Daily Market Highlights (04.03.11)

  • Local equity market closes higher for the first time in eleven sessions. MSE Share Index up marginally to 3,573.925 points as increases in HSBC, MaltaPost and Plaza offset the decline in BOV. Despite today’s uplift, the Share Index still registered the fifth consecutive week of declines with a weekly drop of 1%. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slumped a further 0.4% this morning to a fresh 20-month low of 975.608 points as the benchmark Eurozone yields climbed to 3.32% following yesterday’s comments by the President of the European Central Bank. Mr. Trichet explained that although the ECB kept interest rates unchanged at the historically low level of 1%, an interest rate hike is possible in April due to increasing inflationary concerns.
  • BOV share price down for third consecutive session. Equity drops a further 0.7% during this morning’s session to the €2.899 level representing a 3% weekly drop. Just over 37,100 shares changed hands today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids pitched at the €2.82 level. Earlier this week, 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.
  • Meanwhile HSBC share price up 0.3% to regain the €2.96 despite turning ex-dividend. Nonetheless, the equity still ended the week 0.7% lower. A small deal of 500 shares affected today with further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids pitched at the €2.95 level. 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.
  • Yesterday afternoon, Plaza Centres published its 2010 financials. The 3.1% growth in revenue to over €2 million was eroded by higher operating costs, depreciation and net interest expense. Overall, the Company reported a net profit of €832,700 in line with the previous year’s profitability of €836,783. Despite maintaining last year’s profitability the recommended final net dividend of €0.075 per share (gross: €0.116) is 10.5% below the 2009 final net dividend of €0.084 per share as the payout ratio was reduced from 95% in 2009 to 85% in 2010. Shareholders as at close of trading on 25 March will be entitled to this dividend. Further details on results available here. Positive reaction to results as the equity jumped 18.4% to a new ten-year high of €1.80 across two trades totalling 6,000 shares.
  • This morning, FIMBank also issued its 2010 full-year results showing a significant improvement in profitability from US$2.6 million in 2009 to US$6.7 million in 2010 as the Group cautiously renewed its appetite for business during the year helped by the improvement in emerging market conditions and a steady pick-up in trade flows. The Directors recommended a final net dividend of US$0.0248 per share (2009: US$0.0156) to all shareholders as at closing of trading 25 March which can be taken either in cash or in new shares. Further details available here. Financial results fail to generate any trades in FIMBank shares. In the results announcement, the Group also revealed a group restructuring exercise through the creation of a new holding company. Further details on restructuring available here.
  • MaltaPost’s equity advances by 1.2% this morning to €1.052 as the postal operators’ shares traded for the first time this week. Almost 13,500 shares change hands today with best bids in the market at €1.051 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €1.095 level.
  • On the Alternative Companies List, Loqus Holdings eases minimally lower to the €0.161 level on volumes of 5,075 shares. Yesterday, the IT Group published its Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that the 2010/11 financial year continued to be a challenging one. Nonetheless, the Group’s focus on its local and international clients and on its core activities is producing a relatively positive outlook and encouraging forecasts for the current financial year to 30 June 2011. Further details available here.

Comments are closed.