Negative start to the New Year

In contrast to the positive movement during 2013, the MSE Share Index kicked-off 2014 on a negative tone with a 0.2% drop to 3,676.861 points.

This morning’s dip was mainly due to the 1% decline in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc back to the €2.575 level on low volumes of 4,899 shares. The share prices of RS2 Software plc and 6pm Holdings plc also closed lower during the initial trading session of 2014. RS2’s equity failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.289 as it slipped back to the €2.25 level during the final stages of today’s session representing a 1.3% decline from last year’s closing price. A total of 9,734 shares traded today. Similarly, 6pm’s share price eased 1.4% lower to the GBP0.69 level on a deal of 3,000 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc inched minimally higher to €2.65 on increased trading activity of 54,769 shares ahead of the 1 for 10 bonus issue cut-off on 14 January.

Island Hotels Group Holdings plc had a volatile session. The equity initially dropped to €0.85 but traded up to the €0.92 level during the dying minutes of today’s session representing a 2.2% increase from the previous closing level of €0.92. 11,000 shares traded today.

Meanwhile, all other six active equities ended the first session of 2014 unchanged. Most notably, GO plc failed to hold on to a new 34-month high of €1.85 to end the session unchanged at the €1.825 level across seven deals totalling 27,568 shares. This afternoon, the telecoms quad-play operator announced that it instructed Forgendo to participate in the rights issue of Forthnet. Forgendo exercised in full its pre-emption rights as an existing shareholder of Forthnet and also exercised its oversubscription rights to the extent required to ensure that Forgendo retains control of Forthnet. GO will be providing half of the required funding (the balance will be provided by Emirates International Telecommunications Malta Limited as the other shareholder of Forgendo) through an interest-free loan. GO will have the option to convert this loan into equity within six months from commencement of trading of the new Forthnet shares. If GO decides not to convert the loan into equity, Emirates International Telecommunications Malta Limited is obliged to repay the loan amount due to GO.

Crimsonwing plc maintained the €0.85 level on activity totalling 15,333 shares.

Similarly, Plaza Centres plc held on to the €0.575 level on low volumes of 4,500 shares and MIDI plc maintained the €0.29 level across three deals totalling 10,500 shares.

The equity of Malta International Airport plc recovered from an intra-day low of €2.149 to end the session unchanged at its all-time high of €2.16 across eight trades totalling 5,275 shares.

The only other active equity was Middlesea Insurance plc with 3,828 shares trading at the €0.90 level.

On the bond market the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index commenced the New Year with a 0.1% increase to 1,019.094 points as Eurozone yields slipped back to the 1.95% level in contrast to the year-end rally.