No reaction to major announcements

During this morning’s trading session on the Malta Stock Exchange, there was hardly any reaction following the two major announcements issued yesterday evening.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc remained inactive due to lack of offers in the market despite yesterday’s announcement revealing the Group’s vision for the frontage of the Mriehel site. Chairman Mr Louis Farrugia explained that the Directors are planning to transform the 23,000 square metre parcel of land into a high quality destination to be known as the ‘Farsons Business Park’. This development will take place in a phased manner over a number of years. The development is envisioned to include a Farsons Visitors’ Centre in connection with the old brewery, a business centre, restaurants and bars as well as a car park.

FIMBank plc announced the start of the takeover process by Burgan Bank and United Gulf Bank. This included the transfer of 52,948,867 shares from Massaleh Investments K.S.C.C. to Burgan (35,000,000 shares) and UGB (17,948,867 shares). Burgan and UGB now hold 24.49% and 12.56% of FIMBank’s issued share capital respectively. Furthermore, UGB and FIMBank signed the ‘Convertible Loan Agreement’ by virtue of which UGB lent USD60 million, divided into two equal tranches, to FIMBank plc. Nonetheless, only a trade of 2,800 shares was transacted during this morning’s session at the USD1.021 level representing no change from the previous close.

Similarly, 50,000 Middlesea Insurance plc shares traded unchanged at the €0.82 level across five trades. RS2 Software plc also ended this morning’s session unchanged at the €1.25 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.239 on volumes of more than 37,500 shares.

No change was also registered in the share price of Plaza Centres plc which maintained the €0.57 level on just 901 shares with fresh demand entering the market at €0.55 during the final stages of the session.

On the other hand, Bank of Valletta plc’s equity eased by 0.8% to €2.27 on low volumes of 9,891 shares. Similarly, 6pm Holdings plc retreated by 3.2% to the GBP0.61 level on a trade of 13,500 shares. The declines in BOV and 6pm led to a 0.2% drop in the MSE Share Index for the second consecutive session to 3,425.428 points.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved lower for the fourth consecutive session with a further 0.1% decline to a fresh 11-week low of 1,017.859 points. This is in line with the continued rise in Eurozone yields to just below the 1.7% level on the back of further selling pressure across the bond market following the indication from the US Federal Reserve that it is ready to start trimming its USD85 billion monthly bond buying programme and to end it by mid-2014 in view of the growth seen in the US economy.