Daily Market Highlights (12.08.11)

  • BOV and RS2 close in positive territory during the final session of the week. MSE Share Index edges marginally higher today resulting in a weekly decline of 3.4% after dropping to a 21-month low last Tuesday as the majority of the active equities succumbed to selling pressure. During the week, index heavy-weights BOV, HSBC and IHI fell by 3%, 4.5% and 3.9% respectively, whilst MIA’s share price plunged 6.3% and Middlesea’s equity lost 10%. The only positive performers this week were Lombard Bank and RS2 Software. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • A partial ban on short selling in the 4 European equity markets boosted international shares this morning. France, Italy, Spain and Belgium yesterday all introduced a ban on the short selling of financial stocks for 15 days in response to sharp price falls this week, but they failed to convince other regulators to go along with an European Union-wide prohibition. The ban on the controversial practice, where investors aim to profit from price falls, came into force this morning. However the US and the UK stated that they have no plans to follow suit.
  • As European benchmark yields recovered to the 2.31% level the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker revised its bid prices for Malta Government Stocks lower resulting in a 0.3% decline in the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index to 988.642 points. Volumes remained high in the secondary with €4 million (nominal) trading in the 6.6% MGS 2014, €2 million (nominal) exchanged in the 6.6% MGS 2019, a further €1.25 million transacted in the 5% MGS 2021 and €1 million (nominal) in the 4.6% MGS 2020 (II). The 19-year stock dropped by 49 basis points to close at 102.51%.
  • BOV’s share price edged 0.4% higher to €2.61 after it recovered from an intra-day low of €2.59. Twenty trades amounting to over 44,000 shares were exchanged this morning with lowest offers now placed at €2.59 whilst bids are pitched at €2.56. Despite today’s rise, BOV’s equity posted a weekly decline of 3% on high volumes of 228,286 shares.
  • HSBC closed unchanged at €2.76 after it also recovered from an intra-day low of €2.751. 25,885 shares were exchanged across nine trades with a further 6,428 shares remaining on offer at the €2.80 level. During the past five trading sessions HSBC’s equity wiped out all of last week’s gains as it slid by 4.5% also on high volumes of 91,972 shares. The Bank is due to pay the recently declared interim dividend on 24 August.
  • RS2 Software plc’s share were active for the second consecutive session with the share price rising 1.8% to close at a new 2011 high of €0.56 amid low volumes of 3,000 shares. Lowest offers now placed at the €0.65 level whilst best bids still in the market at the €0.53 level.
  • This morning Mapfre Internacional published its Offer Document in relation to the Mandatory Bid to the shareholders of Middlesea Insurance plc following the acquisition of a controlling interest in the company, in terms of Chapter 11 of the Listing Rules. The Offeror (Mapfre) has offered to purchase all the issued shares in Middlesea Insurance plc at the Offer Price of €0.965 per share. Shareholders of Middlesea Insurance plc who were on the Company’s books as at close of business on Friday 29 July 2011 have the option of selling their holding in Middlesea Insurance plc by completing the Acceptance Form during the acceptance period which runs from 29 August 2011 to Monday 26 September 2011. Further details including a copy of the offer document available here.