Further gains for Middlesea shares

Following last week’s 15.3% rise, the share price of Middlesea Insurance plc climbed a further 1% this morning to close at the €0.99 level. The recent rally in Middlesea’s equity came in response to the announcement that Mapfre Internacional is currently seeking regulatory approval to acquire Munich Re’s 19.9% shareholding to become the single largest shareholder in Middlesea with a stake of 50.98%. Should this be approved by the MFSA, Mapfre will be forced to make a mandatory bid for all other shares of Middlesea. Bank of Valletta plc, which currently holds 31.08% of Middlesea, have already announced that they will not be accepting Mapfre’s bid and looks forward to working with Mapfre to further strengthen the operations of both Middlesea and MSV Life p.l.c. The prices of the transactions between Mapfre and Munich Re and also the mandatory bid price have yet to be disclosed to the market.

Bank of Valletta plc’s equity also started the week on a positive note. Fresh demand for BOV shares emerged since today was the last day to gain entitlement to the recently declared net interim dividend of €0.0406 per share. BOV’s share price edged 1.4% higher this morning to regain the €2.84 level on volumes of 11,500 shares with substantial bids remaining unsatisfied at last week’s close of €2.80. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc closed unchanged at the €2.95 level across ten trades totalling just over 17,000 shares.

The share prices of International Hotel Investments plc, Malta International Airport plc, GO plc and RS2 Software plc also closed the day unchanged. High volumes totalling 73,000 IHI shares changed hands today at the €0.70 level whilst MIA maintained the €1.65 level on volumes of 8,208 shares. After closing in negative territory for the fifteenth consecutive week, GO plc held on to the €1.29 level on low volumes of 2,800 shares. Meanwhile, the IT Company continued to trade at the €0.50 level ahead of the cut-off date for the net dividend of €0.032 per share. RS2’s equity turns ex-dividend on 11 May.

The only other active equity, Lombard Bank Malta plc, closed in negative territory as its share price eased 0.2% lower to €2.929 on a single trade of just 954 shares.

Today marks the opening of subscriptions for the new Malta Government Stock Issues. The two fixed rate stocks, namely the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) and the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I), are both being offered at 100.75%. Further details and copies of the Prospectus and application forms available at https://rizzofarrugia.com/news-events/2011/pricing-of-new-malta-government-stocks-4/.