Daily Market Highlights (04.09.12)

  • Following three consecutive sessions of gains, the MSE Share Index slipped 2.3% lower to 3,045.064 points as HSBc, BOV and GO traded lower. Meanwhile the two other active equities, namely Lombard and MaltaPost, traded unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index dropped 0.1% to 994.881 points as the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker revised its bid prices lower in line with the jump in Eurozone yields to above the 1.40% level. This turnaround materialised after the European Central Bank’s (ECB) President Mario Draghi was quoted as saying that the planned bond-buying programme by the Central Bank of the single currency is within the parameters of the union’s regulations. In turn, this ignited risk appetite amongst investors which switched their focus onto Spanish and Italian bonds pushing their respective yields lower.
  • The share price of BOV tumbled 8.3% lower this morning to close at the €2.155 level thereby reversing most of the recent gains in this equity. Fourteen trades totalling 29,771 BOV shares were executed during this morning’s session. Following today’s downturn, the Bank’s equity moved back into negative territory with a year-to-date decline of 3%.
  • GO also reversed yesterday’s 5.8% jump with an equivalent €0.049 retreat to the €0.85 on volumes of 37,150 shares. Last Friday’s interim results revealed a pre-tax profit of €20.4 million compared to the €14.1 million pre-tax loss registered during the first six months of 2011. The turnaround was due to the €11.4 million gain registered on the exchange of properties between the Group and the Government of Malta in May 2012 and a substantial decline in the impairment from Forthnet. Further details available on results available here. In the meantime, investors await the Directors’ decision on whether to participate or not in Forthnet’s upcoming €30 million rights issue.
  • Similarly, HSBC shares were forced 0.4% lower to close at the €2.74 level on low volumes of 3,600 shares.
  • Lombard Bank shares unchanged at the equity’s multi-year low of €.95 across two trades totalling 2,126 shares. The financials of Lombard were adversely affected by the prevailing unfavourable environment for banks as well as by the negative impact at MaltaPost related to the amendments in the tariffs of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on international mail. Further details on interim results available here.
  • Likewise, MaltaPost shares continued to trade at the equity’s 3-year low of €0.63 across six trades totalling 11,995 shares. The equity of the postal operator currently ranks as the worst performer of the year with a 37% drop. This sharp decline materialised after the Company announced that the downward trend in profitability registered during the first half of its financial year is expected to continue and may worsen in future financial periods until such time as the regulatory framework within which the Company operates is adequately revised.