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Index tumbles by four per cent

The recent upward trend registered by the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Index was halted as a significant decline of four per cent was registered in the second week of November.

This week’s remarkable loss was conditioned by the negative returns recorded among highly capitalised equities. In fact, the main dragger for the week was International Hotels Investments plc which was hammered on high volume, followed by HSBC Bank Malta plc and Lombard Bank plc which also appeared in the list of losers. Conversely, Bank of Valletta plc upheld its bullish momentum as it added further gains to its share value.

During the week losers prevailed over gainers as from the 11 active stocks three traded in negative territory, two gathered gains, while the remaining six closed unchanged. Activity in the week was based over a total of 941,461 shares which were executed across 134 transactions, thus reaching just over €1.08 million in value terms.

Meanwhile, in the Government Stock Market, as headwinds from abroad re-emerged, investors displayed conviction to local sovereign debt. In fact, from the 19 active stocks, 16 appreciated in value, while three edged lower. Turnover in the week ascended to €7.6 million with 22 per cent of the said amount being traded within the 5.2% MGS 2031.

In the Corporate Bonds market, unsettledness reigned as from the 24 active issues, six gained ground, seven headed southwards, while 11 closed unchanged. The 6.2%-6.8% IHI 2013 was the prime loser for the week as it toppled by two per cent.

In the equity market, Bank of Valletta plc shares extended its rally with a further gain of 1.2 per cent to close the week at €2.46. Accounting for this week’s rise, the banking equity managed to mark the fifth consecutive week of gains to post a 10.7 per cent on a year-to-date basis. The equity was the second most liquid as a third of the week’s total value traded changed hands across 149,786 shares which were traded over 69 deals.

From the opposite front, investors turned their backs to HSBC Bank Malta plc shares. In fact, the equity declined by a further 3.6 per cent over four sessions, thus marking a loss of four per cent over two successive weeks. A total of 20 trades which consisted of 37,314 shares were traded to close the week at €2.65.

In line with its peer, Lombard Bank plc plummeted by 10 per cent in the last session of the week, thus reversing the 7.5 per cent appreciation recorded in the previous week. A total of 8,962 shares were traded across four deals to close the week at €1.80.

Meanwhile, from the same sector both FIMBank plc and Middlesea Insurance plc closed the week unchanged. The former was active over a mere 800 shares to close at $0.79, while the latter closed flat at €0.74 over three transactions of 4,100 shares. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the insurance operator announced that results for the first nine months of 2012 continued to show a strong performance when compared to the same period in 2011.

From the hoteliers sector, International Hotels Investments plc succumbed to selling pressure as the equity contracted sharply by 15.8 per cent or €0.15. The equity was active in three sessions as it drifted lower in the first session of the week and on Thursday by 13.7 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively, while it closed unchanged on Tuesday. Activity was dealt over high volumes of 530,298 shares which were dealt across eight deals to close at the €0.80 price level.

On a positive note, Plaza Centres plc shares advanced by just below one per cent over 16,300 shares to close the week at €0.53.

Meanwhile, from the aviation industry, Malta International Airport plc closed the week flat at €1.75 after trading at an intra-week low of €1.749. Activity was dealt over two sessions in which 53,776 shares exchanged hands over seven trades.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the company announced its traffic results for the month of October. The airport operator once again marked a new record for the month with an increase of 0.6 per cent when compared to the same period last year. The company also stated that from a segmented market perspective, the Italian, UK and French markets registered increases of 5.9 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

Likewise, Crimsonwing plc ended the week in a flat position at €0.38. The IT operator was active over the first three sessions of the week in which a notable volume of 125,212 shares were traded across seven transactions.

The other non-movers for the week were GO plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc which closed at €1.00 and €2.40 respectively.

Finally, yesterday Maltapost plc announced that following submissions to the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), as well as a public consultation process, the MCA has now published its decision on price control mechanism for postal operator and revised postal tariffs. In this connection, MCA has accepted to revise the prices of certain postal products, with the first set of changes taking effect from Monday.

This article, which was compiled by Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd, does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd is licensed to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority and is a member firm of the Malta Stock Exchange. The directors or related parties, including the company, and their clients are likely to have an interest in securities mentioned in this article. For further information contact Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on tel: 21224410 or e-mail [email protected]

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