MSE Share Index drops to new lows

The MSE Share Index tumbled 0.8% this week to a fresh 35-month low of 2,927.347 points mainly due to the declines in the share prices of the two large banks. During this morning’s session, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc shed 1.4% to the €2.11 level – the lowest level since 30 October 2009. BOV generally publishes its half-year results (covering the six months ended 31 March) by the end of April.

HSBC Bank Malta plc, which was inactive this morning, also ended the week in negative territory with a decline of 1.6% to the €2.50 level – the equity’s 2012 low.

Similarly, Grand Harbour Marina plc ended the week lower as its share price eased by 0.4% to the €1.89 level on Tuesday ahead of the 2011 full-year results publication scheduled for next Wednesday 18 April.

The only positive performing equity this week was Lombard Bank Malta plc following this morning’s 0.6% rise to regain the €2.465 level across three trades totalling 20,700 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index ended this week 0.2% higher at 984.618 points. The rise in the local MGS benchmark contrasts the recovery in Eurozone yields from last Monday’s 28-week low of 1.66% to around the 1.75% level. At the start of the week, markets were gripped due to escalating fears on the region’s sovereign debt crisis but investor sentiment, although still fragile, improved by the end of the week.

Earlier this week, BOV announced the allocation policy with respect to the recent €40 million issue of Notes which carry a coupon of 4.25% and mature in 2019. The Bank revealed that applications for the first €25,000 will be accepted in full with a balance of only 36.19% for applications above this level. Interest on these Notes will accrue as from today. Meanwhile, allotment letters and refunds of unallocated monies will take place by not later than next Wednesday 18 April.

Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc is expected to publish its 2011 full-year results later on this afternoon.