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  • Local equity market in positive territory for the first time this week as the MSE Share Index edged 0.2% higher to 3,114.250 points on the back of increases in the share prices of BOV and MIA. On the other hand, MaltaPost edged 1% lower whilst Lombard and GO closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed 0.2% higher to a new 2011 high of 988.497 points as Eurozone yields this morning slipped closer to the 1.80% level in anticipation of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monthly monetary policy meeting and debt auctions by Italy and Spain. Benchmark yields recovered by the afternoon as both Italy and Spain had to pay less in their respective bond auctions. Furthermore, after two consecutive interest rate cuts in November and December, the ECB this afternoon announced that it will maintain rates at the historically low 1% following some encouraging economic data from Germany and France. Nonetheless, various analysts indicated that the ECB might need to intervene again in the coming months.
  • MIA’s share price closed 1.2% higher at a new 2-month high of €1.72 on a single trade of 5,000 shares. Today’s upturn follows last week’s announcement by the airport operator which revealed that during 2011 passenger movements grew by 6.5% to 3.5 million. Moreover, this week Ryanair announced that it will be introducing seven new routes as from May 2012 in addition to the existing 21 routes already serviced by the airlines. The deputy CEO of Ryanair, Michael Cawley, further explained that with these 28 routes the airline expects to carry 1 million passengers per year to and from Malta as from 2013.
  • BOV also edged 0.4% higher to regain the €2.29 level across six trades totalling 9,522 shares. Other offers unsatisfied at the closing price with best bids placed at the €2.28 level. Today marks the settlement date for the 1-for-8 bonus share issue. The additional 30 million shares were listed this afternoon.
  • GO unchanged at its all-time low of €0.89 on volumes of just over 15,000 shares. Following the 49.4% drop registered in 2011 and the 9.2% slump in the first few trading sessions of 2012, GO now ranks as the sixth largest company on the local equity market with a market cap of €90.2 million compared to fourth place as at the end of 2009. This reflects the uncertainty surrounding the Group’s indirect investment in Forthnet which is currently facing financial difficulties. In fact, Forthnet is scheduled to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting tomorrow seeking shareholders’ approval on a number of changes to its capital structure and a €30 million rights issue in line with the conditions of its restructured debt.
  • MaltaPost only managed to partially recover from an intra-day low of €0.97 to close 1% lower at the €0.99 level across two trades totalling 10,591 shares. The postal operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting next Tuesday 17 January. During the meeting shareholders will be asked to approve the final net dividend of €0.04 per share and the option to take the dividend in the form of new shares at the attribution price of €0.98 per share.
  • The only other active equity, Lombard also closed unchanged at the €2.60 level on a single trade of 1,100 shares. Further offers unsatisfied at the closing price while best bids placed at the €2.56 level.

 

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