Daily Market Highlights (01.12.11)

  • Local equity market back into positive territory as the MSE Share Index edged 0.1% higher to 3,177.594 points on the back of marginal increases in the share prices of HSBC and GO. On the other hand, Lombard and Crimsonwing edged lower whilst BOV and RS2 ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed for the third consecutive session with a further 0.5% rise to 977.485 points. This was in line with the sharp retreat in Eurozone yields today to below the 2.30% level following yesterday’s co-ordinated action by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Canada, and the Swiss National Bank to alleviate the liquidity constraints prevailing in financial markets particularly across European banks. International bond yields also dropped today as Spain and France successfully tapped the bond markets this morning. The Spanish government managed to sell €3.75 billion of government bonds although yields increased compared to previous auctions.
  • HSBC closed today’s session marginally higher at the €2.59 level on low volumes of 9,310 shares. Few other offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids now in the market at the €2.58 level. In the Interim Statement published on 15 November, the Bank announced that it will be incurring a one-off charge of up to €10 million relating to restructuring measures, particularly voluntary retirement schemes.
  • A single trade of just 552 BOV shares was transacted today at the €2.50 level representing no change from the previous close. The Bank’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Friday 16 December. During the meeting, shareholders will be asked to approve a number of resolutions including the recommended final gross dividend of €0.08 per share and a 1 for 8 bonus share issue.
  • Meanwhile Lombard Bank’s share price eased 1.1% to the €2.70 level. Two trades amounting to 1,200 shares were executed this morning with offers already placed lower at the €2.65 level.
  • GO closed today’s session 1% higher at €1.01 after new bids helped the equity recover from a new all-time low of €0.995. Further offers outstanding at the closing price whilst best bids now placed at the €0.99 level. On Tuesday, GO issued an announcement confirming that Forthnet S.A. shares listed on the Athens Stock Exchange have been transferred into the “Under Surveillance” segment. The equity was placed under Surveillance due to the total goodwill impairment of €56.9 million that led to losses in Forthnet’s books greater than 30% of the total equity. Further details are available here.
  • Crimsonwing slipped 10% to a new 28-month low of €0.27 possibly due to the loss incurred during the six month ended 30 September 2011 of €19,346. This was revealed in the Interim Results published last Tuesday. Although the company reported a 9.4% increase in revenue to €7.74 million over the same period last year, the increase in direct costs and administration expenses resulted in a decline in Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of 42% to €314,289 (2010: €542,617). Further details available here.
  • MaltaPost plc published its September 11 FY results this afternoon. Pre-tax profits declined by 4.8% to €3.05 million. The Directors recommended the payment of a net dividend of €0.04 per share (unchanged over last year) to those shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 12 December. Once the dividend is approved at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for 17 January 2012, the dividend will be paid on 30 January 2012. As in previous years, shareholders have the option of receiving the dividend either in cash or in new shares at a price of €0.98 per share. During the year, the company purchased its head office which was partly financed by bank borrowings.