HSBC and BOV shares both gain
The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc closed higher for the third consecutive session with a further 1.4% rise to a new 50-week high of €2.89 across nine trades totalling 27,165 shares. HSBC's equity advanced by 16.5% this month ahead of the Bank's interim results publication scheduled for next Friday 27 July. Following this sudden upswing, HSBC's equity now ranks as the second best performer since the start of 2012 with a year-to-date gain of 12.1%.
The upturn in HSBC also helped the share price of Bank of Valletta plc recover from last week's 2.7% drop. BOV again touched its 2012 low of €2.00 this morning but then advanced by 4.5% to regain the €2.09 level on increased volumes totalling 33,117 shares.
Another positive performing equity today was Malta International Airport plc with a 1.7% rise to €1.78 on volumes of 5,200 shares. The airport operator recently reported a record financial performance with profits rising by 13% to €4.48 million. The equity will continue to trade with the entitlement to the net interim dividend of €0.03 per share until next Wednesday 25 July.
The gains registered in the two banks and MIA helped the MSE Share Index close at its highest level since November 2011. The Index closed today at 3,129.612 points.
Meanwhile GO plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €1.09 to close 2.8% lower at the €1.05 level across four trades totalling 8,730 shares.
Middlesea Insurance plc hit a new 31-month low of €0.62, representing a 3.1% drop from the previous close on a single deal of 1,500 shares. The company is scheduled to publish its half-year results later on today.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index advanced by 0.2% to a 9-month high of 994.429 points as Eurozone yields reached a new all-time low of 1.126%. This reflects renewed fears over the possible need of a bailout for Spain as its economy contracted by a further 0.4% in the second quarter of this year and sovereign yields spiralled to euro-era highs of over 7.5%. The focus is now placed on tomorrow's bond auction by Spain to gauge the country's ability to continue borrowing from the markets. Moreover, talks about a euro exit for Greece resurfaced following comments by the Greek Prime Minister on Sunday stating that Greece was in a severe recession similar to that experienced by the US in the 1930's.