Daily Market Highlights (15.03.11)

  • Fourth consecutive session of declines in the local equity market as selling pressure mounts following the sharp losses registered in global equity markets. MSE Share Index down 0.4% to a new 3-month low of 3,544.422 points as HSBC and BOV trade lower whilst Lombard closed unchanged at €3.00. Middlesea and GO publish their respective 2010 financial results. Japan’s Nikei 225 Index plunged 10.6% today as this also impacted other markets with FTSE 100 down 2.1% and the DAX slumping 4.8%. Across the Atlantic, the US market opened more than 2% lower. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Meanwhile the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index gained for the fourth day in succession. Index up 0.2% to 980.841 points as Eurozone yields slip back to the 3.11% level. The 5.25% MGS 2030 (I) bid price was lifted 40 basis points higher to 102.33%.
  • BOV‘s equity retreats by a further 1.4% to the €2.89 level. Over 17,600 shares change hands today with best bids in the market at €2.85 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €2.90 level.
  • Similar trend in HSBC as its share price declines by 0.3% to a fresh 2011 low of €2.89 on volumes of almost 9,500 shares. The final gross dividend of €0.077 per share will be paid on 21 April following approval by the shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting to be held on 7 April.
  • The only other active equity, Lombard Bank, closed unchanged at the €3.00 level across four trades totalling 5,717 shares. Further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids placed in the market at the €2.91 level. Equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.115 per share until 24 March. Details on the Lombard group results available here.
  • This morning Middlesea Insurance published its 2010 results revealing a pre-tax profit of €6.4 million compared to the 2009 pre-tax loss of €54.4 million which includes the impairment of the investment in Progress Assicurazioni SpA. However Group profit before tax and the impairment charge decreased by 25.7% to €6.4 million mainly due to the unrealised fair value gains on the investment portfolio registered in 2009 which were not repeated in 2010. The Board of Directors did not recommend the payment of a dividend. Further details on results available here.
  • This afternoon GO also issued its 2010 financial results. The quad play telecom operator reported a 7% increase revenue to €132.3 million as the Group increased its customer connections by almost 38,000 thus surpassing the 500,000 customer connections during the year under review. Coupled with substantially lower voluntary retirement costs, GO reported a significant improvement in operating profit to €22.8 million. However this was outweighed by the €24.7 million share of loss from the Group’s investment in Greece. This resulted in a loss for the year of €19.2 million compared to the €6.7 million loss posted in the previous year. The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.05 per share which is 50% lower than the dividend paid last year.

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