Drop in BOV, HSBC, IHI equities

The share index was dragged 0.6 per cent lower to 4,116.376 points following declines in the share prices of Bank of Valletta, HSBC and International Hotel Investments.

HSBC dropped 2.7 per cent back to the €1.78 level for the first time since mid-March on strong volumes totalling 55,712 shares. The bank is scheduled to publish its interim results on August 3.

Similarly, the equity of Bank of Valletta eased 0.3 per cent lower back to the €2.29,4 level across 16 deals totalling just under 50,000 shares. Last Monday, BOV issued its interim directors’ statement informing the market that its financial performance since April 1 was in line with expectations.

BOV reported strong growth in home loans while customer deposits continued to grow especially in the short-term category resulting in a positive impact on the net interest margin of the bank.

BOV also indicated that commissions earned on the sale of financial products continued to grow while other income generated from foreign exchange transactions and investment portfolio gains improved.

Meanwhile, costs were higher than those of previous years and impairment charges on specific accounts increased reflecting the deteriorating quality of such accounts.

The only other negative performing equity today was International Hotel Investments as it shed 1.2 per cent to move back to the 85c level on a single trade of just over 6,000 shares.

IHI recently announced that holders of an aggregate of 94.28 per cent of the shares in Island Hotels Group Holdings have submitted their acceptance form in connection with the offer made by IHI to acquire the entire issued share capital of IHG. The remaining shareholders of IHG have until July 31 to respond to the offer.

On the other hand, Malta International Airport continued to recover and the equity edged up 0.6 per cent to regain the €3.48 level across 11,860 shares.

The airport operator is shortly expected to issue the June traffic results and the updated passenger forecast for 2015. Meanwhile, the interim financial statements will be published on July 29.

RS2 Software reached yet another all-time high of €2.22,5 representing a 0.2 per cent increase over the previous closing price on volumes of 13,440 shares.

GO also performed positively with a minimal increase to €3.58 on volumes of 10,206 shares.

The telecoms quad-play operator is scheduled to hold an extraordinary general meeting on July 22 in connection with the proposed property spin-off.

Meanwhile, Medserv maintained its all-time high of €2.35,5 as a further 10,100 shares change hands at this level.

The only other active equity during this morning’s session was Mapfre Middlesea which ended today’s session unchanged at €1.67,5 on low volumes of 3,475 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.2 per cent higher to 1,115.297 points possibly reflecting the continued decline in the benchmark 10-year German Bund yield to just above the 0.8 per cent level.

Moreover, the 10-year yields in Spain and Italy, two of the region’s peripheral countries, also retreated today.

Greece’s parliament should be voting today on the austerity measures requested by country’s international creditors whilst the International Monetary Fund wants a large debt relief in order for it to remain part of Greece’s bailout.

Yesterday, 6pm Holdings published a prospectus dated July 8 in connection with a new €13 million bond issue. The 6pm bonds are reserved for shareholders as at the close of trading on June 4.


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