Mapfre seeks majority control of Middlesea

Middlesea Insurance plc’s share price climbed 9.4% to €0.93 as the market reacted positively to the announcement on Friday evening that Mapfre Internacional agreed to buy Munich Re’s 19.9% shareholding in Middlesea at a price which so far remain undisclosed. Following this acquisition, which is still subject to regulatory approval, Mapfre will increase its shareholding in Middlesea to 50.98% triggering a mandatory bid for the remaining shares whereby all other shareholders in Middlesea will become entitled but not obliged to sell their shareholding to Mapfre at the Mandatory Bid price which still has to be determined. Bank of Valletta plc, which currently holds 31.08% of Middlesea, has agreed with Mapfre that it will not tender its shares under the Mandatory Bid. The announcement also reveals that Mapfre is in discussions with the relevant authorities to allow the shares to remain listed on the Official List of the Malta stock Exchange.

The MSE Share Index closed in positive territory for the third consecutive trading session as it edged a further 0.7% higher to 3,368.066 points on the back of the gains in Middlesea and the mild recovery in the share price of the two large banks. Bank of Valletta plc edged 0.4% higher to regain the €2.89 level following last Friday’s interim results publication. The financial statements reveal a net profit of €30.6 million compared to €29.5 million in the previous comparable period. Moreover the Directors declared the payment of an unchanged interim dividend amounting to €0.0625 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 9 May. Further demand also lifted the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc by 1.3% to the €3.04 level across 20,280 shares.

On the other hand, GO plc’s share price lost further ground touching yet another new all-time low of €1.325. The equity marginally recovered by the close of today’s session but still ended 1.4% lower than the previous closing price at €1.33 on volumes of over 68,000 shares. Equity turns ex-dividend as from next Thursday 5 May.

RS2 Software plc also retreated by 3.7% back to the €0.50 level on significantly high volumes of 123,000 shares. Further bids remain unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers still pitched at the €0.60 level ahead of the recently extended dividend cut off date of 10 May.