European benchmark yields dropped below the level of 2.20% for the first time in many months on speculation that the eurozone debt crisis could also impact France’s ‘AAA’ credit rating and amid increased nervousness across global equity markets. The drop in yields triggered a further sharp upward revision in Malta Government Stock bid prices issued by the Central Bank of Malta. As a result, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index today climbed by 0.4% to a new 7-month high of 991.856 points and only marginally below the 2011 high registered on 10 January.
During this morning’s trading session on the Borza, increased trading activity took place in a number of Malta Government Stocks in reaction to the increase in prices. Over €1.5 million (nominal) changed hands in the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) with all offers at 103% being satisfied mid-way during the session. Once again, however, trading took place below the bid price of 103.37%. Similarly high levels of turnover also took place in the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) with €1.4 million (nominal) changing hands as the price climbed to a new all-time high of 104.10%.
On the local equity market, Bank of Valletta plc maintained yesterday’s gains as the equity closed unchanged at the €2.60 level after easing from an intra-day high of €2.62. Over 14,000 shares changed hands today across fourteen trades. Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc partially reversed some of yesterday’s 2.2% increase as its share price slipped by 0.7% to the €2.76 level. Lombard Bank Malta plc also closed in negative territory as the equity edged minimally lower to €2.699.
The three other active equities, namely International Hotel Investments plc, Malta International Airport plc and RS2 Software plc all traded unchanged. IHI and RS2 still have to announce the dates when they will be publishing their interim results while MIA is scheduled to pay its recently declared net interim dividend of €0.03 per share on 15 September.
Meanwhile, Medserv plc announced this morning that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on 30 August to consider and approve the company’s financial statements for the six months ended 30 June 2011. Yesterday evening, FIMBank plc published its interim financial results showing a profit after tax of US$4.08 million up from US$3.39 million in the first half of 2010.