Daily Market Highlights (14.01.10)

  • Various equities active today with the MSE Share Index closing lower for the second successive session. Index dips by another 0.8% to 3,741.385 points on further declines in HSBC, Middlesea and IHI. Meanwhile 7 other equities close higher including index heavyweights BOV and GO. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • As widely expected, the European Central Bank today announced that it kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1% as it unwinds some of its emergency stimulus measures. The ECB is constantly monitoring Europe’s economic recovery that may be slowing down due to concerns on rising unemployment and Greece’s fiscal woes which could spread through the euro region.
  • Profit taking in HSBC continues. Equity sheds a further 1.4% to close today’s session at the €3.79 level with volumes shrinking to just 4,744 shares on lack of support. The Bank is shortly expected to publish its 2009 full-year results and declare a final dividend for shareholders.
  • Meanwhile, following yesterday bonus share issue adjustment, BOV‘s share price gains 0.6% to close at a fresh 19-month high of €3.30. High trading activity persists with over 18,000 shares changing hands today. The new bonus shares will commence trading on Monday.
  • GO’s share price hike now in its sixth consecutive session. Equity rises by a further 0.9% to reach a new 16-month high of €2.26. Volumes of 5,700 shares exchanged this morning. In an interview published yesterday in the local media, GO’s CEO David Kay explained that the Group now services over 480,000 connections with strong growth in the TV sector which is expected to continue in the coming months following the acquisition of exclusive broadcasting rights of the Italian and English top leagues as from next season. The CEO also commented that the Group plans to continue reducing headcount to reach its target of 1,000 employees. In conclusion Mr. Kay reassured investors that the recent turmoil in Dubai had no effect on the Group. Moreover in a separate press statement issued today, GO reiterated that the aforementioned sports content could not be broadcast by any other provider in the territory as part of the contractual obligations set by the international content providers of these sports rights.
  • IHI’s recovery comes to a halt as the equity drops 3.5% to the €0.772 level on a single trade of 2,481 shares during the final minutes of today’s session.
  • Sell-off in Middlesea continues with the equity dropping to its ‘limit down’ price for the third time this week on the back of last Monday’s announcement. The Insurance Group reported that preliminary unaudited data for the last quarter of 2009 indicate a marked deterioration in claims at their Italian subsidiary Progress Assicurazioni. This will most likely lead to a greater loss for the Middlesea Group for 2009 than the €41.8 million forecasted in the Rights Issue Prospectus. Further details available here. Equity plunges by 7% back to the €0.786 level on four trades amounting to 8,100 shares.
  • FIMBank‘s share price jumps 3.5% to the US$1.18 level on volumes of 26,400 shares. The trade finance specialist is scheduled to publish its 2009 full-year results on 16 March.
  • MIA edges a further 1.9% higher to a fresh 15-month high of €2.65 on a single trade of just 600 shares. This afternoon it was reported that the Malta Environmental and Planning Authority has approved MIA’s plans for the €16 million business centre. This project is expected to be completed by mid to late 2011 and will have Vodafone as its anchor tenant.
  • MaltaPost also on the rise as its share price gains 2.8% to €0.74 on increased volumes of over 14,700 shares. Best bids still at the €0.68 level with few other offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price. Next Thursday MaltaPost is due to publish its September 2009 full-year results and declare a final dividend to shareholders.
  • Thin trading activity in Lombard Bank, Simonds Farsons Cisk, Plaza Centres and Crimsonwing.

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