IHI seeking to raise fresh equity

This morning, International Hotel Investments plc issued an announcement to update the market with developments in respect of its plans to raise new equity capital. The Company explained that since the prevailing challenging economic conditions of financial markets impede it to successfully raise new equity capital through a public offering, IHI will be inviting a number of potential investors consisting primarily of sovereign funds and other institutions, to participate in the subscription of new shares through a private placement.

On the secondary market, following last week’s 0.5% drop, the share price of Bank of Valletta plc recovered by 1% to regain the €2.12 level across fourteen trade totalling 48,716 shares.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc maintained last week’s 0.8% rise as 1,350 shares traded unchanged at the €2.52 level. The Bank held its Annual General Meeting last week during which its shareholders approved all the items on the agenda including the final gross dividend of €0.075 per share which will now be paid on Friday 27 April.

The only other active equity during this morning’s session was Middlesea Insurance plc with a single trade of 2,420 shares changing hands at the €0.70 level, unchanged from the previous close.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher to 986.09 points as eurozone yields slid to 1.651% – close to its all-time low of 1.637% (registered on 10 April 2012). Today’s downturn follows fresh concerns over the sustainability of the region’s sovereign debt fuelled by the outcome of the French Presidential election as well as the political instability in the Netherlands after the Dutch government failed to ratify budget cuts in a bid to improve the country’s financial position. The latter also pushed the spread of Dutch debt over the benchmark German bund to the highest in the last three years.

This week, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc will be issuing its January 2012 full-year results on Wednesday while BOV will be announcing its March 2012 interim results on Friday afternoon.