MSE Share Index up 0.4%

The MSE Share Index edged a further 0.4% higher during the first trading session held using the Xetra platform. However, trading activity remained sparse with few shares changing hands across the 4 active equities. The increase in the Index today was mainly due to the 1% rise in the share price of Bank of Valletta plc to the €2.07 level. Just over 2,300 BOV shares changed hands today. Similarly, low volumes traded across FIMBank plc shares as a single deal of 6,500 shares was executed at USD0.88, representing a 3.5% increase from the previous close.

International Hotel Investments plc’s share price moved minimally higher to close at the €0.85 level on a very small trade of 70 shares while the only other active equity, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, held on to the €2.00 on a single trade of 2,500 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index maintained its positive momentum with a further 0.1% increase to a new 1-month high of 989.104 points reflecting the fourth consecutive day of declines in the benchmark Eurozone yields to around the 1.30% level, a 4-week low.  Today’s downturn mainly relates to the low expectations of further progress during a meeting of EU finance ministers scheduled to be held later on today with respect to the prevailing sovereign debt crisis. Moreover, Spain’s borrowing costs have spiralled back above the 7% level highlighting the limitations of the approved bailout package for the country’s banking system.

Locally, the 5.1% MGS 2029 traded for the first time at 102.07% with volumes of €99,000 (nominal) exchanged on the market. This represents a premium of 107 basis points from the recent primary offering price.