Share Index down 0.3% as most equities decline

The local equity market closed again in negative territory today as most active equities declined. All four banking institutions closed lower today forcing the MSE Share Index to close 0.3% lower to end the week at 3,573.403 points. HSBC Bank Malta plc slipped 0.7% to a fresh 3-month low of €2.90 on volumes of 6,625 shares whilst Bank of Valletta plc only edged €0.001 lower back to the €2.969 level on volumes of just over 7,400 shares.

Despite still trading with the entitlement to the final net dividend of US$0.0248 per share, FIMBank plc reversed this week’s earlier gains as its share price retreated by 2.6% to the US$0.90 level on a single trade of 1,696 shares. Similarly, Lombard Bank plc’s share price declined by 0.3% to the €3.00 level as all outstanding shares on offer at this level (totalling 13,414 shares) were snapped up. Yesterday, the Bank published its 2010 full-year results revealing a 12.9% increase in after-tax profits to €8.3 million and a final cash dividend of €0.115 per share (+15%) to all shareholders as at close of trading on 24 March.

RS2 Software plc’s equity dropped 2.8% to a new all-time low of €0.389 across one deal of 5,000 shares. Further offers are already placed in the market below the last closing price at the €0.38 level. In the latest Interim Directors’ Statement published on 18 November 2010, the Company revealed two new clients: one in the United States and one in Germany. Moreover, the Directors stated that they expect earnings for the second half of 2010 to be better than those registered in the corresponding period last year as well as than those in the first six months of 2010 when RS2 registered a pre-tax profit of €78,055.

Meanwhile Malta International Airport plc held on to yesterday’s 2.9% gain as a further 16,000 shares traded at the €1.80 level. The company will be publishing is full-year results next Thursday 17 March.

Week Overview

The declines registered during the last two sessions in the local equity market offset the recovery in previous sessions. In fact, the MSE Share Index closed the week minimally lower mainly driven by the weekly declines in HSBC and GO which retreated by 2% and 2.3% respectively. The only two positive performing equities of the week were BOV (+2.4%) and Malta International Airport plc up 3.8% to rank as the best performing equity this week.

On the other hand, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved 0.3% higher this week to close at 978.897 points. Eurozone yields dropped sharply below the 3.20% level following this morning’s natural disaster in Japan which immediately sent shockwaves throughout the global financial markets.

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