The share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc eased a further 0.9% to a new 76-month low of €2.52 on volumes of 9,000 shares across three trades. Following this morning’s decline, Lombard’s equity now ranks as the second worst performer since the start of the year with a 16.7% drop compared to its value at the start of the year. In 2011, the Lombard Bank Group registered a 20.1% decline in after-tax profits while its subsidiary MaltaPost plc recently announced a significant drop in profits during the first half of their financial year. In the recent Interim Statement, Lombard Bank confirmed that the downturn at the postal operator will adversely impact the Bank’s financial performance during the first half of the year.
On the other hand, all other active equities closed this morning’s session higher to help the MSE Share Index rise by 0.4% to a 2-week high of 2,988.225 points. Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.5% higher to €2.06 on volumes of over 5,100 shares. Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc regained the €2.50 level as its share price edged 0.8% higher during this morning’s session on low volumes of 3,650 shares. Also in the financial sector, FIMBank plc reversed yesterday’s 1.8% drop to regain the US$0.85 level across three trades totalling 7,300 shares.
The only other active equity was GO plc which initially receded to an intra-day low of €0.855 before recovering and ending the session 1.1% higher at the €0.89 level. A total of 17,151 shares changed hands today across nine trades.
On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally lower to 988.959 points. On the international front, Eurozone yields this morning touched a new all-time low of 1.343% on the back of a renewed flight to safety following indications that the Spanish Government will issue new bonds to fund the recapitalisation of the nationalised lender, Bankia, at a time when the country is having difficulty raising funds at sustainable rates.