GO share price advances following property transfer

Following yesterday’s Annual General Meeting and the announcement regarding the transfer of properties which will result in a gain of €11.4 million in the income statement during 2012, the share price of GO plc advanced by 2.7% to close at €0.75 on increased volumes totalling 28,582 shares. Yesterday, GO announced that Parliament has approved the transfer of properties between GO and the Government of Malta involving the exchange of eleven properties which mainly consist of telephone exchanges. On the other hand, GO will transfer back to the Government the full ownership and all rights pertaining to or on the land situated in Qawra valued. During yesterday’s Annual General Meeting, GO plc also announced that it set up a new holding company for the various properties it owns including the former head office which has now been vacated. This Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called, Malta Properties Company Limited, has a property portfolio valued at €50 million. The Board of Directors will be seeking advice on the best way to extract value from such properties.

Across the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc traded lower while Bank of Valletta plc held on to the €2.12 level despite trading without the entitlement to the interim dividend. HSBC’s equity edged 3.1% lower to close at the 2012 low of €2.50 on weak volumes totalling 3,500 shares with Lombard Bank extending yesterday’s losses with a drop of a further 0.4% to a new 75-month low of €2.37 on a single trade of 6,064 shares. The drop in Lombard’s equity is possibly as a result of the sharp drop in profits registered at Maltapost plc, which is a subsidiary of Lombard Bank.

Earlier on today, Malta International Airport plc held its Annual General Meeting during which all resolutions were approved including the final net dividend of €0.04 per share which will be paid on 24 May 2012. The airport operator announced that the SkyParks Business Centre is expected to be inaugurated with an occupancy level of 70%. This includes AirMalta plc which earlier on this week confirmed that it will be moving to the new business centre for a 5-year period.

Meanwhile, FIMBank plc is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting later on today.

On the local bond market front, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher to close at 990.096 points as the Central Bank of Malta adjusted the bid prices higher despite the recovery in the Eurozone yields to the 1.54% level from yesterday’s all-time low of 1.51%. Heavy trading activity continued to take place across a number of Malta Government Stocks.