Share Index rallies to a three-month high

The share index registered its best daily performance in 19 months today as it jumped by 1.43 per cent to a three-month high of 4,498.630 points reflecting the notable gains in the share prices of IHI and HSBC.

Four other equities performed positively. The positive investor sentiment is possibly as a result of the various measures announced by the Finance Minister in yesterday’s Budget speech.

The best performing equity today was International Hotel Investments which soared 7.2 per cent to a near three-month high of 65c9 albeit on shallow volumes totalling 6,225 shares.

HSBC extended its recent run as it advanced by a further 4.1 per cent to the €1.77 level – the highest since late January– across 33,265 shares. In an interview published in the local financial media last week, HSBC Group general manager and head of commercial banking Europe Ian Stuart was quoted as saying that HSBC Holdings is “going to push on here in Malta”.

Mr Stuart added “I can go back to London and formulate plans for the next phases of investment in Malta. We are absolutely committed to the island; there are growth opportunities”.

Also among the large companies, a single deal of just 800 shares pushed the equity of RS2 Software 1.3 per cent higher to the €1.55 level.

Low volumes were also traded in Lombard, MaltaPost and Malta Properties.

Lombard Bank climbed 1.9 per cent to a near three-week high of €2.14 across 1,200 shares.

Meanwhile, the bank’s postal subsidiary, MaltaPost, rebounded by 2.7 per cent from yesterday’s three-month low of €1.80,1 as it recaptured the €1.85 level across 1,704 shares.

Malta Properties moved higher for the first in the last 10 trading sessions as it advanced 0.7 per cent to the 57c level on shallow volumes.

In contrast, the two other property-related companies performed negatively today.

Plaza Centres lost 2.7 per cent to the €1.10 level across 7,700 shares while Malita Investments dropped to a fresh 2016 low of 85c on heightened activity totalling 79,860 shares.

Malta International Airport closed minimally lower at the €4.18,9 level. A total of 2,250 shares changed hands today.

Meanwhile, Medserv held on to its 2016 low of €1.50 across 8,158 shares.

Bank of Valletta also finished the day flat at €2.29 on volumes totalling 27,016 shares. The market is now awaiting the publication of BOV’s financial statements for the year ended September 30 by the end of the month.

Two insignificant deals left the equities of FIMBank and Grand Harbour Marina unchanged at 88cUS and 86c9US respectively.

The RF MGS Index moved lower for the first time in the last five days as it retreated by a minimal 0.02 per cent to 1,174.510 points.

Today’s decline in the index mainly reflects the downward adjustment in the opening indicative bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) for the 2.5 per cent MGS 2036 (I), which yesterday soared by 364 basis points to an all-time high of 112.91 per cent while today it corrected by 253 basis points to 110.05 per cent.

Meanwhile, the CBM indicative bid prices for most other stocks moved higher. In fact, the bid prices for five different stocks (including the longest-dated 2.4 per cent 2041 I R) moved to fresh record territories.

Following the early closure of the latest issue of Malta Government Stocks due to over-subscription, the market is now waiting for the issuance of the relative allotment policy by the Treasury.


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