MSE Share Index dragged 0.5% lower

The share prices of the two large banks both traded lower during this morning’s session on the Borza dragging the MSE Share Index 0.5% lower to 3,131.193 points.

Bank of Valletta plc’s equity reversed this week’s earlier gains as the outstanding bids at the €2.50 level were all satisfied. Trading activity in BOV shares increased to a total of 76,100 shares during today’s session with the price easing by 1.2% to the €2.50 level. The Bank today’s published its 2011 Annual Report ahead of the Annual General Meeting which will take place Friday 16 December.

Following yesterday’s 2.2% drop in HSBC Bank Malta plc, the equity retreated by a further 0.8% to the €2.61 level. Low volumes again traded today with just over 5,300 shares changing hands this morning.

For the third consecutive session, the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker lowered its Malta Government Stock bid prices in line with the hike in Eurozone yields which have now reached a level exceeding 2.2%. Over recent days, fear and uncertainty gripped European bond markets particularly following yesterday’s intervention by the Bundesbank in a German sovereign bond auction. Concern over Europe’s ability to manage and handle the prevailing sovereign debt crisis are at a high as investors have now started to question Germany’s ability to continue supporting the other troubled Eurozone countries. Furthermore, this morning Fitch downgraded Portugal’s credit rating from ‘BBB-‘ to a junk status of ‘BB+’ on the back of large fiscal imbalances, high indebtedness and depressed economic outlook.

The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped 0.7% today to a new 7-month low of 971.479 points. However, although the indicative bid price quoted by the Central Bank of Malta for the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) declined by 99 basis points to an all-time low of 99.29%, over €200,000 (nominal) of this stock changed hands in the market at prices ranging between 102.65% and 102.70%.