Daily Market Highlights (08.03.12)

  • HSBC’s 1.9% drop led to a 0.5% decline in the MSE Share Index to 2,984.697 points. The only other active equity was BOV which edged marginally higher. Shallow trading activity again characterised this morning’s session possibly in anticipation of the scheduled financial results publication during the month of March. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved lower for the fifth consecutive session with a further 0.1% drop to a new 2-week low of 986.827 points. Significant declines were registered in the prices of the longest-dated Malta Government Stocks. The trend in the local MGS benchmark (which should move in the opposite direction of yields) failed to follow the movements in Eurozone yields which have been under pressure in the last few days due to escalating concerns over the growth potential of Europe’s economies and the uncertainty surrounding the granting of Greece’s second bailout which is linked to the successful completion of the voluntary debt swap with private investors.
  • 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.
  • HSBC Malta failed to hold on to this week’s earlier gains as the equity plunged back to the €2.58 level before only partially recovering to close 1.9% lower at the €2.60 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.
  • On the other hand, BOV’s equity reversed yesterday’s decline with a 0.4% increase back to the €2.12 level on volumes of over 25,500 shares. Few other offers unsatisfied at the closing price with best bids at the €2.11 level.
  • No other equities were active today as investors possibly await the publication of the full-year results during the coming weeks. In fact, Plaza is expected to shortly publish its 2011 full-year results. FIMBank (12 March), Lombard Bank (15 March), Medserv (21 March) and MIA (22 March) are expected to follow suit in the coming days and weeks.