HSBC reports improved profitability

Shortly after the closure of this morning’s trading session, HSBC Bank Malta plc issued its Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that the positive trend in revenue and profitability reported in the first half of the year continued during the subsequent months. During the first six months of 2010 HSBC Malta registered a 21% increase in pre-tax profits to €42.2 million. In today’s statement HSBC also indicated that the Bank’s cost to income ratio remained stable and loan impairments only increased marginally whilst profits from life insurance remained volatile. The Directors also stated that the Bank registered further growth in deposits whilst it experienced a softening in demand for loans. In conclusion, HSBC confirmed that it liquid and well capitalised.

Earlier on in this morning’s trading session HSBC’s equity shed 0.4% to close at the €2.88 level representing a weekly decline of 0.7%. Meanwhile renewed demand for Bank of Valletta plc shares lifted its share price by 1.1% to regain the €3.66 level. BOV’s share price closed in positive territory (+1.7%) for the second consecutive week following the full-year results publication on 29 October. Since the start of the year BOV’s equity has strongly outperformed that of its major competitor.

Meanwhile, the share price of Malta International Airport plc dropped 3% lower to the €1.60 level on volumes of 5,000 shares as the equity traded for the first time in the last five sessions. Following today’s downturn the airport operator ended this week as the worst performing equity but still boasts a 33.3% rise since the beginning of the year on the back of strong growth in passenger numbers.

GO plc edged minimally higher to €1.885 across 8,000 shares whilst International Hotel Investments plc again closed unchanged as a further 15,000 shares changed hands at the €0.77 level (-1.3% during the week).

Following yesterday’s press release by the Treasury indicating that the €100 million Malta Government Stocks were snapped up by the General Public, the market eagerly awaits the total amount raised and the allocation policy to be adopted.

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