Daily Market Highlights (05.01.12)

  • MSE Share Index closes the day lower for the first time in 2012 with a 0.2% drop to 3,098.860 points. Today’s downturn was due to HSBC’s 1.5% retreat which offset the 1% rise in BOV. The four other active equities, including MIA and FIMBank, closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved lower for the third consecutive session with another 0.1% decline to a 2-week low of 985.648 points. Concerns over the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis persist as France managed to sell almost €8 billion of debt but yields on the 10-year auction increased.
  • Meanwhile, this afternoon the Treasury of Malta published its indicative 2012 calendar for new Malta Government Stock issues. The Treasury confirmed that during 2012, total issuance of Malta Government Stocks will amount to a maximum €700 million. The Treasury intends to spread the issuance programme across 4 issues with a concentration during the first quarter of the year. It was also announced that the first MGS offer is intended to be issued in early February while the second offer is expected for late March 2012. Further details available here.
  • HSBC’s equity eased lower for the first time in 2012 with a 1.5% drop to the €2.551 level across two trades amounting to only 1,600 shares. Recently the Bank announced that its Board of Directors approved a cost savings plan in order to mitigate the expected slowdown in business during 2012. The profit from the sale of the Bank’s card acquiring business for €11 million which was announced earlier this week should offset some of the one-off restructuring costs of circa €10 million.
  • Meanwhile BOV advanced for the third successive session as the equity edged 1% higher to regain the €2.56 level ahead of the 1 for 8 bonus issue cut-off date next Monday 9 January. Over 19,000 shares changed hands today. BOV’s equity will trade ex-bonus as from Tuesday 10 January.
  • Following yesterday’s 3.7% plunge, Lombard Bank today traded unchanged at the €2.60 level on low volumes of 900 shares. Further offers at the closing price remain unsatisfied whilst best bids now in the market at the €2.501 level.
  • Similarly, FIMBank ended this morning’s trading session unchanged at the US$0.77 level across two trades totalling 3,409 shares. Offers already placed lower at US$0.769 with no bids in sight. Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, FIMBank announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to hold a meeting on 12 March to consider and approve the group’s financial statements covering the twelve months ended 31 December 2011.
  • A further 21,000 MIA shares exchanged at the €1.70 level with further bids outstanding at the last traded price. Earlier this week, MIA announced that during 2011 the company registered a record 3.5 million passenger movements representing a 6.5% increase over 2010 which was also a record year. Looking ahead, the new CEO Mr. Klaushofer explained that MIA is expecting a challenging year ahead, especially in so far as seat capacity is concerned. Nonetheless the CEO also indicated that 2012 will be an eventful year with the inauguration of the SkyParks Business Centre and the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Terminal building.
  • A press release issued by Camper & Nicholsons confirmed that Grand Harbour Marina plc sold a 40 metre super-yacht berth for an undisclosed sum. This is the third berth sale in recent months following the two 30-metre berths sold in March and September.