Daily Market Highlights (01.03.12)

  • MSE Share Index dropped 0.7% to 2,987.54 points after three of the four active equities, including BOV, traded lower. Meanwhile the only other active equity, Middlesea, closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher to 988.856 points following increases in the bid prices of Malta Government Stocks by the Central Bank of Malta.
  • Today marks the opening for subscriptions for the new Corinthia Finance plc bond. The Company yesterday issued a Prospectus in conjunction with the new €7.5 million 6% bond maturing between 2019 and 2022 following approval by the Listing Authority on Monday. Copies of the Prospectus are available here.
  • BOV’s share price only marginally recovered from an intra-day low of €2.15 to close this morning’s session 0.7% lower at the €2.185 level. Fifteen trades totalling 72,700 shares were transacted today with best bids in the market at €2.14 and lowest offers at the €2.19 level.
  • FIMBank also eased 0.3% lower to US$0.745 across three trades amounting to 15,000 shares. The trade finance specialist is scheduled to publish its 2011 preliminary results on 12 March.
  • Also in negative territory was the equity of IHI which slumped 3.9% back to the €0.75 level on low volumes of 2,837 shares.
  • On the other hand, Middlesea Insurance’s equity advanced by 4.4% to regain the €0.71 level on a small trade of 500 shares. On Tuesday, Middlesea Insurance published its 2011 full-year results. The Middlesea Group registered a pre-tax profit of €3.1 million (2010: €6.4 million) as the significant increase in technical results was outweighed by the lower contribution from investments. After an absence of 3 years, the company proposed the payment of a marginal dividend of €0.01 gross per share.
  • HSBC shares inactive today despite still trading with the entitlement to the recently announced final gross dividend. Last Friday, the Bank published its preliminary 2011 financial results revealing a 6.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €88.3 million. The 2011 results were characterised by a number of one-offs such as the sale of the card acquiring business and the €6.9 million unrealised gain from an adjustment in the methodology of the insurance business on the income side and an €11 million charge relating to a voluntary retirement scheme on the costs side. Excluding such extraordinary items, HSBC Malta’s profitability is line with that of 2010. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.072 per share payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 13 March. Further details available here.
  • Yesterday evening, Lombard Bank Malta plc issued an announcement clarifying its position with respect to its largest shareholder, Marfin Popular Bank Public Co. Limited (Marfin), following local press coverage on Marfin’s 2011 financial results which were also published yesterday. Further details available here.