Daily Market Highlights (03.03.11)

  • Tenth consecutive session of declines for the equity market as the Libya debacle and BOV’s downgrade deters investors. MSE Share Index drops a further 0.3% to 3,572.871 points as BOV’s 1.7% decline outweighs the increases in the share prices of GO and MIA. Meanwhile HSBC and Island Hotels Group close unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The bonds of Mediterranean Investments Holding plc continued to trade below the 90% level. However it is noteworthy to highlight that the 7.5% MIH 2015 recovered sharply from 80% to the 89% level. The rest of the active bonds were fairly stable with the Sterling tranche of the 7% MIDI plc 2018 bonds easing 150 basis points to 105% and the 7.15% Melita Capital plc 2016 moving marginally higher to close at the par level.
  • The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped 0.3% lower to 979.589 points as the benchmark Eurozone yields strongly recovered to surpass the 3.20% level. The recent MGS issues were admitted to listing today with trading expected to commence as from tomorrow. The bid price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 slumped 66 basis points today to 101.81% compared to the issue price of 101.50%. This afternoon the European Central Bank maintained rates at a record low of 1% but the ECB President warned of a possible hike next month due to inflation expectations.
  • BOV’s equity drops 1.7% this morning to €2.92 after Fitch downgraded the Bank’s rating from ‘A-‘ to ‘BBB+’ due to the concentration risk embedded in the Bank’s loan portfolio. The international credit rating agency also noted that loan impairment charges are expected to remain higher than in the past, weighing down the Bank’s operating profit. Nonetheless, the rating agency stated that BOV still boasts satisfactory profitability, sound liquidity and funding position, adequate capitalisation as well as its position as the largest bank in Malta. Over 38,500 shares changed hands today with further bids unsatisfied at the closing price and lowest offers now pitched at the €2.96 level.
  • Meanwhile HSBC closes unchanged at the €2.95 level on increased volumes of 65,874 shares. Equity trades ex-dividend as from tomorrow. The final gross dividend of €0.077 per share will be paid on 21 April following approval by the shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting to be held on 7 April.
  • GO marginally recovers from its recent declines as the equity inches 0.6% higher to regain the €1.77 level. Three trades totalling 8,000 shares executed this morning with further bids outstanding at the last traded price and lowest offers in the market at the €1.78 level. The quad-play telecom operator still has to announce the date of the 2010 full-year results publication. Likewise, GO’s Greek investment, Forthnet, still has to announce the date of the release of its financial results.
  • MIA also in positive territory as its share price advances by 2.1% to the €1.735 level across five trades totalling 9,680 shares. Best bids in the market at €1.71 whilst lowest offers placed at the €1.75 level. The airport operator is shortly expected to publish the February traffic results ahead of the 2010 accounts publication on 17 March.
  • The only other active equity, Island Hotels Group, closed unchanged at the €0.997 on volumes of 1,000 shares.
  • On the Alternative Companies List, Loqus Holdings dropped 4.7% to close at €0.162 on a single trade of 2,694 shares. This afternoon the IT Group published its Interim Directors Statement. The Directors explained that despite yet another challenging period, a relatively positive outlook and encouraging forecasts for the coming financial year are emerging. During the period under review the Group was awarded the Fisheries Information Solution whilst it continued to pursue research and product development. Further details available here.

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