MSE Share Index up 4.1% in October

The MSE Share Index rose by 4.1% in October (the highest monthly increase this year) to 3,264.182 points as all of the five largest equities by market capitalisation traded higher during the month under review.

Out of the five largest equities, Bank of Valletta plc is the best performer with a 9.9% jump to €2.489 mainly following last Friday’s full-year results publication which revealed a record pre-tax profit of €110.7 million. The Bank’s shares are trading with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.13 per share and to the 1 for 9 bonus share issue. Lower gains were registered in HSBC Bank Malta plc with a 1.1% monthly increase to €2.76 ahead of the Bank’s Interim Directors’ Statement publication by mid-November.

The share price of International Hotel Investments plc also advanced by 5.6% during October. Demand for the equity was sustained following the recent comments by the Group’s Chairman revealing that the sale of the London apartments should be completed in the next couple of months. Similarly, GO plc’s share price registered a 6.2% jump to €1.009 in anticipation of the decision on whether to inject further funds into Forthnet which is seeking to raise fresh capital. The decision has been postponed until Forthnet publishes the relevant Prospectus. Earlier this week, certain international media reports revealed that WIND Hellas Telecommunications S.A. has tabled a bid for the telecoms division of Forthnet S.A.

The shares of Malta International Airport plc only edged 0.6% higher to reach a new 3-month high of €1.77 level. The airport operator is expected to publish the October traffic results next week. During the first nine months of 2012, MIA registered a 4.1% rise in passenger numbers to just below 2.9 million passenger movements. The airport operator is expected to achieve its third consecutive record of passenger movements.

Significant positive performances were also reported among the mid and small cap equities. The outperformer of the month was Crimsonwing plc with a 34.6% jump to €0.35 following the announcement of 3 new international contracts and the forecast of €2 million in pre-tax profits by the next financial year ending 31 March 2014.

The share price of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also climbed by 9.1% on the back of record results for the six months ended 31 July 2012. The Farsons Group reported a 45% increase in profitability to €3.78 million on the back of a continued strong performance by its own brands, Cisk and Kinnie.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slid 0.1% this month to 996.294 points mainly reflecting the downturn in Eurozone yields back below the 1.50% level in the latter part of the month. Initially, benchmark 10-year German Bund yields touched a 4-week high of above 1.66% on the back of the publication of some positive economic data. However, this trend was short-lived as demand for safe haven assets increased following a generally disappointing earnings season as well as continued concerns over Spain, Italy and Greece.

This afternoon marks the closing of subscriptions for the three new Malta Government Stocks. The new stocks and the respective prices are as follows: 3.75% MGS 2017 (IV) FI at 105.00% (YTM: 2.633%); 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) FI at 102.50% (YTM: 3.982%); 4.8% MGS 2028 (I) at 100.75% (YTM: 4.732%). The total aggregate amount on offer is of €100 million subject to an over-allotment option of up to a further €40 million. The Treasury is expected to publish the statistics in respect of these new issues on Friday after the tendering process is completed.