Eurozone yields tumbled below the 2.80% level today amid the sovereign debt crisis and the disappointing numbers from the US labour market on Friday afternoon. The focus in the eurozone has now turned to Italy which has the second highest debt ratio after that of Greece. In line with the steep downturn in Eurozone yields, the bid prices of the Malta Government Stocks quoted by the Central Bank of Malta increased sharply today. The largest increase was registered in the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I). The bid price advanced by 90 basis points to 102.11% – the highest level in almost 2 months. This triggered a number of transactions on the secondary market with over €960,000 (nominal) changing hands during today’s session with the price closing at 102.11%. Overall, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index jumped by 0.4% to a 3-week high of 978.118 points.
On the local equity market, the MSE Share Index closed in negative territory for the fourth consecutive session with another 0.2% drop to 3,316.696 points reflecting the prevailing subdued investor sentiment. The share price of Bank of Valletta plc dropped by 0.7% to the €2.68 level on low volumes of 4,600 shares.
The share price of Malta International Airport plc also eased minimally lower to close just under the €1.60 level for the first time since 20 October 2010 amid the current uncertainties in respect of the possible strike by pilots this week. Today the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) announced that it has formally obtained support from the International Federation of Airline Pilots (IFALPA) in the event of industrial action on 16 July. In this respect, the local pilots’ union will decide on Wednesday whether to file an industrial dispute. Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon MIA issued a further detailed press release seeking to rectify the misleading information and address the various allegations directed at it regarding the current restructuring of the national airline.
Middlesea Insurance plc also edged 1% lower to €1.00 on volumes of over 7,000 shares. Recently, the Company announced that the Malta Financial Services Authority granted approval to Mapfre Internacional to acquire the 19.9% shareholding of Munich Re. However no further announcement has been issued outlining the details of this transaction and the subsequent mandatory offer to be launched by Mapfre.
The other three active equities all closed the day unchanged. Three trades totalling 11,321 HSBC Bank Malta plc shares changed hands today at the previous closing price of €2.92. GO plc recovered from an intra-day low of €1.35 to regain the €1.38 level across four trades amounting to 9,200 shares while a single trade of 3,500 MaltaPost plc shares was transacted at €0.999.