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Further gains for BOV ahead of bonus share issue

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc advanced by a further 0.2% today to €3.725 on increased volumes totalling over 25,000 shares on renewed demand ahead of the 1 for 5 bonus share issue taking place next month. HSBC Bank Malta plc also closed higher but volumes were weak on lack of offers in the market below the €3.00 level. HSBC’s share price closed 0.7% higher at €2.921. Lombard Bank Malta plc also saw its share price edge 1.2% higher today to close at the €2.60 level across 3,400 shares.

While these three banking equities advanced, the US Dollar denominated equity of FIMBank plc declined by 3.1% to USD0.92 on a single trade of 25,000 shares.

Shortly after the close of this morning’s trading session, two important announcements were issued. Malta International Airport plc published its November traffic results revealing a double-digit growth in passenger movements for the seventh consecutive month. During November passenger numbers rose by 12.5% to 202,718 – the highest level of passenger movements ever recorded in November. This growth was mainly due to the 11.8% increase in seat capacity. During the first eleven months of the year, MIA registered a 13% increase in passenger movements – substantially higher than the Company’s forecast of an 8% growth. MIA’s share price edged minimally higher this morning to €1.65 across three trades amounting to 6,000 shares.

Meanwhile, GO plc announced that Forgendo (a joint-venture between GO and its majority shareholder Emirates International Telecommunication) increased its shareholding in Forthnet through further share purchases on the Athens Stock Exchange. Forgendo purchased another 1,299,439 shares for a total consideration of €694,196 equivalent to €0.534 per share. Following this additional purchase, Forgendo’s equity stake in Forthnet has increased from 39.88% to 40.71%.

On the bond market, volumes across corporate bonds declined while indicative bid prices of Malta Government Stocks quoted by the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker declined as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield continued to rise towards the 2.90% level – the highest since May 2010. The bid price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) was lowered by 43 basis points to 101.32%.

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