GO plc tumbles 5% to record low

GO plc’s share price fell 5% to close at an all-time low of €1.14 over 9,000 shares. Meanwhile the Greek telecoms Group, Forthnet, in which GO and Emirates International Telecommunications jointly own 41.27%, also plunged to an all-time low of €0.20. Forthnet announced this morning that it decided to raise €30 million in capital. The proposal has to yet be approved by shareholders during an Extraordinary General Meeting scheduled for 27 October. The capital increase will see the nominal value of each common share of the company increase from €1.18 to €4.72. At the same time, the company will consolidate its shares four for one which will in turn reduce the share capital of the company by €171.8 million, lowering the nominal value of the shares to €0.30 per share – in order to create a special reserve of an equal amount. Finally, the share capital of the company will increase in cash, by an amount of €11.7 million through a rights issue of 38.9 million new shares, at a ratio of one new share for every share held, each having a nominal value of €0.30.

Despite the downturn in GO’s equity, the MSE Share Index closed 0.02% higher at 3,079.527 points after index heavy-weight Bank of Valletta plc rose by 0.8% to €2.52 over a mere 600 shares. Malta International Airport plc’s share price also recovered 1.3% to the €1.53 level over 5,040 shares. Local postal operator, Maltapost plc, edged 1% higher to €0.979 over 40 shares.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc traded unchanged at its 2-year low level of €2.60. 10,166 shares were exchanged across 6 trades.

International stock markets took a battering as fears over the global economy roiled markets following pessimistic comments from the US Federal Reserve. On the other hand, bond prices rallied with the 10-year German bund yield plunging to a record low of 1.665%. Investors who were hopeful that the Fed’s much-anticipated “Operation Twist” will bolster risk appetite were sorely disappointed. The move was expected, but the Fed’s statement of the rationale behind it was stark: There were “significant downside risks” to the US economy. It seems the market doesn’t believe Operation Twist is enough to kick start the spluttering economy. Concern was increased when HSBC’s China Flash PMI showed the factory sector shrank for the third consecutive month in September, pointing to a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. The worries about economic fundamentals are being exacerbated by the lingering Eurozone sovereign debt crisis as discussions between Athens and the lending troika over the next tranche of Greece’s bailout package drag on. In line with the decline in German yields, the Central Bank of Malta stockbroker raised the bid prices of Malta Government Stocks further. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.2% higher to 995.561 points. The price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 rose by a further 44 basis points to 103.44%.