Daily Market Highlights (03.08.11)

  • Following four ‘positive’ sessions, the MSE Share Index closed unchanged today at 3,288.819 points as the only three active equities maintained their previous price levels. Shallow volumes persist in the local equity market as investors prefer to remain on the sidelines in the prevailing European sovereign debt crisis and the political unrest in Libya. Moreover, following the publication of the interim results by Plaza, MIA and HSBC last week, investors now await the half-year financials of another 11 companies having a December financial year-end, including IHI, GO, Middlesea and RS2 Software.  Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Mounting concerns on the sustainability of Italy’s and Spain’s sovereign debt coupled with economic data from the United States once again sent shockwaves through the markets. As a result, international equity markets are in negative territory and the benchmark Eurozone yields dropped further lower to around 2.4%. In line with this the Central Bank of Malta increased Malta Government Stock bid prices aslo pushing domestic sovereign yields lower in the process. Overall, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved marginally higher to a new 28-week high of 985.370 points.
  • Despite the increase in prices, trading across Malta Government Stocks slowed down to just over €2 million (nominal) from yesterday’s €5 million. For the second consecutive session, trading was centred around the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) with over €1.6 million changing hands today. However, the stock again traded below the day’s Central Bank bid price which was initially set at 103.35%.
  • On the equity market, BOV recovered from an intra-day low of €2.68 to close unchanged at the €2.69 level. Five trades totalling 3,650 shares executed today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids still placed at the €2.65 level.
  • HSBC also recouped from an intra-day low of €2.89 to close unchanged at the €2.90 level across two trades totalling 2,000 shares. Other offers outstanding at the closing price with best bids in the market at the €2.84 level. Last week the Bank reported a 19.2% increase in profitability to €32.6 million and the Directors declared an interim gross dividend of €0.082 to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 5 August. Further details available here.
  • The only other active equity, Lombard Bank also held to its previous closing price of €2.58 on volumes of 1,862 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its half-year results on 23 August.