Further gains for Farsons and MIA shares
A single deal of 417 Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shares lifted the equity 0.9 per cent higher to a new 45-month high of €2.17 ahead of the group's half-year results publication next Wednesday.
The share price of Farsons ended the week with a 3.3 per cent rise to consolidate its position as top performer since the start of 2012 with a year-to-date jump of 21 per cent.
Malta International Airport plc also closed in positive territory today as the equity regained the €1.76 level during this morning's session on volumes totalling 30,936 shares.
The airport operator also ranks amongst the positive performing equities this year given the increased demand for the equity spurred by the record passenger numbers that passed through the air terminal. Next week MIA will be officially inaugurating the SkyParks Business Centre.
For the first time since June 12, the shares of RS2 Software plc closed above the 50c level as 20,347 shares changed hands at 52c representing a four per cent rise over the previous close.
In the financial sector, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.2 per cent higher to €2.26,5 on low volumes of 329 shares but still ended the week 0.4 per cent lower.
Meanwhile, Middlesea Insurance plc shares ended the week in positive territory after its share price rose 2.4 per cent during this morning's session to regain the 65c level across two trades totalling just over 1,000 shares.
On the other hand, Lombard Bank Malta plc's share price continued to sink lower with another 1.6 per cent decline to yet another seven-year low of €1.90 across three trades totalling 4,500 shares.
The bank's equity lies among the worst performers this year with a 26.9 per cent drop since the start of 2012 reflecting the significant decline in profitability from lower net interest income, higher impairments and a lower contribution from the postal company.
Earlier on today, the June 2011 annual report of Loqus Holdings plc was finally published.
The results showed a loss of €1.4 million compared to a marginal profit in the previous financial year.
The company is reportedly still in negotiations with an established international partner to sell its fleet management business which is valued at €5.66 million in the financial statements based on the price being discussed with the potential buyer.
However, the auditors Ernst & Young were unable to verify the accuracy of this value.
The annual report also clearly indicates the challenges being faced by the group in terms of its cash flow management.
CEO Joseph Fenech Conti explained that the group has been experiencing a slowdown in payments from government and international customers.
Moreover, Loqus is also in breach of loan covenants and as such all amounts outstanding to the bank have been reclassified as immediately due and payable.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged higher for the third consecutive session with a further 0.1 per cent rise to 995.825 points as Eurozone yields slid back below the 1.60% level.
This week the local MGS benchmark gained 0.2% as yields declined on increasing concerns related to delays in Spain's request for a bailout as well as slowing economic growth.
The latter was again confirmed today with the publication of weak economic data in France which indicated a slowdown in business activity in September highlighting the Eurozone woes.