FIMBank’s Exchange Offer to lapse

Shortly after the closing of today’s trading session, FIMBank plc announced that the Exchange Offer launched by FIM Holdings plc will be lapsing as the 80% acceptance threshold is not going to be reached. FIMBank plc had recommended to its shareholders to approve a “share-for-share exchange” with FIM Holdings plc (as approved at the Annual General Meeting held on 5 May 2011) since it believed that this would be in the best interests of the FIMBank Group and its shareholders. Nonetheless, FIMBank informed the market that certain shareholders did not accept the Offer in view that this could prejudice the position of such shareholder/s at this point in time. Therefore, the “share-for-share exchange” will not take place although the FIMBank Board continues to firmly believe in the objectives of the Exchange Offer and will thus seek to re-propose the project at a future date. On the secondary market, FIMBank shares remained inactive for the fourth consecutive session with highest bids placed at US$0.67 and lowest offers at the US$0.80 level compared to the last traded price of US0$.77.

Shallow trading activity persisted across the local equity market this morning. The MSE Share Index eased by 0.2% to close below the 3,300-points level mainly due to a 6% decline in Lombard Bank Malta plc to €2.67 on a single trade of just over 1,000 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2011 half-year results on 23 August.

6pm Holdings plc also slumped 12.5% as 2,877 shares traded at the GBP0.28 level contrasting the recent off-market transaction between three of the larger shareholders who are also Directors of the Company. Alan West Robinson and Stephen Wightman sold a total of 850,609 shares at the GBP0.46 level to Ivan Bartolo in line with the disclosures of the Rights Issue Prospectus dated 28 March 2011.

On the other hand, RS2 Software plc maintained its 8-month high of €0.54 on a single deal of 7,000 shares. Lowest offers are now placed at the €0.55 level.

The only other active equity, Bank of Valletta plc also held on to yesterday’s rise as it closed unchanged at the €2.70 level across seven trades totalling 2,100 shares.

Continued uncertainty ahead of the urgent EU summit being held next Thursday caused further volatility across European markets. Eurozone yields recovered this morning to regain the 2.69% level resulting in a downturn in Malta Government Stock bid prices issued by the Central Bank of Malta. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index, which encompasses all outstanding local Government paper, slid 0.3% lower to 979.184 points.