Negative day for local equities

The local equity market kicked off this week with a 1.4% decline in the MSE Share Index to a new 28-month low of 3,012.324 points as most of the active equities closed the day lower. International Hotel Investments plc was the worst performer of the day with an 8.5% drop to a fresh 19-week low of €0.75 across five trades totalling 8,244 shares.

In the IT sector, the share price of RS2 Software plc shed 8.3% to a 5-month low of €0.55 on volumes amounting to 40,000 shares across two trades.

HSBC Bank Malta plc also eased 0.4% lower to €2.56 level on very low volumes of 400 shares. Last week the Bank announced that it is scheduled to publish its 2011 full-year results on Friday 24 February.

A last-minute trade helped GO plc’s equity recovery from its all-time low of €0.85 to close just minimally below the previous closing price at €0.889. Eight trades totalling 13,025 shares were transacted today as investors await an update from Forthnet in view of the surpassed deadline by its bankers to raise €30 million by the end of January.

On the other hand, Bank of Valletta plc reversed some of last week’s 1.8% drop as the equity advanced by 1.1% during this morning’s session to regain the €2.235 level. Just over 10,000 BOV shares changed hands today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved lower for the first time in eight sessions. Internationally, the focus remains on Greece as the debt ridden country failed to reach an agreement with private investors whilst also negotiating another bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Treasury of Malta will publish the statistics of the February 2012 Malta Government Stock issues following the noon deadline for submission of tenders. A total of €300 million is on offer across three stocks.