Increased trading activity across local equities & MGS

During this morning’s trading session on the Borza, a total of €319,190 worth of shares changed hands (one of the highest levels registered in a single session this year) across seven equities. Overall, the MSE Share Index eased 0.1% lower to 2,949.645 points due to the 9.9% slump in the share price of GO plc to a new all-time low of €0.756 on volumes of over 64,000 shares. Since the start of this year, GO’s equity plunged 22.9% (apart from the declines of 7.9% and 49.4% registered in 2010 and 2011 respectively) reflecting the significant negative impact of the Group’s substantial investment in Forthnet.

On the other hand, FIMBank plc edged 1.2% higher to regain the US$0.88 level on the last day the equity traded with the entitlement to the dividend and bonus issue. A total of 61,800 FIMBank shares were exchanged during this morning’s session. Even the equity of Malta International Airport plc traded for the last time with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.0615 per share. However MIA’s share price ended the session unchanged at the €1.70 level across three trades totalling 12,100 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shares were active for the first time in almost a month with over 18,300 shares changing hands during this morning’s session. The share price moved 2.9% higher to close at the €1.77 level ahead of the Farsons Group’s full-year results for the financial year ended 31 January 2012 which are generally published by the end of April.

Elsewhere in the local equity market, Bank of Valletta plc’s equity closed unchanged at the €2.13 level in increased volumes of over 78,900 shares. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc edged 0.4% higher to regain the €2.55 level on low volumes of 2,400 shares. The other active equity, MaltaPost plc, ended the session unchanged at the €0.94 level on thin volumes of 3,000 shares.

Similarly, a spike in trading activity was registered across a number of Malta Government Stocks with volumes reaching a 2012 record daily high of €22.5 million. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 982.655 points as Eurozone yields dropped back to the 1.80% level following the publication of unemployment data by the Eurozone which revealed a 25-year high unemployment level of 10.8%, equivalent to more than 17.1 million people.