Daily Market Highlights (01.11.11)

  • Local equity market in positive territory for the third consecutive session. MSE Share Index up another 0.2% to 3,159.673 points as HSBC’s 1.1% rise offsets the 0.8% decline in BOV. RS2 Software also moved higher whilst GO and FIMBank ended this morning’s session unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Concerns over the sustainability of Italy’s sovereign debt and the renewed uncertainty generated by yesterday’s decision of the Greek Prime Minister to allow the Greek citizens to decide whether to accept or not the latest bailout package from the European Union through a referendum led to a further sell-off across equity markets and a sharp downturn in eurozone bond yields. Eurozone yields decline from 2.02% to below the 1.80% level. In turn the Central Bank of Malta sharply raised its Malta Government Stock bid prices with the bid price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) up 160 basis points to 102.3%. Overall, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed 0.7% to a 3-week high of 989.690 points.
  • The sell off across foreign equity markets escalated today with Germany’s DAX down 5.9% and the CAC40 5% lower. In the UK, equities are also in negative territory with the FTSE 100 down 3.3%. America markets are also expected to be hit with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 estimated to open 1.7% and 2.3% lower respectively.
  • In contrast to yesterday’s 6.3% jump, BOV today eased 0.8% lower to the €2.53 level possibly due to some profit taking. Thirty one trades executed today totalling 36,618 shares. Last Friday, the Bank published its September 2011 financial results which revealed a 34.3% drop in profitability to €41.7 million. The downturn in the Bank’s profits during the financial year ended 30 September 2011 was mainly due to a €24.9 million fair value markdown in its investment portfolio and a €15 million one-off loss arising from the buy back of shares from investors in the La Valette Multi-Manager Property Fund.  The Directors are recommending a final gross dividend of €0.08 per share to shareholders as at close of trading on 11 November 2011. The Directors also recommended a 1 for 8 bonus issue to shareholders as at close of trading on 9 January 2012. This bonus issue will be funded through the capitalisation of €30 million of reserves. Further details available here.
  • On the other hand, HSBC maintained its positive stance as further bids lifted the equity another 1.1% higher to close at a new 6-week high of €2.72 on volumes of 5,498 shares. Best bids now placed at €2.69 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €2.75 level. During the second week of November, the Bank generally publishes its Interim Statement covering the third quarter of 2011.
  • Share price of RS2 Software up for the second consecutive day as the equity edged another 1.7% higher to regain its 2011 high of €0.60. One trade comprising 7,900 shares executed today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • GO held on to the €1.05 level across one deal of 5,000 shares. Last week, Forthnet announced that its Extraordinary General Meeting has been postponed to 15 December. The Forthnet Directors, however, failed to disclose the reason for the postponement of the EGM which was set to ask shareholders to approve a number of changes in the share capital and a €30 million rights issue.
  • Similarly FIMBank traded unchanged at the US$0.72 level on volumes of 14,000 shares. No further bids in the market whilst lowest offers pitched at the US$0.74 level.