Positive week on the MSE

The MSE Share Index ended this week in positive territory with a 0.7% rise to 3,346.04 points following twelve weeks of declines. The rise was mainly due to the 3.1% recovery in HSBC Bank Malta plc which regained the €3.00 level for the first time since 24 February 2011. The star performer of the week was undoubtedly Simonds Farsons Cisk plc which climbed 8.2% to recoup the €1.84 level following last week’s announcement of very positive results for the year ended 31 January 2011.

On the other end, GO plc ranks as the worst performer of the week with a 5.6% drop. Investor sentiment towards GO has become increasingly subdued primarily on the back of the recently announced 50% cut in dividend and the growing concerns with respect to the Group’s investment in the Greek telecoms company, Forthnet, which is currently seeking to restructure its debt.

Shortly after market close today, Bank of Valletta plc published its interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2011. The BOV Group reported a slight improvement in net profits and an unchanged interim dividend. Net profits came in at €30.6 million compared to €29.5 million last March on the back of a 9.5% increase in net interest income and a turnaround in the combined share of results from its investments in Middlesea Insurance plc and MSV Life plc from a negative €3.6 million to a positive €3.8 million during the six months under review. These offset the negative fair value movements amounting to €5.6 million and the €3.2 million increase in impairments to €10.4 million reflecting the prevailing economic and political scenario. The Directors declared an unchanged gross interim dividend of €0.0625 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 9 May.

Also this afternoon, MIDI plc published its 2010 financial results revealing a profit after tax of €779,000 against a forecast (published in the Prospectus dated 1 November 2010) consolidated profit after tax of €951,000. The Group explained that the variance in the profit after tax figures is mainly due to an adverse difference in borrowing costs expensed with actual finance costs amounting to €3.5 million compared to a projected interest expense of €3.1 million as a result of a change in the mix of apartments sold in the latter part of 2010 when compared to those forecast. The Directors concluded by stating that these results allow the MIDI Group to look at 2011 with optimism as besides having the first full year of operation of ‘The Point’, the Group will continue to deliver apartments in the T10 block to their new owners apart from the expected launch of 22 new designer apartments overlooking Pjazza Tigne.