GO’s share price drops 1.4%

During the last trading session of the week, GO plc’s share price dropped 1.4% back to the €0.838 level across four trades totalling 4,790 shares. Today’s downturn was possibly due to the increased losses announced by Forthnet SA yesterday. The Greek telecommunications group yesterday revealed that during 2011, it registered a 23.5% increase in adjusted EBITDA to €80.3 million on the back of a 1.4% increase in revenue to €415.6 million coupled with improved operational efficiencies. However, Forthnet incurred a €128.5 million goodwill impairment resulting in a reported negative EBITDA of €52.8 million compared to the positive EBITDA of €45.7 million in 2010. Moreover, the Greek company announced that after the shareholders rejected a €30 million rights issue during an Extraordinary General Meeting held in January, the company’s management is currently in discussions with its bankers to obtain the necessary waivers on its bank covenants.

The only other two active equities today were Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc which both traded higher as fresh bids entered the market. BOV’s share price advanced by 1.4% to the €2.15 level on volumes of just over 10,800 shares. Similarly, HSBC’s equity also rose 1.4% to regain the €2.635 level across four trades totalling 10,400 shares. Investors have until next Tuesday 13 March to gain entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.072 per share.

Plaza Centres plc was inactive today despite yesterday’s full-year results publication, the announcement of a dividend and also a 3-for-1 share split. During 2011, the Company registered a 6.6% rise in revenue to €2.2 million following the completion of the third extension in March 2011 which increased rentable area by 1,700 square metres. The profit after tax increased marginally to €835,461 and likewise the Directors recommended a marginal increase in the final net dividend of €0.0754 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 18 April.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped by 0.3% this week to a new 6-week low of 985.638 points although benchmark eurozone yields remained under pressure in the run up to the Greek debt swap deal deadline. The longer-dated Malta Government Stocks continued to see high trading activity with prices closing the week sharply lower.