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Following yesterday’s setback, the MSE Share Index closed virtually flat today at 4,477.739 points as the declines in the prices of six equities were offset by gains in another three shares. Overall, trading volumes remained marginally unchanged as nearly €269,000 worth of shares changed hands. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index rebounded by 0.11% to 1,149.757 points – the highest level in nearly five weeks – largely reflecting declining yields of the two largest peripheral countries – Italy and Spain. European finance ministers agreed to unlock a €10.3 billion bailout loan for Greece in exchange for its commitment to spending cuts and higher taxes. In contrast, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield advanced from a low of 0.16% to a high of 0.21% this morning, possibly due to upbeat data showing that business sentiment in Germany unexpectedly rose sharply in May to a nine-month high.

A large portion of today’s trading activity took place in the equity of GO plc. Following yesterday’s drop of nearly 16%, the equity retreated by a further 0.5% to the €2.885 level across 51,250 shares having a market value of €148,000 – representing 55% of the total value of equities traded today. On Monday evening, GO stated that La Société Nationale des Télécommunications (“Tunisie Telecom”) were chosen as the final preferred bidder for acquiring the entire company. Tunisie Telecom will be submitting a voluntary bid for the entire issued share capital of GO at a price of €2.87 per share. GO shareholders will now receive an offer document from Tunisie Telecom containing all the details of the voluntary bid in the coming weeks. GO yesterday confirmed that the voluntary bid will be subject to a minimum acceptance threshold of 60% of the shares and that Emirates International Telecommunications (Malta) Limited, which owns a 60% stake, has subject to certain conditions, irrevocably undertaken to accept the voluntary bid.

In the retail banking sector, both HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc finished lower again today. HSBC retreated by 0.6% to the €1.62 level across 2,000 shares while BOV closed at the €2.22 level (-0.4%) on volumes totalling 15,028 shares. BOV shareholders will receive the recently declared net interim dividend of €0.0254 per share on Friday 27 May.

Malta International Airport plc declined by 1.1% to its lowest level in four months of €4.30 across 3,039 shares. Recently, MIA announced upbeat results for the first three months of the year.

RS2 Software plc managed to recover from an intra-day low of €3.45 to close minimally lower at the €3.499 level. A total of 15,000 shares changed hands today. Last week, RS2 issued an Interim Directors’ Statement whereby the company explained that its US subsidiary, Transworks LLC, managed to secure a sponsorship with a bank which is essential for it to carry out its managed service business in addition to its licence offering. Furthermore, RS2’s wholly owned subsidiary, RS2 Smart Processing Ltd, engaged two new clients for its managed services business, namely a payment service provider (PSP) in Germany and one of the largest acquirers in Europe. The Directors also noted that the Group holds a very healthy business pipeline both in its licencing business and managed services as well as across different regions.

A single deal of just 1,000 shares pulled the equity of Mapfre Middlesea plc 0.5% lower to the €2.20 level.

Insignificant volumes were also traded in the equities of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc and GlobalCapital plc. Farsons recaptured its all-time high of €6.40 (+1.6%) whilst GlobalCapital edged 0.2% higher to the €0.451 level.

Similarly, International Hotel Investments plc gained 3.0% to the €0.649 level across shallow volumes totalling 2,066 shares. Last week, IHI published an Interim Directors’ Statement revealing that it registered improved revenue and operating profit during the first quarter of 2016. The Company will hold its AGM on 9 June. Shareholders as at 27 June will be entitled to a bonus share issue of 3 new shares for every 100 shares held.

Meanwhile, MaltaPost plc closed flat at the €1.92 level across 7,227 shares. The postal operator has recently issued its interim financial statements as at 31 March 2016 showing a net profit figure of €1.11 million, down from €1.64 million in the previous comparable period.

This morning, Plaza Centres plc published an Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that since the start of this year, its financial position remained satisfactory and in line with expectations. Occupancy during Q1 2016 increased to 99% and a high level of occupancy is expected to be maintained throughout the year. Moreover, revenue and EBITDA also increased compared to the first quarter of 2015.

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