Share Index down 2.3% in first week of 2011

The local equity market wrapped up the first week of 2011 with a negative performance as the MSE Share Index slumped 2.3% to 3,694.277 points on declines registered in the three large cap equities.

Today was the last session for investors to gain entitlement to the 1 for 5 bonus issue of Bank of Valletta plc. Nonetheless BOV’s shares continued to slide lower with a further 1.9% drop back to the €3.70 level across 12,945 shares. Following the last four negative sessions, BOV ended this week 4.1% lower. Next Monday BOV shares will trade ex-bonus.

Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered some of the previous days’ declines. HSBC’s share price edged 1.3% higher today to regain the €3.20 level on increased volumes of 75,526 shares. Despite today’s recovery, HSBC shares still closed the opening week of 2011 in negative territory with a weekly drop of 1.7%.

International Hotel Investments plc also experienced a subdued performance during the first week of 2011. The third largest equity by market cap registered a 4.8% decline last Wednesday and failed to recover as the shares continued to trade at €0.90 today.

The best performer of 2010, MaltaPost plc, also closed the week lower as the share price dropped 1% this morning back to the €0.99 level. Over 13,800 shares changed hands today. Last Wednesday, the postal operator published its full-year results showing a 7% increase in profitability to €2.1 million. However the shares are already trading without the entitlement to the net dividend of €0.04 per share.

On the other hand, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved 0.1% higher during the first week of 2011 to close at 993.506 points reflecting the downturn in the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield to the 2.93% level.

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