Daily Market Highlights (05.12.11)

  • Local equity market again in negative territory following two weeks of declines. The MSE Share Index slid a further 1% to a new 3-week low of 3,083.922 points as the four active equities traded lower during this morning’s session. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker raised its Malta Government Stock bid prices for the fifth consecutive session as eurozone yields eased further back to the 2.18% level. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 981.653 points. Today, the retail tranche of the 5.2% MGS 2031 (I) started trading and although the indicative bid price quoted by the Central Bank in this stock was set at 101.63%, the price on the secondary market shot up to 102.50% on high activity totalling €723,800 (nom). This reflects the high demand for long-term Malta Government Stocks.
  • Today marks the opening of subscriptions by tender for the first MGS Switch Auction whereby holders of the 5.7% MGS 2012 (III) may bid to switch into the new 4.3% MGS 2016 (IV). The Treasury will exchange up to €200 million (nominal). The subscription period ends tomorrow at 2pm. Further details available here.
  • Further selling pressure emerged in HSBC shares today following the 4.1% drop registered in the previous two weeks. Equity drops a further 1.2% to €2.55 – a new 29-month low. Seven trades totalling 27,000 shares transacted today with bids already placed higher at €2.56 and lowest offers at the €2.58 level. In the Interim Statement published on 15 November, the Bank announced that it will be incurring a one-off charge of up to €10 million relating to restructuring measures, particularly voluntary retirement schemes.
  • Similarly, after declining by 5.7% over the past two weeks, GO’s equity tumbled a further 5% today to close at its all-time low of €0.95 (across 18,845 shares) as investors remain wary of the Group’s indirect investment in Forthnet. Last week, GO issued an announcement confirming that Forthnet S.A. shares listed on the Athens Stock Exchange have been transferred into the “Under Surveillance” segment due to the total goodwill impairments of €56.9 million that led to losses in Forthnet’s books greater than 30% of the total equity. Further details are available here. Investors now awaiting the outcome of the Extraordinary General Meeting scheduled to be held on 15 December during which Forthnet shareholders will be asked to approve a number of changes including a €30 million rights issue.
  • BOV also in negative territory today as the Bank’s share price eased 0.4% back to the €2.50 level on volumes of 5,962 shares. Bids amounting to over 23,000 shares remained unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers at €2.509. The Bank’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Friday 16 December. During the meeting, shareholders will be asked to approve a number of resolutions including the recommended final gross dividend of €0.08 per share and a 1 for 8 bonus share issue.
  • MIA’s share price forced 7.7% lower to the €1.55 level on one deal of 2,000 shares. The airport operator is shortly expected to publish its November traffic results.
  • Last week, MaltaPost published its September 11 FY results revealing a 4.8% decline in pre-tax profits to €3.05 million as the higher costs outweighed the further growth in revenue. Nonetheless, the Directors recommended an unchanged net dividend of €0.04 per share to those shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 12 December. Once the dividend is approved at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for 17 January 2012, the dividend will be paid on 30 January 2012. As in previous years, shareholders have the option of receiving the dividend either in cash or in new shares at a price of €0.98 per share. During the year, the company purchased its head office which was partly financed by bank borrowings. Further details available here. Equity still inactive with bids placed at €0.95 and lowest offers at the €0.975 level.