Middlesea proposes reduction in its nominal value

This morning Middlesea Insurance plc published the agenda for the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday 3 May 2011. Amongst the resolutions, the Company is proposing to offset all its accumulated losses on the Profit & Loss Account as at 31 December 2010 amounting to €37,413,505 against the Share Premium Account and the Issued Share Capital which will decline to €687,900 and €19,320,000 respectively. As a result, the nominal value of the shares will be reduced from €0.60 to €0.21 per share. The number of shares in issue will remain unchanged at 92,000,000. The share price of Middlesea Insurance slipped by 5.6% during this morning’s trading session to close at a new 10-month low of €0.85.

Elsewhere in the market, activity remained subdued with the MSE Share Index ending the week 0.8% lower at a fresh five-month low of 3,437.375 points. No equity closed the week in positive territory. This was the tenth consecutive weekly decline registered by the local equity benchmark as investor sentiment has not yet recovered from the recent events in Libya and Japan. On the other hand, international stockmarkets continued to recover strongly with most indices in the developed markets having fully recovered from the sharp declines in the aftermath of the natural disasters in Japan.

Bank of Valletta plc this morning eased another 0.7% back to the €2.901 representing a 1.7% weekly drop. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc was inactive today to closing week unchanged at the €2.93 level.

GO plc held on to the €1.49 level during today’s trading session but closed the week in negative territory for the eleventh successive week. In fact, this equity currently ranks as one of the worst performers since the start of 2011 with a year-to-date drop of 23%.

The equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc dropped 5.1% this week to €1.68 ahead of the Group’s full-year results publication. This morning, Farsons announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Wednesday 20 April to approve the publication of the financial statements for the year ended 31 January 2011.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed in negative territory for the third consecutive week as benchmark 10-year Eurozone yields continued to rise following yesterday’s 25 basis points hike in interest rates by the European Central Bank. The MGS Index is now at a 22-month low of 972.114 points representing a weekly decline of 0.2% and a year-to-date drop of 2.1%.