Daily Market Highlights (10.11.11)

  • IHI’s 4.8% decline pushed the local equity market in negative territory for the third consecutive session with the MSE Share Index down another 0.6% to a new 6-week low of 3,079.019 points. On the other hand, BOV traded higher whilst HSBC closed unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • This afternoon the Treasury is scheduled to publish the prices of next week’s new Malta Government Stock issues. The two stocks are the 4.25% MGS 2017 (III) FI and the 5.2% MGS 2031 (I). Subscriptions open on Monday 14 November and close on Wednesday 16 November. Further details available here.
  • Further volatility in global bond markets as uncertainty with respect to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis still overshadows investor sentiment. Eurozone yields slumped to the 1.68% level at the start of the day before steadily rising to 1.79%. By this afternoon yields eased back to the 1.76% level as markets refocus on Greece after appointing a new interim Prime Minister whose main job will be to satisfy the conditions set out in the latest bailout approved last month.
  • BOV’s share price edged 1% higher to regain the €2.425 level across ten trades totalling 34,624 shares. Tomorrow is the last trading day during which the Bank’s shares will trade with the entitlement to the recommended final gross dividend of €0.08 per share. Equity turns ex-dividend as from next Monday. Further details on the September 2011 full-year results available here.
  • Meanwhile HSBC closes unchanged at the €2.65 level on volumes of 1,240 shares. Further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids pitched at the €2.63 level. The Bank is shortly expected to publish its Interim Statement covering the performance during the third quarter of the year.
  • IHI reversed some of its recent gains as a single trade of 1,551 shares was executed at the €0.78 level representing a 4.8% drop from the previous close. In its recently published Interim Statement, the IHI Group claimed that following the end of the hostilities in the Libyan capital, the Corinthia Hotel Tripoli is now gradually returning to normal operations. IHI also reported that the other properties across Europe also reported improvements in their operating profits particularly those in Lisbon and Prague. Moreover, final works on the Corinthia Hotel in London are nearing completion ahead of its first full-year of operations in 2012.
  • Yesterday’s publication of Lombard Bank’s Interim Statement failed to generate any trades as the equity remained inactive with best bids in the market at €2.70 whilst lowest offers pitched marginally higher than the last closing price of €2.74. In yesterday’s announcement the Directors explained that the Bank maintained its prudent and cautious stance. Moreover, the Directors stated that since Lombard has no exposure to countries affected by the sovereign debt problems in the euro zone, the Bank is safeguarded and therefore it can continue to operate through the prevailing crisis whilst maintaining a sound financial position. Lombard also noted that profitability levels are similar to those registered during the corresponding period last year despite profit margins remaining under pressure. During the year ended 31 December 2010, the Lombard Bank Group reported pre-tax profits of €13.9 million (+7.8%) while during the six months ended 30 June 2011, Group profitability edged 3.6% higher to €7 million.