Daily Market Highlights (02.03.10)

  • MSE Share Index eases marginally lower to close at 3,651.564 points as declines in BOV and RS2 Software offset increases in the share prices of MIA, Grand Harbour Marina and MaltaPost. Low trading activity persists across most equities as investors remain focused on the bond market with IHI announcing a new €25 million bond issue this morning. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Yesterday’s Intermediaries Offer of the 6.25% Corinthia Finance plc 2016-2019 Bonds was closed immediately after opening due to oversubscription. Allocation policy is expected to be announced in the next few days.
  • Meanwhile IHI today announced the issue of €25 million 6.25% Bonds which mature in 2020 but may be redeemed early between 2017 and 2020. The proceeds are partly earmarked to fund the redemption of the €11.6 million 5% convertible bonds which mature on 29 May 2010. The balance will be mainly used to fully repay an outstanding loan with an international bank. IHI will be giving preferential allocation to the holders of the 5% convertible bonds. IHI will also be giving preferential allotment to its shareholders and bondholders, together with bondholders of Corinthia Finance plc and Mediterranean Investments Holding plc on the respective registers as at Friday 26 February 2010. Further details available here. Meanwhile IHI’s equity was inactive today with further bids in the market at the last closing price of €0.80 whilst lowest offers now placed at the €0.819 level.
  • HSBC closes unchanged at the €3.389 level despite trading ex-dividend. Share price opens 2.6% lower at €3.30 before recovering towards the end of the session. Just over 9,100 shares exchanged today with best bids now placed at the €3.34 level whilst few other offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. 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.
  • Meanwhile BOV ease 0.3% lower to close at €3.359 on volumes of 8,381 shares. Best bids now placed at the €3.311 level whilst further offers remain outstanding at the closing price. The BOV Group recently announced a €50 million 4.8% Subordinated Bond issue with an over-allotment option of another €20 million due in 2020. Existing bondholders of the maturing 6.15% BOV 2010 Bonds have until tomorrow to submit their application to be eligible to switch the redeeming bond into the new 4.8% bonds. Further details available here.
  • MaltaPost edges higher for the second consecutive session on continued high levels of trading activity. Share price regains the €0.77 level on three trades totalling 50,000 shares. Best bids still placed at the €0.72 level whilst further shares remain on offers at the last trading price.
  • MIA moves 1% higher to regain the €3.03 level on volumes of over 1,500 shares. The airport operator this morning announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on 11 March to consider and approve the 2009 financial statements and also consider the declaration of a final dividend.
  • A single trade of 200 RS2 Software shares transacted at the €0.50 level, representing a new all-time low for the equity and a 5.7% drop from the previous close. Best bids still placed substantially lower than the closing price at €0.26 whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • GHM also in positive territory as the share price rises 1.6% to the €1.90 level on a single trade of just 4,300 shares. Best bids still placed at €1.87 with lowest offers pitched at the €1.97 level. In the bond market, bids remaining unsatisfied at 102.50% with lowest offers now placed at 102.75%
  • GO, FIMBank and Middlesea all close unchanged. GO closes at €2.299 on volumes of 2,000 shares. FIMBank trades at the US$1.18 level as 2,600 shares changed hands while only 775 Middlesea shares trade at the €0.75 level.
  • The share price of Loqus Holdings (formerly Datatrak Holdings) increases by 5% to regain the €0.21 level on a single trade of 500 shares. Yesterday Loqus Holdings 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. Moreover the Group managed to concluded a number of important new international signings in the UK and Italy. Further details available here.

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