Daily Market Highlights (02.12.11)

  • Declines in HSBC, GO and Farsons forced the MSE Share Index 0.1% lower to 3,115.438 points during this morning’s session. The only other active equity was BOV which closed 0.4% higher. Over the week, the local equity benchmark retreated by 0.4% mainly due to the declines in HSBC (-0.8%), GO (-3.9%) and MIA (-1.2%). Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index rose by 0.3% to 980.626 points representing a weekly increase of 1%. This reflects the decline in Eurozone yields from over 2.30% to just below the 2.2% level as confidence across the region was somewhat restored following the coordinated action by several central banks to support liquidity particularly across European Banks as well as the successful bond auctions launched by France, Spain and Italy.
  • HSBC’s equity edges 0.4% lower to drop back to its 29-month low of €2.58 on volumes of just over 7,400 shares. Further bids unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers at the €2.60 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.
  • On the other hand, fresh bids helped BOV’s share price rise by 0.4% to regain the €2.51 level across twelve trades totalling 18,450 shares. 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.
  • GO tumbled to a new all-time low as just over 30,000 shares changed hands at the €0.95 level. However, the equity partially recovered by the end of the session to close at the €1.00 level representing a daily decline of 1% and a weekly drop of 3.9%. In total, 33,157 shares changed hands today with further offers unsatisfied at €1 and highest bids pitched at €0.951. 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. Moreover, this morning Forthnet announced that it will be making submissions in reply to a complaint presented by OTE to the Hellenic Competition Commission. The complaint questions the legality of some exclusivity agreements between Forthnet and a number of nationwide-broadcasting stations.
  • A small deal of 700 Simonds Farsons Cisk shares transacted at the €1.80 level representing a 0.6% drop from the previous close. Other offers unsatisfied at the closing price with highest bids at the €1.71 level. Earlier this week, the Farsons Group Chairman Louis Farrugia confirmed that the new €12.5 million brewery and water treatment facility will be completed “on time and within budget”.
  • Yesterday, MaltaPost published its September 11 FY results revealing a 4.8% decline in pre-tax profits to €3.05 million as the higher costs outweighed the further growth in revenue. Nonetheless, the Directors recommended an unchanged net dividend of €0.04 per share 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. Further details available here. Results failed to generate any trades today as the equity remained inactive today with offers already placed lower at the €0.975 level whilst best bids still pitched at the €0.955 level.