Daily Market Highlights (07.09.12)

  • MSE Share Index recovered some of this week’s earlier declines with a 1.3% rise during this morning’s session to 3,054.975 points following increases in the share prices of BOV, IHI and MIA. Meanwhile HSBC, Lombard, GO and Plaza traded lower. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. Despite today’s upturn, the local equity benchmark ended the first week of September with a 1.2% decline mainly due to the losses in the three largest equities by market capitalisation, namely BOV (-2%), HSBC (-0.6%) and IHI (-1.2%), as well as the 13.8% slump in MIDI plc’s equity.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 995.055 points as the Central Bank of Malta stockbroker raised its bid prices despite today’s rally in Eurozone yields which touched a 10-week high of 1.63% on buoyant investor sentiment following yesterday’s announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) relating to a new bond buying programme. The ECB is ready to buy government paper of up to 3 year maturities of ailing countries in the Eurozone only after they request a bailout from the region’s appropriate funds and accept a number of conditions.
  • IHI recovered some of this week’s earlier losses with a 6.3% rise to the €0.84 level on increased volumes of 153,749 shares. This morning IHI announced that Medina Towers Joint Stock Company (in which IHI has a 25% shareholding) awarded the first construction contract to Koray, a Turkish contractor. The €320 million Medina Towers development comprises luxury residential units, office space, a luxury spa, leisure facilities and a commercial center. The project will have a total area of 200,000 square metres spread over 40 floors above ground, and an additional four floors of underground parking which can accommodate up to 900 cars. The Medina Towers project is estimated to take 40 months to completion.
  • Similarly, BOV added 1.6% to end the week at €2.245 across three trades totalling 3,177 shares. Further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids pitched at the €2.16 level.
  • MIA also edged 0.6% higher to regain the €1.75 level across six trades totalling 20,000 shares. MIA shares also rank as this week’s only positive performing equity following Wednesday’s announcement of a new monthly record of 461,153 passenger movements during the month of August. In the first eight months of 2012, MIA registered a 3.7% growth in passengers compared to the revised growth forecast of 1.5% for the whole of 2012. Further details on traffic statistics available here.
  • Meanwhile, GO reversed yesterday 2.3% rise with an equivalent drop during this morning’s session back to the €0.85 level, unchanged over the week. 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.
  • HSBC shares also closed in negative territory today with a marginal decline to €2.735 on a small deal of 500 shares. Best bids in the market at €2.60 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €2.739 level.
  • Also in the financial sector, the share price of Lombard Bank retreated to yet another new multi-year low of €1.94 across two trades totalling 6,000 shares.
  • Plaza Centres shares also slipped to a new 18-month low of €0.54 on a single trade of 10,000 shares.