Positive day for the Exchange
The local equity market today recovered last week’s declines as the MSE Share Index advanced by 0.9% during this morning’s session to close at 3,537.425 points.
11 equities were active today with 6 closing higher and only Island Hotels Group Holdings plc ending in negative territory. The positive sentiment on the local market was evident in the equities of Bank of Valletta plc (+1.8%), HSBC Bank Malta plc (+0.8%) and especially in MaltaPost plc (+2.3%) and Middlesea Insurance plc (+6.7%).
Middlesea’s share price closed at its highest level since 9 February as a miniscule trade of 110 shares was effected at the €0.80 level. Middlesea published its Interim Directors’ Statement revealing that the Group registered a pre-tax profit of €2.8 million during the first quarter of 2009 (Q1 2009: loss of €5.3 million) on the back of satisfactory results by Middlesea Insurance and its associate company Middlesea Valletta Life Co. Ltd.
The improvement in the results was also due to the closure of the Group’s loss-making Italian subsidiary, Progress Assicurazioni SpA. This positive development at Middlesea also helped BOV move higher this morning as its share price reversed all last week’s losses.
MaltaPost plc continued to trade at new highs as all offers at the €0.90 level were satisfied. Last Thursday the postal operator published its half-year results showing a marginal improvement in profits to €1.18 million.
Positive movements were also seen in the bond market. Malta Government Stock prices climbed with high volumes of activity in some of the securities. Most of the active corporate bonds also gained today with the 6.8% Premier Capital plc bonds adding 50 bp to a new all-time high of 103%.