Daily Market Highlights

• Following last week’s 0.6% increase, the MSE Share Index edged a further 0.3% higher to the 3,076.214 level as HSBC regains the €2.70 level. Meanwhile MIA eases minimally lower whilst BOV, RS2 Software and MaltaPost close unchanged. Copy of today’s equity market summary is available for download.

• Bond market activity remains high. Various local corporate bonds active today with high volumes changing hands in a number of issues including the 6.15% BOV 2010, the 7.0% Big Bon Finance plc 2012 and the two 7.5% bonds by Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. Meanwhile, indicative Malta Government Stock bid prices raised for the third successive session as eurozone yields slip further to the 3.28% level.

• HSBC rises a further 1.1% to regain the €2.70 level but volumes remain low with 4,870 shares changing hands. Best bids now placed at €2.67 with further offers remaining outstanding at the closing price. Share price still 9.4% below the €2.98 level at which the equity was trading prior to the publication of the Bank’s half-year results.

• Volatile session for BOV shares as the equity opens 2.4% higher at the €2.97 before fresh sell orders force the price back to the €2.90 level, unchanged from the previous close. Just over 10,240 shares exchanged with best bids in the market at €2.88 whilst few other offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price.

• MIA closes minimally lower at the €2.349 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.31. Two trades amounting to 1,000 shares transacted this morning with a further 900 shares on offer at the closing price whilst best bids in the market at the €2.15 level. Few trades were affected in MIA shares since the Company’s interim results publication on 31 July. During the first six months of 2009, MIA’s revenue increased by 2.1% to €20.6 million over the same period of 2008 despite a sharp decline in passenger numbers. Profits drop 8% as a result of higher operating costs and depreciation.

• RS2 Software closes unchanged at the €0.65 level ahead of tomorrow’s interim results publication. 5,000 shares change hands today with some bids in the market at €0.60 whilst offers already placed minimally below the last closing price.

• MaltaPost eases back from an intraday high of €0.70 to close unchanged at the €0.69 level. Just over 5,500 shares trade during this morning’s session with further bids outstanding at the closing price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €0.71 level.

• Last Thursday FIMBank published its half-year results showing a pre-tax profit of US$2.4 million. In the first six months of 2008 the trade finance bank had recorded a profit of US$34 million but this was boosted by the US$29.2 million gain on sale of its shareholding in the factoring company in India Global Trade Finance Limited (GTF) as well as the share of profits from this associate company which have not been repeated in 2009. The Directors stated that the outlook for the second half of the year is one of increased business activity and improved profitability. Further details of results available here. Equity still inactive with few bids in the market at US$1.28 whilst lowest offers placed at the last closing price of US$1.289.