GO plc stumbles to a new all-time low

During this morning’s trading session on the Malta Stock Exchange, GO plc’s share price dropped by 5.6% to a new all-time low of €0.85 across four trades totalling 14,200 shares. Shareholders still await an update from Forthnet in view of the upcoming deadline by its bankers to raise €30 million by tomorrow. Earlier this month Forthnet’s shareholders rejected all the resolutions, including a €30 million rights issue, on the agenda of an Extraordinary General Meeting.

HSBC Bank Malta plc and FIMBank plc also closed in negative territory as the two equities eased marginally lower on low volumes to close at €2.559 and US$0.765 respectively. Meanwhile Bank of Valletta plc maintained the €2.25 level across five trades totalling 12,366 shares. Last Friday, BOV published its Interim Directors’ Statement covering the first quarter of its 2011/12 financial year. During the period under review, characterised by a continued slowdown in demand for credit, uncertain market conditions resulting in lower fees and commission income and lack of confidence in Eurozone sovereign debt and banking sectors, the Bank registered a net profit similar to that reported in the previous comparable period. Further details available at http://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/interim-directors-statement-2012-bov02/.

On the other hand, Malta International Airport plc edged 0.5% higher to €1.749 on volumes of 8,300 shares. Last week, the airport operator announced that it forecasts a 2.8% drop in passenger movements during 2012 to 3.4 million on the back of the expected decline in demand for travel and the reduction in cruise liner calls in the ‘Cruise & Fly’ operation. These will offset the new routes to be introduced by Air France and Ryanair. Nonetheless, the Company’s 2012 forecast is still 3% higher than the previous record registered in 2010.

Also last Friday, Island Hotels Group Holdings plc (IHG) announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on 23 February to consider and approve the Groups accounts for the financial year ended 31 October 2011. In the announcement, Island Hotels provided a review of the trends experienced during their last financial year. The announcement reveals that the Group results for the financial year ended 31 October 2011 will be similar to those of the previous financial year when a loss of €649,693 was registered. The Group is expected to report an operating profit but will declare an overall net loss before tax after accounting for depreciation and finance costs.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to a new 12-week high of 989.019 points reflecting the downturn in yields which are currently around the 1.79% level following last Friday’s downgrade of five Eurozone countries, including Spain and Italy, by Fitch. Moreover uncertainty still looms over the Greek debt restructuring talks.

Subscriptions for the three new government stocks announced last week open next Wednesday 1 February and close on Friday 3 February. A total of €300 million will be on offer across the following stocks: (i) 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) (Fungibility Issue) at 103.75%; (ii) 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) at 100% (par) and (iii) 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) (Fungibility Issue) at 101.75%.