BOV down 1.8% following offer to Property Fund investors

Following the announcement of yesterday afternoon by Bank of Valletta plc that it will be offering to buy-back the shares of the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund, the share price of BOV closed 1.8% lower today at the €2.75 level after marginally recovering from a new 7-month low of €2.74. Fourteen trades were executed during this morning’s session totalling over 20,500 shares. BOV is offering €0.75 per share to all investors as at 18 August 2008. The price is composed of €0.50 per share for the value of the investors’ Main Pool shares and the Side-Pocket shares and a further €0.25 per share as compensation for the fund’s underperformance in comparison to its peers. Shareholders of the Property Fund have until the 30 June 2011 to accept the offer. The Bank reserves the right to revoke the offer if acceptances received amount to less than 70% of the outstanding shares. In the coming days, the investors eligible to this offer should receive all the relevant documentation together with a detailed explanation of the offer and the reasons behind it. If all investors accept the offer, the Bank will incur a charge of €14.5 million in its income statement.

The Greek telecoms Group Forthnet published its first quarter results of 2011 yesterday afternoon. Forthnet revealed a 3.3% increase in revenue to €102.6 million with the adjusted EBITDA rising by 8.8% to €18.5 million which was mainly driven by the Group’s Telecom Business. This resulted in an EBITDA margin of 18%. The Forthnet Group explained that during the first quarter of 2011 it continued to increase its subscriber base and to add customers that bundle Telecom and PayTV services. The Forthnet Group confirmed that it is in advanced stages of discussions with its lending syndicates in a bid to refinance its maturing stock of debt for 2011 and 2012 and extend the repayment terms beyond 2013. GO plc, which has an indirect investment in Forthnet, today closed unchanged at the €1.37 level on volumes of 3,400 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index today climbed 0.2% higher to 976.969 points as the benchmark Eurozone yields dropped below the 3% level for the first time since mid-January. After hitting a high of 3.51% in mid-April, Eurozone yields sharply dropped back on concerns of the sustainability of sovereign debt (particularly of Greece) and the contagion effects it may have on the other countries in the eurozone. These concerns were reignited this week as the international rating agencies downgraded the credit rating of Greece and warned of other potential downgrades of other countries such as Italy and Belgium.