Daily Market Highlights (12.03.10)

  • MSE Share Index drops 0.8% back below the 3,600 level as the two big banks’ equities slip by 2%. Middlesea and Medserv also in marginal negative territory whilst IHI and MIA trade higher. Meanwhile, GO, Lombard and MaltaPost trade unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • High volumes persist in BOV with over 66,000 shares traded today. Equity sheds 2.1% to drop back to €3.251, representing a 1.8% weekly decline. The Bank this afternoon announced the allocation policy with respect to its recent bond issue. BOV stated that it received a total of €96,473,400 from 6,793 applicants and therefore it exercised its over-allotment option increasing the bond issue to €70,000,000. The Bank satisfied all applications from Preferred Applicants’ in full. Meanwhile, the following allocation policy was adopted with respect to applications at the general public offer stage: (i) Applications up to €10,000 will be met in full; (ii) Applications exceeding a value of €10,000 will be allotted the first €10,000 in full and 23.77% of any balance. Further details available here.
  • HSBC also slips 2.4% lower to close at the €3.30 level on volumes of 14,150 shares. Few other bids in the market at the closing price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €3.35 level. Equity closed the week 0.3% higher.
  • Meanwhile, MIA trades 1.6% higher to close at a 22-month high of €3.15 as investors reacted positively to the Company’s 2009 results. The airport operator yesterday published its 2009 financial statements showing a 3.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €14.1 million (the highest level in the last 3 years) despite a 6% decline in passenger numbers in 2009. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.08769 per share (net: €0.057) to shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 29 March 2010. The Board is also proposing the redenomination of the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the Company from €0.465874 per share to €0.50 per share and a subsequent 2-for-1 share split to all shareholders as at close of trading on 27 May 2010. Further details available here.
  • GO closed unchanged at the €2.267 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.25. Four trades amounting to 3,000 shares exchanged today with further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price. Equity closes the week 1% lower ahead of next Monday’s 2009 full-year results publication.
  • Middlesea Insurance shares ease 1.4% to close at €0.73 on volumes of just under 11,500 shares. Further bids remaining unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers now placed at the €0.75 level. The Insurance Group is scheduled to hold an extraordinary general meeting next Tuesday 16 March.
  • Yesterday, Lombard published its 2009 full-year results showing an 8.6% drop in pre-tax profits to €12.9 million mainly due to lower net impairment gains than in the previous financial year. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.10 per share (unchanged over the previous year) which can be taken in shares at the attribution price of €3.04 per share. Shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 16 March 2010 will be entitled to this dividend. Further details available here. Equity traded unchanged during this morning’s session at the €3.10 level on low volumes of 1,900 shares. Lombard closed the week 0.3% higher.
  • MaltaPost maintained the €0.79 level on volumes of 11,400 shares. Best bids now placed at €0.786 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €0.79 level. The postal operator closed the week 1.2% higher.
  • Medserv closed minimally lower at the €4.249 after recovering from an opening price of €4.201. Two trades totalling 9,700 shares exchanged today for the first time in over two weeks.
  • Last week IHI announced the issue of €25 million 6.25% Bonds which mature in 2020 but which may be redeemed early between 2017 and 2020. The proceeds are partly earmarked to fund the redemption of the €11.6 million 5% convertible bonds which mature on 29 May 2010. The balance will be mainly used to fully repay an outstanding loan with an international bank. IHI will be giving preferential allocation to the holders of the 5% convertible bonds. IHI will also be giving preferential allotment to its shareholders and bondholders, together with bondholders of Corinthia Finance plc and Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. Further details available here. Equity continued to recover this morning as the share price rose a further 2.6% to regain the €0.80 and close the week unchanged. Just under 22,000 shares exchanged today with further bids outstanding at the close price whilst lowest offers now pitched at the €0.82 level.
  • Premier Capital plc also announced a new bond issue last week. The development licensee of McDonald’s in Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is offering €20 million worth of 10-year bonds (with a €5 million over-allotment option) at a coupon of 6.8% per annum in order to continue expanding in the Baltic States and Malta. Investors who wish to participate in the Preplacement must submit their application form by next Thursday 18 March at 11 am. Further details available here.

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