Daily Market Highlights (11.07.2011)

  • The MSE Share Index closes in negative territory for the fourth consecutive session as BOV, Middlesea and MIA decline. The remaining active equities (HSBC, GO and MTP) traded unchanged over low volumes. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • European bond prices soared as top European officials prepared for an emergency meeting surrounded by worries that the region’s debt crisis was engulfing Italy. With yield premiums for periphery issuers rising, safe-haven German bunds benefitted from the risk-averse sentiment, rallying to their highest levels since early December and pushing 10-year yields below 2.8%. In line with this, the Central Bank of Malta sharply raised its Malta Government Stock prices with the bid price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) climbing 90 basis points to 102.11% – the highest level since early May 2011. Over €960,000 (nominal) worth of the 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) traded this morning with the price closing at 102.11%. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index jumped 0.4% to a 3-week high of 978.118 points.
  • MIA share price edges 0.1% lower to a new 9-month low of €1.599 across three trades amounting to 3,650 shares. The airport operator’s share price has closed the past four weeks in negative territory as the market awaits developments on the threat of industrial action by the pilots of Air Malta as well as further information of the restructuring of the national airline. Today the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) announced that it has formally obtained support from the International Federation of Airline Pilots (IFALPA) in the event of an industrial action on 16 July. The company is shortly expected to announce the June traffic statistics and provide a revised forecast for 2011 passenger numbers.
  • HSBC trades at the unchanged price level of €2.92 on weak volumes totalling 1,321 shares. Lowest offers now stand at €2.93 whilst further bids remain outstanding at the closing price. The Bank is expected to publish its half-year results to 30 June by the end of this month.
  • BOV’s share price starts the week in negative territory as 4,600 shares pull the equity 0.7% lower to €2.68. Other offers unsatisfied in the market at the last traded price with best bids placed at the €2.66 level.
  • GO’s share price unchanged at the €1.38 level after recovering from a low of €1.35. Last week, GO announced that it completed the takeover of the Bell Med Group companies by acquiring the remaining 40% for €8 million. Further details available here.
  • MaltaPost’s share price also unchanged at €0.999 over a single trade totalling 3,500 shares. Bids are placed in the market at €0.90 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €1.00 level. The postal operator is shortly expected to publish its Interim Statement providing an update on the Company’s performance since its financial half-year ended on 31 March 2011. During the first six months of its financial year, the postal operator reported a marginal decline in profitability as the growth in revenue (mainly from parcels) was offset by increased costs including wages and utility bills.
  • Middlesea’s share price traded for the first time in almost two weeks with the equity edging 1% lower to €1.00. Three trades totalling 7,146 shares were executed this morning with further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price. On 20 June Mapfre Internacional obtained the approval from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to acquire the 19.9% shareholding in Middlesea Insurance plc which is owned by Munich Re. Following the completion of this transaction, Mapfre will become the single largest shareholder in the local insurer with a 50.98% shareholding and is therefore obliged to launch a bid for the remaining shares. However no further announcements have been published yet.