Daily Market Highlights (10.03.11)

  • MSE Share Index down 0.1% to 3,584.294 points as declines in HSBC, GO, Middlesea and FIMBank offset the increases in the share prices of MIA and BOV. Slowdown in trading activity persists as only €66,854 worth of trades affected today. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index marginally recovers by 0.1% to 977.378 points as benchmark yields retreated back to the 3.25% level. Following last week’s comments by the President of the European Central Bank that an interest rate hike is possible in April due to increasing inflationary concerns, on Tuesday the German ECB Governing Council member Axel Weber indicated that there could be as many as three hikes of 0.25% each raising ECB’s rate to 1.75% by year-end.
  • Third successive positive session for BOV shares as its share price edged minimally higher to close at the €2.97 level. Ten trades totalling 8,435 shares executed. Last week, Fitch downgraded BOV’s long-term credit rating to ‘BBB+’ citing the concentration risk embedded in the Bank’s loan portfolio as the main reason for the downgrade. Further details available here.
  • Meanwhile HSBC fails to hold on to the €2.94 level as fresh sell orders pushed the equity 0.7% lower to a new three-month low of €2.92 on volumes of 4,700 shares. The final gross dividend of €0.077 per share will be paid on 21 April following approval by the shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting to be held on 7 April.
  • GO succumbs to selling pressure as the equity slips 1.1% lower to €1.73 – the lowest closing price since 13 November 2009. 7,700 shares exchanged today with best bids in the market at €1.72 and lowest offers pitched at the €1.74 level. Both GO and Forthnet have yet to publish their 2010 financial results.
  • Positive day for MIA shares as the equity advances by 2.9% to regain the €1.80 level. 5,000 shares change hands during this morning session. The airport operator is scheduled to post its 2010 financial results on 17 March.
  • On the other hand, minimal declines in Middlesea Insurance and FIMBank. Middlesea’s equity eases to the €1.00 level across 4,155 shares whilst the share price of the trade finance specialist inches lower to the US$0.924 level on volumes of 2,400 shares despite still trading with the entitlement to the final net dividend of US$0.0284.
  • This afternoon Lombard Bank published its 2010 financial results revealing a 12.9% increase in profit attributable to shareholders reaching €8.3 million. The improvement in profitability was mainly achieved due to the 10.1% rise in net interest income to €16.1 million as deposits continued to re-price in line with the current low interest rate environment. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.115 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 24 March. Unlike previous years, the Directors did not recommend a scrip option and therefore the dividend will be paid in cash. Further details available here.

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