Daily Market Highlights (02.08.12)

  • A fourth consecutive negative day for the local equity market as the MSE Share Index sheds a further 0.5% to 3,082.686 points mainly due to the 5.7% drop in IHI. MIA and Middlesea also in negative territory whilst BOV trades higher. The only other active equity, Plaza, ended the session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased 0.1% lower to 994.242 points as Eurozone yields raced to the 1.40% level. However benchmark yields subsequently eased back to the 1.35% level on renewed scepticism over further stimulus measures by the European Central Bank following the decision by both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England to delay any further measures. This was confirmed a short while ago as the ECB announced that it held its benchmark rate at the historically low 0.75% despite weakening economic growth and the uncertain outlook. Following the ECB decision, German Bund yields dropped below the 1.30% level.
  • This afternoon, Malita Investments plc published its allocation policy with respect to the recent share issue. The Company revealed that it received 1,239 applications for a total of 30.97 million shares compared to the maximum 30 million shares in issue. Malita explained that all applications up to 1 million shares will be satisfied in full. Listing of the shares on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange will take place on Tuesday 7 August with trading expected to commence on Monday 13 August.
  • On the secondary market, the share price of IHI dropped by 5.7% to a new 9-week low on volumes totalling 16,867 shares. The IHI Group still has to announce the date of its half-year results publication.
  • MIA’s share price eased a further 0.1% lower to €1.739 on a single trade of 2,400 shares. The airport operator recently revealed a 13% increase in profits to €4.48 million during the first six months of 2012 and an unchanged net interim dividend of €0.03 per share which will be paid on 10 September. Further details on results available here. MIA is shortly expected to publish its traffic statistics for the month of July.
  • Likewise, Middlesea’s equity retreated by €0.001 to €0.62 across three trades totalling 6,750 shares. The Insurance Group recently published its accounts for the six months ended 30 June 2012 revealing a net profit attributable to shareholders (excluding the 50% interest in MSV Life plc owned by BOV) of €2.79 million compared with a profit of €1.12 million in the first half of 2011. The Directors explained that the increase in profitability was the result of improvements in the pure technical operations of Middlesea Insurance enhanced further by the positive performance of the Group’s investment portfolio, particularly that of the associate company MSV Life plc. Further details available here.
  • On the other hand, BOV’s equity jumped 2.4% to regain the €2.10 level on volumes of just under 2,300 shares with significant buying interest entering the market at the €2.05 level.
  • No trades in HSBC shares despite the entitlement to the interim net dividend of €0.10 per share until tomorrow. Last Friday the Bank issued its half-year financial statements revealing a 5.7% increase in net profit to €34.5 million reflecting the 2.4% increase in net operating income to a record €99.1 million and the significant decline in impairments to €0.8 million which offset the 5.8% increase in the Group’s cost base. The Directors declared a gross interim dividend of €0.10 per share which represents a 22% increase over the June 2011 interim dividend. The dividend is payable on 22 August to all shareholders as at close of trading on Friday 3 August. Further details available here.
  • Plaza shares were active for the first time since the Company’s half-year results publication earlier this week with a single trade of 5,000 shares transacted at the €0.55 level. The half-year financials show a 4.9% increase in revenue to a record €1.12 million while costs declined leading to a record pre-tax profit of €685,013, representing a 9.6% increase from last year’s figure. Occupancy remained high at 91% in spite of an increase of 1,700 sqm in rentable area following the completion of the third extension in March 2011. The Directors noted that occupancy is expected to edge lower in the coming weeks following the termination of a lease of an office tenant occupying a large area. However, negotiations with new tenants for this area are already underway. Looking ahead, the Directors expect the Company to maintain the trend reported in the first half of 2012 during the remained of the year. Further details available here.