Daily Market Highlights (05.08.2011)

  • MSE Share Index closes in negative territory for the second consecutive session as the rise in BOV and Lombard failed to offset the declines incurred by index heavy-weights HSBC and IHI. The local index edged 0.09% lower today to close at 3,269.236 points. Despite the declines registered in the past two sessions, the MSE Share Index recovered by 1.4% this week to close in positive territory for the first time in five weeks. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary .
  • World stock markets fell for the eighth straight session on Friday to the lowest since late 2010, with more losses feared if policymakers do not come to the rescue soon to stabilise the euro zone’s debt crisis and prevent the U.S. economy from sliding back into recession. As a result, investors turned to safer assets which led to further declines in the benchmark 10-year German bund yield. In line with this, the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker revised its Malta Government Stock bid prices upwards with the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index adding 0.6% this week to close at 987.504 points – a level last seen on 19 January 2011. However although the indicative bid price in the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) rose to 103.44%, the market price only advanced by 27 basis points to 102.97%.
  • Yesterday afternoon the European Central Bank announced that it left its main interest rate unchanged at 1.5% as it weighs responses to the escalating Eurozone debt crisis. The decision, which was widely expected, followed two increases in official borrowing costs earlier this year – most recently in July. Also yesterday afternoon, the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and kept the option of more quantitative easing up its sleeve should the economy weaken further.
  • On the equity market, BOV recovered yesterday’s decline as it edged 0.4% higher to close the week at €2.69. The Bank’s equity has recovered by 3.9% this week. A further 12,000 shares remain on offer at the €2.689 level with best bids at €2.65.
  • HSBC’s equity closed the day 0.3% lower at €2.89 after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.80. HSBC’s share price closed the week 3.2% higher following last Friday’s announcement of a 19.2% increase in profitability to €32.6 million. Today was the last day for investors to gain entitlement to the interim gross dividend of €0.082. Further details available here.
  • MIA’s share price failed to trade this morning despite the positive July traffic statistics published by the Company revealing a 3.4% increase in passenger movements to a record high of 415,780 passengers during the month. Further details available here.
  • IHI’s was active for the second consecutive session today dropping by a further 1.3% to €0.78 on volumes of over 11,960 shares. IHI was the worst performer of the week with a decline of 3.7%.
  • Lombard Bank’s share price continues to advance rising by 3.5% to close at the €2.69 level on activity of 17,813 shares – representing a weekly rise of 4.9%. The Bank is scheduled to publish its half-year results on 23 August.
  • Middlesea Insurance plc announced this afternoon that it was informed by Mapfre Internacional S.A. that it will proceed to issue a Mandatory Bid to the shareholders of Middlesea following the acquisition of a controlling interest in the company, in terms of Chapter 11 of the Listing Rules. Further details available here.