MSE Share Index back into negative territory

The local equity market reversed yesterday’s overall positive performance as the MSE Share Index retreated by 0.7% back to 3,061.536 points (the lowest level since 16 December 2011) as most of the active equities closed lower during this morning’s trading session.

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc partially recovered from an intra-day low of €2.20 to close just 0.4% lower at the €2.25 level on volumes of over 25,300 shares. Lower volumes of 8,200 shares traded in HSBC Bank Malta plc with its share price easing 0.2% lower to the €2.55 level.

Also in the financial sector, Middlesea Insurance plc’s equity shed 10% to a new 20-month low of €0.72 on two small deals totalling a mere 100 shares.

GO plc also closed in negative territory as its share price slid 4.8% lower to the €0.90 level on a single trade of 2,500 shares. Similarly, Malta International Airport plc retreated by 1.1% to €1.73 across three trades totalling 10,400 shares. The airport operator is expected to publish the detailed 2011 traffic results together with a forecast for 2012 shortly.

On the other hand, MaltaPost plc edged 1% higher to regain the €1.00 level across five trades totalling 2,000 shares. Next Monday, eligible shareholders will receive their final net dividend of €0.04 per share in cash or in shares according to the preferred option as approved during the Annual General Meeting held on 17 January.

The only other active equity was RS2 Software plc which continued to trade at its 52-week high of €0.60 across 30,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased a further 0.2% to a new 5-week low of 985.509 points as Eurozone yields tested the 2% level this morning as markets remain concerned over the on-going Greek debt discussions.

Yesterday, the Treasury of Malta announced that next Friday 27 January it will determine the prices for the 3 new Malta Government Stock issues on offer next week. The Treasury will be issuing €150 million (with an over-allotment option of up to another €150 million) in the following stocks: (i) 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) (Fungibility Issue); (ii) 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) and (iii) 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) (Fungibility Issue). The subscription period for the General Public will take place between Wednesday 1 February and Friday 3 February. On the secondary market, a further €2.3 million (nom) traded in the 5.20% MGS 2031 with the price dropping by another 35 basis points to 101.65% in line with the Central Bank’s bid price.