Trading activity focused on the bond market

During the start of this shortened trading week, trading activity on the Malta Stock Exchange mainly took place in the bond market. Large trades continued to take place in a number of Malta Government Stocks. This morning the most widely traded were those stocks maturing in 2012 and in 2017. Overall, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally lower on a slight upturn in eurozone yields from last week’s lows.

Meanwhile, on the equity market, the MSE Share Index closed unchanged at 3,159.19 points as the only three active equities all maintained their previous closing prices. Bank of Valletta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €2.60 to maintain the €2.61 level on low volumes of 4,128 shares. Similarly, GO plc closed unchanged at the €1.26 level after recouping from an intra-day low of €1.25 across two trades totalling just under 2,500 shares.

The only other active equity, HSBC Bank Malta plc, traded unchanged at the €2.76 level also on shallow trading activity of 4,540 shares. The Bank is expected to pay its recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.082 per share on 24 August.

Middlesea Insurance plc shares remained inactive in view of the mandatory bid launched by Mapfre Internacional SA. After purchasing 18.3 million Middlesea shares on 29 July 2011 from Munich Re at a price of €0.63 per share, Mapfre International became the majority shareholder in Middlesea (with a shareholding of 50.98%) and in terms of Chapter 11 of the Listing Rules offered to purchase all the issued shares in Middlesea Insurance plc at the offer price of €0.965 per share. Shareholders of Middlesea who were on the company’s books as at close of business on Friday 29 July 2011 will be receiving a copy of the offer document and acceptance form in the coming days. Shareholders have the option of selling their Middlesea shares by completing the acceptance form and submitting this by the close of the acceptance period on Monday 26 September 2011. The offer document is available for download from our website.

Meanwhile, European stockmarkets are trading in negative territory due to slower than expected economic growth in Germany. In fact, the largest economy in the Eurozone grew by just 0.1% during the second quarter of 2011 as opposed to the expected growth rate of 0.5%. The German DAX is currently down 2.5% and the FTSE 100 is trading 1% lower.