Slight gains for HSBC & BOV shares

The share prices of the two large banks edged higher during this morning’s trading session lifting the MSE Share Index from yesterday’s 28-month low to 3,052.571 points. HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €2.532 to close 0.8% above its previous close at €2.56 on volumes of over 12,100 shares. Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, the Bank announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Friday 24 February to consider and approve the Group’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. The Directors will also consider the declaration of a final dividend.

Bank of Valletta plc partially recovered from yesterday’s 2.2% drop as its share price also edged 0.5% higher to close at the €2.21 level across five trades totalling 5,814 shares.

The equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also ended the day in positive territory with a 1.7% rise to the €1.83 level on low volumes of 1,162 shares. Last Tuesday marked the end of the Farsons Group’s 2011/12 financial year. The full-year financial results are normally published in late April.

On the other hand, Lombard Bank Malta plc reversed yesterday’s 0.8% rise as its share price retreated back to the €2.55 level across 5,000 shares.

Elsewhere in the local equity market, Malta International Airport plc shares closed unchanged at the €1.74 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.70 on volumes of just over 18,000 shares. Plaza Centres plc shares, active for the first time this year, also ended this morning’s session unchanged at the €1.80 level across two trades totalling 1,000 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved higher for the sixth consecutive day with another marginal increase to a new 2012 high of 990.234 points reflecting the marginal decline in the benchmark Eurozone yields.

The local stock market was again characterised with high volumes in the bond segment as local investors remain focused on the current Malta Government Stock issues. Subscriptions for the three new MGS close tomorrow afternoon. A total of €300 million is on offer across the following stocks: (i) 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) (Fungibility Issue) at 103.75%; (ii) 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) at 100% (par) and (iii) 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) (Fungibility Issue) at 101.75%.