MSE Share Index at a new 33-month low

During this morning’s session on the Borza, the MSE Share Index tumbled 0.7% to a new 33-month low of 2,949.403 points mainly due to the declines in the share prices of Bank of Valletta plc and International Hotel Investments plc.

The recent recovery in Bank of Valletta plc was almost completely reversed following this morning’s 2.2% drop in the Bank’s share price to the €2.151 level across eight trades totalling 9,677 shares. This month marks the end of the bank’s half-year with the interim results generally published by the end of April.

Similarly, International Hotel Investments plc’s share price tumbled 1.3% back to the €0.74 level ahead of the Group’s 2011 financial results publication scheduled for tomorrow. A total of three trades totalling 64,847 shares were transacted today.

On the other hand, the share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc advanced by 0.8% to the €2.52 level on low volumes of 1,600 shares. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 24 April.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €2.50 to close this morning’s session unchanged at the €2.52 level. Volumes increased to over 63,000 shares with the large majority dealt at the €2.50 level. Similarly, the share prices of Malta International Airport plc, GO plc and Medserv plc traded unchanged but on very low volumes.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index stumbled to a new 4-month low of 980.907 points with a further 0.1% decline as eurozone yields moved closer to the 1.91% level this morning. Optimism in international markets is rising as Italy managed to sell €8.5 billion worth of 6-month Treasury Bills at 1.119% – the lowest rate since September 2010. Moreover, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed in a statement that the sovereign debt crisis is waning and as such expects that her country’s borrowing costs will rise in the near term as investors no longer seek the safe haven status of Germany.