Daily Market Highlights (04.05.12)

  • Local equity market back into positive territory during this morning’s session as the MSE Share Index rose 0.2% higher to 2,978.344 points on the back of BOV’s 1% increase. On the other hand, GO and Lombard traded lower whilst HSBC and MaltaPost closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. MSE Share Index up 0.6% this week following increases in the share prices of the two large banks and the recovery in MIA which offset the weekly declines in GO and FIMBank.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index jumped 0.3% to 990.188 points (the highest weekly increase in 2012) which is just below the 2012 high of 990.293 registered on 3 February. This week’s upturn in bid prices is a reflection of the slide in Eurozone yields (touched a new all-time low of 1.599%) on heightened concerns over the region’s sovereign debt and slowing economic growth both in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • This week’s trading activity was focused on BOV shares following last Friday’s interim results publication. The initial positive reaction to the results was short lived as the Bank’s share price dropped by 2.4% yesterday only to partially recover during this morning’s session with a 1% increase to regain the €2.12 level representing a weekly increase of 0.5%. Activity shrunk to only 11,700 shares today but during the four sessions held this week, a total of 236,633 shares traded with a value of €507,652. The equity will trade with the entitlement to the gross interim dividend until Monday 7 May. Further details on half-year results available here.
  • Similarly, HSBC ended the week 2% higher as the equity held on to this week’s earlier gains with a further 1,480 shares trading during this morning’s session at the €2.55 level. Further offers unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • Meanwhile GO slid a further 1.1% today to yet another all-time low of €0.712 on a single trade of 1,918 shares. Coupled with this week’s earlier declines, GO’s equity ranked as the worst performer of the week with a 5.1% weekly drop reflecting concerns over the weak financial performance due to the impact from its investment in Forthnet. The quad-play telecom operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting next Wednesday 9 May. GO’s share price, which plunged by 49.4% and 7.9% in 2011 and 2010 respectively, currently lies 27.4% below its value at the beginning of the year.
  • A single trade of 1,000 Lombard shares was transacted at the €2.40 level representing a 0.8% decline from the previous close. Nonetheless, the bank’s equity ended the week unchanged with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price and highest bids at the €2.32 level.
  • Likewise, MaltaPost shares held on to the €0.96 level on a single deal of 2,226 shares. Few other bids outstanding at the closing price with lowest offers at the €0.98 level. The postal operator generally publishes its half-year results covering the six months ended 31 March by mid-May.
  • MIA’s equity ended the week as the best performer with a 4.2% rise to the €1.72 level. This afternoon, MIA published the April 2012 traffic results revealing a 1.4% increase in passenger numbers to 304,198 representing a record number of passengers for the month of April. The announcement explained that this rise was due to the 3.5 percentage point increase in the average seat load factor to 76.5% which offset the 3.3% drop in seat capacity. Nonetheless, the passenger statistics for the first four months of 2012 still show a 2.6% drop. The airport operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 10 May.