MSE Share Index at new 3-week low

The local equity benchmark dropped by 1% to a new 3-week low of 3,083.922 points as the four active equities all declined. The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc retreated by 1.2% to a new 29-month low of €2.55 across total volumes amounting to 27,000 shares. Similarly, Bank of Valletta plc traded in negative territory today as its share price eased 0.4% lower to the €2.50 level on volumes of almost 6,000 shares. BOV is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on Friday 16 December.

Following last week’s 3.9% drop, GO plc’s share price plunged a further 5% lower to the equity’s all-time low of €0.95 across six trades totalling 18,845 shares. Last week the quad play telecom operator confirmed the transfer of Forthnet’s shares to the ‘Under Surveillance’ segment on the Athens Stock Exchange. This transfer was due to the goodwill impairments totalling €56.9 million incurred by Forthnet in its financial statements between 2010 and the first six months of 2011. Forthnet is due to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting on 15 December 2011 for the purposes of approving a €30 million rights issue.

A single trade of 2,000 Malta International Airport plc shares was transacted at the €1.55 level representing a 7.7% drop from the previous close. The airport operator is shortly expected to publish its passenger and aircraft statistics for the month of November.

On the bond market, the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker raised its Malta Government Stock bid prices for the fifth consecutive session as eurozone yields eased further back to the 2.18% level. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 981.653 points. Today, the retail tranche of the 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) started trading and although the indicative bid price quoted by the Central Bank in this stock was set at 101.63%, the price on the secondary market shot up to 102.50% on high activity totalling €723,800 (nom). This reflects the high demand for long-term Malta Government Stocks.