 November to just under 2.25% today on the back of increasing concerns relating to the Eurozone debt crisis. This week’s news of the intervention by the Bundesbank in a German sovereign bond auction and the downgrade of Portugal’s credit rating to junk status also impacted the euro which fell to a seven-week low of USD1.3251 against the US Dollar.