Increased volumes across various equities

The increased trading activity evident over recent days continued in selected equities this morning.

In the banking sector, the share prices of Bank of Valletta plc, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc also closed higher while the US Dollar denominated equity of FIMBank plc shed 10.4% to close at a new 7-year low of US$0.67 level on two trades totalling 14,000 shares. The trade finance specialist will shortly update the market on developments that have taken place since the half-year end through an Interim Statement which is expected to be published by the second week of November.

HSBC Malta edged 0.8% higher to €2.66 on volumes amounting to almost 11,000 shares with BOV’s equity edging marginally higher to €2.46 across sixteen trades totalling 20,350 shares. This morning the Bank announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Friday 28 October to approve the Group’s preliminary results covering the financial year ended 30 September 2011 as well as to consider the payment of a final dividend. Increased volumes were registered in the equity of Lombard Bank with the share price moving 1.1% higher to close at a new 3-month high of €2.75 across four trades totalling 22,000 shares.

Meanwhile International Hotel Investments plc and Malta International Airport plc closed unchanged at €0.815 and €1.70 respectively. A total of 18,874 IHI shares changed hands today with MIA holding on to its 3-month high of €1.70 on continued high volumes totalling 24,952 shares.

GO plc’s share price slid 4.6% back to its all-time low of €1.05 on volumes of just over 4,000 shares. The year-to-date drop in GO’s equity of 45.7% reflects the widening losses at Forthnet which offset the growing local operations and resulted in a lower dividend payment with respect to the 2010 financial year.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index gained 0.6% to 986.088 points reflecting the sharp drop in yields back to just above the 2% level from a 3-month high of 2.256% registered yesterday after comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the ability of European leaders to solve the debt crisis.