MSE Share Index drops to a 20-month low

During this morning’s trading session on the Borza, the MSE Share Index tumbled 0.4% lower to a new 20-month low of 3,279.489 points solely due to the 1.9% drop in the share price of Bank of Valletta plc. The Bank’s equity dropped back to the €2.65 level across 15 trades totalling just over 17,700 shares.

The only other active equity today was HSBC Bank Malta plc which held on to the €2.87 level on very low volumes of 640 shares. No further trades were executed this morning reflecting the cautious investor sentiment slowdown in activity generally experienced during the summer months. HSBC, however, is due to publish its June 2011 half-year results on Friday 29 July.

This morning Malta International Airport plc published a revised passenger forecast for 2011. Earlier this year, MIA had stated that it was expecting to maintain the record 3.29 million passengers achieved in 2010. However following a 12.7% increase in passenger movements during the first six months of the current year and the expected traffic during the summer months, MIA is now expecting to achieve a 3.2% rise in passenger numbers to a new record of around 3.4 million. MIA’s equity remained inactive for the seventh consecutive session with offers placed at the €1.55 compared to the last closing price of €1.59. Investors await the publication of the airport operator’s 2011 half-year results scheduled for next Wednesday 27 July.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed in negative territory for the third consecutive session with a further 0.3% drop back to 976.17 points. This is in line with the continued recovery in Eurozone yields which reached just below the 2.80% level. Today European leaders are meeting to discuss a solution to Greece’s sovereign debt.