Daily Market Highlights (01.03.10)

  • Local equity market recovers some of last week’s 5.7% drop as the MSE Share Index rises 0.9% to 3,653.464 points during this morning’s session. Index lifted by the increases in the share prices of BOV, HSBC and MaltaPost. Meanwhile the two other active equities, GO and IHG, closed unchanged. Weak volumes persist across equities as bonds remain in focus with the newly listed 7% Grand Harbour Marina plc 2017-2020 bonds trading for the first time today and climbing 250 basis points to 102.50%. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Following last week’s 14.5% slide, HSBC edges 2.7% higher to regain the €3.389 level on the last day to gain entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.08 per share. Just over 11,000 shares trade today with few other offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price and best bids now pitched at the €3.35 level. The equity will turn ex-dividend from tomorrow. Last week HSBC published its 2009 accounts revealing a 25.9% drop in pre-tax profits to €71.2 million as net operating income declined by 15.2%. Meanwhile HSBC Malta reported that loans and advances increased by 3.7% to €3.2 billion while deposits edged 1.7% higher to €4.1 billion. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.08 per share for approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010. Further details available here.
  • BOV also recovers some of its recent declines. Share price marginally increases by 0.1% to regain the €3.369 on low volumes of 8,340 shares. The BOV Group is issuing €50 million 4.8% Subordinated Bonds with an over-allotment option of another €20 million due in 2020. Existing bondholders of the maturing 6.15% BOV 2010 Bonds have until next Wednesday 3 March to submit their application to be eligible to switch the redeeming bond into the new 4.8% bonds. Further details available here.
  • Fresh demand for MaltaPost shares lifts the equity 1.3% higher to close at the €0.769 level. Increased volumes of over 58,000 shares change hands today with best bids now placed at €0.72 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €0.77 level.
  • GO maintains the €2.299 level. Only 4,100 shares exchanged today with best bids still in the market at the €2.25 level whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • IHG Holdings also closed unchanged at the €1.01 level on a single trade of 1,000 shares. Last week the Group issued its preliminary profit statement for the year ended 31 October 2009. For comparative reasons, the Group published proforma results for the full-year to 31 October 2009 since the holding company was only registered at the end of July 2009. During the year, the Island Hotels Group registered a 14% drop in turnover to €32.3 million. The Group’s profit before tax during 2009 declined by 33% to €3.3 million (2008: €4.8 million). Despite the decline in tourism in 2009, the Group stated that it registered a comparatively positive set of results mainly due to the mix of business models used by the Group’s portfolio of hotels. The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.012 per share for shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 14 April 2010. Further details available here.
  • The Intermediaries Offer of the 6.25% Corinthia Finance plc 2016-2019 Bonds was this morning closed immediately after opening due to oversubscription. Allocation policy is expected to be announced in the next few days.
  • This morning Loqus Holdings (formerly Datatrak Holdings plc) published its Interim Results for the six months ended 31 December 2009. The Group registered an 8.6% increase in turnover to €1.6 million. Despite the increase in revenue, the IT Group still incurred a €201,238 loss. Nonetheless this is still an improvement over the loss of €434,401 registered in the comparable period ended 31 December 2008. In the Interim Statement, the Directors explained that the Group has been awarded a European Research and Development Fund (ERDF) and two significant Government ICT tenders. Equity inactive today with best bids already placed marginally higher than the last closing price of €0.20.

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