MGS remain in focus as bank shares decline

Trading activity during this morning’s trading session on the Borza was again characterised by high volumes across Malta Government Stocks amounting to over €5.8 million (nominal). The most active Government Stocks were the 6.6% MGS 2019 and the 4.6% MGS 2020 (II) with €2 million (nominal) traded in each stock. A further €1 million (nominal) changed hands in the 5.7% MGS 2012 (III). The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index was practically unchanged at 987.832 points as Eurozone yields edged marginally lower towards 2.28%.

On the local equity market, the MSE Share Index shed 0.3% to 3,150.616 points as the share prices of the two large banks and GO plc ended today’s session in negative territory. Bank of Valletta plc retreated by 0.8% to €2.59 across thirteen trades amounting to over 26,000 shares. HSBC Bank Malta plc eased 0.2% lower to close at the €2.755 level on volumes of 12,500 shares.

GO plc failed to hold on to the €1.26 level as new sale orders forced the equity 0.8% lower to the €1.25 level. Almost 4,900 shares traded today ahead of the Group’s half-year results publication which should be out by the end of this month in terms of Chapter 5 of the Listing Rules.

The only other active equity, MaltaPost plc, closed unchanged at the €1.00 level across four trades totalling 21,000 shares. The postal operator is shortly expected to publish its Interim Statement updating the market on its performance since its financial half-year ended on 31 March 2011. At the interim stage, MaltaPost had reported a net profit of just over €1.1 million representing a 6.1% drop from that registered in the comparable period last year mainly due to higher operating costs.

Most European equity markets were trading lower today following last night’s comments by  the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy calling on further European fiscal and monetary policy integration and proposing a new European wide tax on financial transactions. Markets were also disappointed on the lack of concrete short-term proposals to solve the debt crisis.