The shares prices of both HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc rose during the first trading session of 2012 to help the MSE Share Index gain 0.3% to a 1-month high of 3,103.636 points. HSBC’s share price inched marginally higher to regain the €2.58 level on volumes of just over 7,600 shares with BOV jumping 1.2% higher to close at the €2.53 level. Over 16,100 BOV shares changed hands today ahead of the Bank’s 1 for 8 bonus issue cut-off date on Monday 9 January. Both banking equities suffered steep declines in 2011 with BOV shedding 22.2% and HSBC closing 21% lower.
The only other active equity today was Simonds Farsons Cisk plc as the equity maintained the €1.80 level on a single trade of 2,000 shares.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index retreated by 0.2% to 986.678 points as Eurozone yields regained the 1.9% level. This turnaround reflects the renewed investor optimism at the turn of the New Year despite further warnings by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy on the challenges that lie ahead with respect to the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis. Despite the decline in the indicative Malta Government Stock bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta, the price of the 5.20% MGS 2031 advanced to a new high of 103.02%.