The Malta Stock Exchange closed again in the red yesterday as it shed a further one per cent and thus falling below the 3,300 points level. In fact the local market index closed the week at 3,290.354 points. Equity investors concentrated on eight equities of which RS2 Software plc was the most liquid while Bank of Valletta plc followed. None of the traded equities gained as six closed lower and another two equities closed unchanged. Turnover remained more or less in last week’s territory as almost €350,000 was traded in the equity market. Among the worst performers were three of the most highly capitalised equities with the two major banks topping the list while Go trailed behind.

Investors’ attention was once again focused on the fixed-income market with particular attention on to the Government Bond Market. In fact turnover in this sector increased sharply to €9.8 million as yields generally declined. This being the result of the volatility experienced lately in foreign markets together with the debt crisis surrounding peripheral European Union member countries. As is usually the case the long-dated bond maturing in 2030 was the most liquid with €7.5 million being traded in this issue alone, while the 3.75 per cent MGS 2015 was the second most liquid with over €1 million being traded across three deals.

Meanwhile in the Corporate Bond Market activity was spread over 24 issues as nearly €534,000 was traded. Yields were rather mixed as seven issues closed lower, another five gained and the remaining bonds failed to record a change in price. The 7.5 per cent Mediterranean Investment Holdings 2012-2014 headed the list of gainers while the 6.25 per cent Corinthia Finance 2016-2019 lost five per cent as this issue emerged as the week’s worst performer. Meanwhile the 4.8 per cent Bank of Valletta plc 2020 was the most traded issue as just over €85,000 was traded. Yield on this bond increased as its price now stands at €100 down from €101.7 a week earlier.

In the Equity Market the negative performances in the opening and closing sessions of the week were enough to sweep up the gains posted in the remaining three trading days.

Bank of Valletta plc shares performance moved more or less in line with the MSE index with the exception of the mid-week session during which the bank shed 0.7 per cent while the index remained nearly unchanged. The bank recorded the heaviest fall yesterday as it shed 1.4 per cent while on a week-on-week basis the equity declined by 1.5 per cent or €0.04 to end the week at €2.66. Throughout the week the bank traded between a weekly high of €2.699 and a low of €2.65. BOV shares’ performance since the beginning of the year stands down by 17 per cent.

HSBC Bank Malta plc was also on the downside with a 1.7 per cent or €0.05 as yesterday the equity succumbed to selling pressure. In fact during yesterday’s session the equity lost a hefty two per cent as it ended the week at €2.87. Similarly to its counterpart, the equity’s year-to-date performance is down by 12 per cent. On Thursday HSBC announced that the board of directors is scheduled to meet on Friday, July 29 to approve the group’s and the bank’s interim accounts for the period ending June, 30 2011 and to consider the declaration of an interim dividend.

Following last week’s flat performance Go plc failed to move higher as the telecoms operator declined by 1.45 per cent or €0.02. Turnover for the week reached nearly €23,000 as activity was spread over three sessions. In fact the equity closed unchanged in the opening and closing sessions of the week while it closed lower mid-week, during which turnover was the lowest.

Meanwhile RS2 Software plc was the most liquid equity this week as 14 deals of 206,200 shares worth just over €109,000 were executed. The IT specialist was active over four trading sessions during which it traded flat at €0.53. Out of the listed equities RS2 is the best performer on a year-to-date basis with a 10.4 per cent gain.

Maltapost plc also traded at last week’s close as one deal of 3,500 shares was dealt during Monday’s session. In fact the postal operator closed just shy of the €1 level as it ended the week at €0.999.

Back to the financial sector Middlesea Insurance plc moved in line with the market as the insurance firm shed one per cent or €0.01 as 12,704 shares were dealt across six transactions, while FIMBank plc edged minimally lower with 0.26 per cent to end the trading week at $0.77.

Following last week’s negative performance Malta International Airport plc closed further in negative territory as the airport operator shed 0.63 per cent or €0.01 to end the week at €1.59.

This article, which was com­­piled by Atlas JMFS Investment Services Limited, does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. Atlas JMFS is licensed to conduct investment services by the MFSA 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 Atlas JMFS at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on Tel: 2122 4410, or e-mail info@atlasjmfs.com.

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