- Further gains for HSBC as BOV and MIDI decline

HSBC Bank Malta plc’s share price advanced for the second successive day in anticipation of the publication of the interim financial statements on Friday 27 July and the declaration of an interim dividend. Following yesterday’s 1.5% rise, the equity added 0.8% to a 33-week high of €2.67 but volumes declined to 6,377 shares.

Despite an increase in the share price of the largest capitalised company (HSBC), the benchmark MSE Share Index eased marginally lower to 3,052.492 points as the gains in HSBC were offset by declines in the share prices of BOV and MIDI. Bank of Valletta plc failed to hold on to the €2.05 level as lack of further support in the market sent the price 0.5% lower to a 36-week low of €2.04. Also in BOV, volumes declined to 12,042 shares compared to over 51,000 shares that traded yesterday.

The highest volumes took place in the equity of MIDI plc as the share price of the property developer dropped 6.1% during the final stages of today’s session to its all-time low of €0.31 on total activity of 540,000 shares.

Meanwhile, the share prices of the two other active equities, Malta International Airport plc and International Hotel Investments plc, closed unchanged at €1.75 and €0.85 respectively on low volumes. MIA will be announcing its half year results on Tuesday but IHI has not yet announced a date for the publication of the interim results.

The subscription period for the new equity issue of Malita Investments plc will open on Monday 23 July. The company is issuing a total of 20,000,000 new ‘B’ shares for general public subscription at the nominal value of €0.50. Malita Investments will have a market capitalisation of €69 million representing a 2.5% weighting in the MSE Share Index. An interview with the Chairman Mr Kenneth Farrugia is available from the following link: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120712/business-news/Malita-ensures-future-projects-are-possible.428255

On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.18% higher to a fresh 36-week high of 991.303 points reflecting the renewed downturn in the Eurozone yields which dropped to below the 1.25% level from yesterday’s close of 1.29%. During a bond auction held this morning, Italy sold its 1-year paper at an average yield of 2.697% compared to 3.97% fetched a month age. The country will also go to the bond market tomorrow when it is expected to sell bonds maturing in 3 years’ time.