HSBC share price up 2.1%

An increase of 2.1% in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc helped the local equity market post gains for the seventh successive session. The MSE Share Index advanced by 0.64% to 3,515.787 points. Last Friday’s Interim Directors’ Statement by HSBC explaining that the positive trend recorded in the first half of 2010 continued during the subsequent months provided further support to the equity with various fresh bids entering the market. HSBC’s share price added 2.1% to close at the €2.97 level. Lowest offers are now placed at the €3.00 level with various bids remaining unsatisfied at the €2.95 level.

Meanwhile, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc was again well supported at €3.70 as a further 32,740 shares were exchanged at this level. Since the publication of the full-year results and the announcement of a 1 for 5 bonus share issue, activity in BOV shares increased considerably. This is expected to be maintained until the New Year since investors purchasing shares until Friday 7 January 2011 will be entitled to the bonus share issue.

This morning Malta International Airport plc issued its Interim Directors’ Statement highlighting the strong growth in passenger numbers as double digit increases were recorded in the first three quarters of the year. In conclusion the Directors stated that given the rise in passengers, it is expected that the 2010 full-year results will be higher than expected and also higher than the €8.8 million after-tax profit recorded in 2009. MIA’s equity closed unchanged at the €1.60 level on a single trade of 1,000 shares. Further bids remain outstanding at this level with lowest offers at around €1.64.

Another positive performing equity today was MaltaPost plc with a 1.1% increase to the €0.92 level. However volumes were weak with only a single trade of 3,396 shares transacted on lack of offers in the market and bids already placed at €0.926.

On the bond market, the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker further reduced its bid prices for Malta Government Stocks as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield increased to above the 2.60% level. The indicative bid price of the 4.6% MGS 2020 (II) at 103.39% is sharply below its recent all-time high of 106.87%. Among the corporate bonds, high volumes were transacted in the bonds of Mizzi Organisation Finance plc and Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. Meanwhile the recently listed 3-year bonds of FIMBank plc advanced with the USD bonds closing at a record level of 102.50% and the EUR bonds closing at 100.90%.

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