Today the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker reduced its bid prices for Government paper as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield reached the 2.33% level. Most notably the bid price for the 5.25% MGS 2030 was lowered by 37 basis points to 103.01%. This 20-year stock is now 165 basis points below its high of 104.66% reached on 31 August.
The downturn in MGS prices over the past two weeks also caused volumes to shrink. In fact, in the 20-year paper, a total of €13 million (nominal) traded two weeks ago as opposed to the €5 million (nominal) exchanged last week and the €525,200 (nominal) transacted this week.
On the local equity market, Middlesea Insurance plc closed at the €1.00 level for the first time since 22 September. On the other hand, HSBC Bank Malta plc eased minimally lower to €2.798 whilst Bank of Valletta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €3.201 to close unchanged at the €3.24 level.
Malta International Airport plc continued to recover from the recent declines. The share price of the airport operator advanced by a further 1.2% to end the week 3.9% higher at the €1.558 level. Just over 12,000 shares changed hands today with further bids in the market unsatisfied at the closing price.
Higher activity was registered in the equities of Grand Harbour Marina plc and Medserv plc. A total of 45,000 GHM shares traded today unchanged at the €1.96 level while 10,000 Medserv shares changed hands at €4.27 (-0.2%). GO plc maintained the €1.84 level also on increased volumes of over 30,000 shares.
Overall, the MSE Share Index ended the week minimally higher at 3,348.155 points after recovering from a fresh 2010 low in mid-week. The increases in Malta International Airport plc (+3.9%), Middlesea Insurance plc (+5.3%) and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (+7%) offset the marginal declines in three of the four large caps, namely HSBC, BOV and GO.