The MSE Share Index registered its third consecutive negative daily performance as it slid by 1.16% to fall below the 4,400 points mark for the first time in ten months. The Index closed at 4,390.124 points on heightened activity. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
On the bond market, the RF MGS Index performed positively for the third successive day as it gained a further 0.24% to an over sixteen-month high of 1,171.183 points. The indicative bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta for nearly all of the longest dated Malta Government Stocks reached fresh record highs today, with the bid for the recently issued 2.40% 2041 issue reaching 106.21% compared to the issue price of 101.75%. On the secondary market, the 2.40% MGS 2041 closed at a new high of 107.01% on persistently robust volumes. Such developments followed movements in euro zone sovereign bonds as yields came under renewed pressure on expectations that poor data from the US will force the European Central Bank to announce further easing measures at its monetary policy meeting tomorrow. Data issued yesterday showed that the US service sector expanded at a slower pace in August, with the drop being the largest since the 2008 financial crisis. In addition, the latest data from Germany was also negative, showing that German industrial production fell the most in 23 months during the month of July, adding to worries that Europe’s largest economy is losing steam as exports suffer from lower demand in emerging markets and growing concerns about Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
One of the major contributors behind the decline in the Index was the 10.7% plunge in the share price of RS2 Software plc to the €1.50 level – the lowest since early November 2015 – across 209,018 shares. The share price of RS2 is now 16.5% down since the start of the year and 35% lower than the all-time high of €2.308 touched on 11 March 2016.
FIMBank plc also performed negatively and after opening 9.7% lower at the USD0.88 level, the equity partially recovered to close at the USD0.915 level – representing a drop of 6.2%. A total of 63,600 shares changed hands today.
Also in the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc continued to trade within a tight range as it slipped by 0.3% to move back to the €1.57 level on volumes totalling 6,212 shares. The Bank is scheduled to pay the recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.071 per share (net: €0.0462) on Friday 9 September.
On the other hand, Bank of Valletta plc held on to its four-month high of €2.26 across 16,707 shares.
Meanwhile, three deals totalling 60,250 shares helped the equity of Malta Properties Company plc to advance by 1.0% to the €0.52 level.