Daily Market Highlights (09.03.12)

  • MSE Share Index up 0.7% today to 3,004.808 points on the back of a 1.4% rise in the share prices of both HSBC and BOV. The only other active equity, GO, retreated by 1.4% following deepening losses at Forthnet. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. The local equity benchmark registered the third consecutive weekly increase although this week’s rise was only of 0.1% increase.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index ended the week 0.3% lower at a new 6-week low of 985.638 points although benchmark eurozone yields remained under pressure in the run up to the Greek debt swap deal deadline. The longer-dated Malta Government Stocks continued to see high trading activity with prices closing the week sharply lower.
  • 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’s share price up 1.4% to €2.635 to end the week with an equivalent rise. Four trades totalling 10.400 shares transacted today with best bids in the market at €2.58 and lowest offers at the €2.648 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.
  • Likewise, fresh bids helped BOV’s equity rise by 1.4% to regain the €2.15 level on volumes of just over 10,800 shares. Further bids unsatisfied at the last traded price with lowest offers now placed at €2.16. Despite this morning’s recovery, the Bank’s equity still ended the week 0.9% lower.
  • The only other active equity, GO, dropped 1.4% back to the €0.838 level across four trades totalling 4,790 shares. Today’s downturn was possibly as a result of the increased losses announced by Forthnet SA yesterday. The Greek telecommunications group yesterday revealed that during 2011 it registered a 23.5% increase in adjusted EBITDA to €80.3 million on the back of a 1.4% increase in revenue to €415.6 million coupled with improved operational efficiencies. However, Forthnet incurred a €128.5 million goodwill impairment resulting in a reported negative EBITDA of €52.8 million compared to the positive EBITDA of €45.7 million in 2010. Moreover, the Greek company announced that after the shareholders rejected a €30 million rights issue during an Extraordinary General Meeting held in January, the company’s management is currently in discussions with its bankers to obtain the necessary waivers on the loan covenants.
  • No other equities were active today as investors possibly await the publication of the full-year results during the coming weeks. The following companies have already scheduled their respective full-year results publication date: FIMBank (12 March), Lombard Bank (15 March), GO (16 March), Medserv (21 March) and MIA (22 March). A further six companies with a December year end still haven’t announced when they will publish their full-year results.