BOV down 0.8% despite trading cum-div

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc eased lower for the third consecutive session despite still trading with the entitlement to the record final gross dividend of €0.16 per share and the 1 for 9 bonus issue. BOV’s equity retreated by a further 0.8% today to €2.43 on just over 23,000 shares. Notwithstanding the declines over the past three days, BOV’s equity still ended this week 4.5% higher following last week’s preliminary full-year results publication which revealed record after tax profits of just under €75 million.

Malta International Airport plc also shed 1.1% during this morning’s trading session to close the week unchanged at the €1.75 level. Only 3,000 shares traded today with further shares on offer at €1.75. The airport operator is expected to publish the October traffic results sometime next week.

On the other hand, Crimsonwing plc maintained its recent upward trend with a further 2.7% increase to reach a new 20-month high of €0.38 across 15,445 shares. For the second consecutive week, the IT equity ranks as the best performer with a further 18.8% jump reflecting the recent expectations of the CEO David Walsh. In fact, Mr Walsh explained that following a number of new international contracts, the Crimsonwing Group is expected to reach its target of €20 million in revenue and a pre-tax profit of €2 million by the financial year ended 31 March 2014.

GO plc closed unchanged today at the €1.00 level on a single deal of 1,000 shares. This morning, the Company published its Interim Directors’ Statement to update the market on its performance during the third quarter of 2012. During the three months ended 30 September, the Group maintained over 500,000 connections although average revenue per user (ARPU) levels declined largely due to regulatory-induced tariff reductions. Moreover, although the Group is maintaining strict cost controls and is also benefitting from previously adopted cost savings measures (namely the voluntary retirement scheme), the financials for 2012 are expected to adversely impacted by a one-off charge related to the changeover from the legacy mobile network to new infrastructure. As a result, the Group expects 2012 profits to be below the comparable figures for 2011. Nonetheless, the Group is still generating healthy cash levels and holds sufficient cash resources. The announcement also revealed that Forthnet is expected to publish its Q3 results by the end of November whilst the company is also progressing with its plans to increase its capital by €30 million. In this respect, GO’s Directors await the publication of the relevant Prospectus which will enable them to take a decision on whether to participate or not in Forthnet’s capital raising exercise.

The only two other active equities were Middlesea Insurance plc and FIMBank plc which also closed today’s session unchanged.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index again edged marginally higher to 997.433 points representing a weekly increase of 0.2%. This is line with the dip in eurozone yields over the week to around 1.45% as fresh concerns emerged over the region’s sovereign debt crisis, particularly linked to Spain and Greece.

Later this afternoon, the Treasury is expected to publish the statistics in respect of the three new issues following the completion of the tendering process.