The MSE Share Index erased some of yesterday’s gains as it retreated by 0.29% to 4,459.126 points. Trading activity declined today with only €0.07 million worth of shares changing hands – down from a near three-week high of €0.45 million yesterday. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index extended yesterday’s rebound by a further 0.10% to a three-day high of 1,144.597 points. Euro zone sovereign yields were relatively flat today ahead of the constitutional referendum in Italy to be held next Sunday. Italian Prime Minister Mr Matteo Renzi pledged that he will resign should the Italians reject the proposed political changes. The international financial media reported today that the European Central Bank (ECB) is ready to temporarily step up its purchases of Italian government bonds should the ‘No’ vote prevail.
The most actively traded equity was HSBC Bank Malta plc which managed to recover from an intra-day low of €1.83 to close the day flat at €1.844 across 16,299 shares.
Two deals totalling just 2,000 shares left the equity of Malta International Airport plc unchanged at €4.05.
Also among the large companies, Bank of Valletta plc dropped by 0.4% to the €2.23 level across 6,779 shares. Last Thursday, Fitch downgraded its credit rating on BOV to “BBB”, citing pressure on the Bank’s level of capitalisation. Fitch further added that “although the bank is considering strengthening its capital through a new share offer, this would not be sufficient to meet all future requirements”. Commenting on the downgrade, BOV’s CEO Mr Mario Mallia reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment towards strengthening its levels of capital as well as its risk management framework. Mr Mallia also added that BOV is retrenching from some traditional businesses and addressing legacy issues.
Mapfre Middlesea plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc both registered declines today on insignificant volumes. Mapfre Middlesea retreated to the €2.12 level (-3.6%) whilst Lombard eased by 1.0% to €2.08.
Low trading activity also took place in the equity of Santumas Shareholdings plc which jumped by a further 4.1% to €1.25 from the adjusted post-bonus and share-split price of €1.201.
RS2 Software plc failed to hold on to its intra-day high of €1.595 (+3.8%) as it finished marginally higher at €1.537 on volumes totalling 6,742 shares.