Positive day for local equities

The equities of the three largest banks listed on the Malta Stock Exchange traded higher during this morning’s session. Bank of Valletta plc recovered from some of its recent decline as its share price jumped 1.8% higher to regain the €2.26 level across fourteen trades amounting to 22,153 shares.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc edged 0.2% higher to €2.55 on volumes of 5,780 shares after touching a high of €2.60 while a single trade of 1,500 Lombard Bank Malta plc shares was transacted at the €2.57 level representing a 0.8% increase from the previous close.

Malta International Airport plc also closed the day in positive territory as the equity reversed yesterday’s 2.9% drop to regain the €1.75 level on increased volumes amounting to 22,540 shares. The company is shortly expected to provide a detailed analysis of its 2011 traffic results.

The other two active equities closed the day unchanged. Simonds Farsons Cisk plc held on to the €1.80 level on a single trade of 1,176 shares while RS2 Software plc maintained its 52-week high of €0.60 on activity totalling 40,300 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index shed 0.1% to a new 2-week low of 987.184 points as Eurozone yields moved sharply higher to just below the 2% level. The international bond markets remain focused on the on-going discussions to strike a deal with private investors holding Greek debt after European finance ministers yesterday rejected the deal offered by private investors as insufficient. Such delays increase the possibility of a disorderly default by Greece.

Meanwhile this morning, the Treasury of Malta announced that next Friday 27 January it will determine the prices for the 3 new Malta Government Stock issues on offer next week. The Treasury will be issuing €150 million (with an over-allotment option of up to another €150 million) in the following stocks: (i) 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) (Fungibility Issue); (ii) 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) and (iii) 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) (Fungibility Issue). The subscription period for the General Public will take place between Wednesday 1 February and Friday 3 February. On the secondary market, almost €2 million (nom) traded in the 5.20% MGS 2031 with the price dropping by 47 basis points to 102%.