Daily Market Highlights (07.03.12)

  • Further volatility in the local equity market as the MSE Share Index slipped back into negative territory with a 0.1% drop to 2,998.976 points. This morning’s downturn reflects the declines in the share prices of the two large banks and MaltaPost which offset the minimal rise in FIMBank’s equity. On the other hand, Lombard Bank and MIA ended today’s session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index again eased minimally lower to close at 987.371 points. Eurozone yields hovered between the 1.78% and 1.80% levels as markets await tomorrow’s deadline related to the acceptance or otherwise by private investors of the Greek sovereign debt swap deal.
  • Subscriptions for the new Corinthia Finance plc bond opened last week. Corinthia Finance plc is offering €7.5 million in 6% bonds maturing between 2019 and 2022. Existing bondholders of the maturing 6.7% 2012 bonds have until the 16 March to submit their application if they wish to exchange their existing holding with the new bonds. Copies of the Prospectus are available here.
  • BOV’s equity remained under pressure as it closed in negative territory for the fourth time in the last five sessions. The share price again failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.13 as it closed at a new 28-month low of €2.112, representing a 0.4% decline from the previous day’s closing price. Over 13,300 shares changed hands today across twelve trades with other bids outstanding at the closing price and lowest offers at the €2.17 level.
  • Similarly, the share price of HSBC Malta eased minimally lower to €2.649 across five trades totalling just over 19,000 shares. Offers are already placed minimally below the last traded price with best bids at the €2.61 level. The 2011 financial statements published recently showed a 6% increase in pre-tax profits but after excluding a number of one-off items including the sale of the card acquiring business and the one-time charges related to the voluntary retirement scheme, the overall performance was in line with the previous year. The final gross dividend of €0.072 per share is payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on 13 March. Further details available here.
  • A small trade of 634 MaltaPost shares was transacted at the €0.91 level representing a 2.2% drop from the previous close. Few other bids remain unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers now at the €0.94 level.
  • Meanwhile FIMBank’s share price edged 0.7% higher to close at the US$0.75 level across two trades totalling just 900 shares. Offers already placed lower at US$0.74. The trade finance specialist is scheduled to publish its 2011 full-year results on 12 March.
  • Lombard’s equity traded unchanged at the €2.53 level on one deal of 1,000 shares. Lombard will be publishing its 2011 financial statements on Thursday 15 March.
  • Likewise, MIA shares ended this morning’s session unchanged at the €1.69 level across five trades totalling 3,350 shares. Few other bids remained unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers at the €1.71 level. Last Monday, MIA announced a 3% decline in passengers during the month of February following a 10.6% decline in seat capacity. Further details available here. The airport operator is scheduled to publish its 2011 preliminary financial results on 22 March.