Daily Market Highlights (16.02.10)

  • Local equity market in positive territory for the sixth successive session. MSE Share Index rises a further 0.3% to 3,855.223 points on gains in BOV, HSBC as well as Middlesea Insurance. Meanwhile MaltaPost’s share price declines by 2.7% and MIA trades unchanged at the €3.05 level. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Retail investors wishing to apply for the new Malta Government Stock issues have until tomorrow to submit their application. The 2 new fixed rate stocks are: 3.75% MGS 2015 (VI) issued at 100.25% and the 4.6% MGS 2020 (II) FI priced at 100.00% (par). The Government is also issuing a Floating Rate Stock linked to the 6-month EURIBOR rate subject to a minimum of €250,000 per tender. The total aggregate amount is of €100 million (subject to an over-allotment option of up to a further €50 million). Further details and application forms available from here.
  • Last Friday Corinthia Finance plc announced that the Listing Authority approved the issuance of a new bond of €15 million which matures in 2019 but may be redeemed earlier between 2016 and 2019. The new Bond will be guaranteed by Corinthia Palace Hotel Company Limited and will be fungible with the existing 6.25% Corinthia Finance 2019 bond issued last September. Further details of this bond issue is available here.
  • Last week Grand Harbour Marina’s bond issue was closed immediately after opening due to strong demand from investors. Details of total demand and allocation will be announced by not later than next Thursday 18 February. Equity still inactive with best bids placed 4% higher than the last closing price of €1.74 and lowest offers at €1.87.
  • BOV’s share price advances by a further 1.5% to regain the €3.50 level. Over 17,200 shares changed hands this morning with further offers outstanding at the closing price and best bids at €3.452. Last Friday BOV also announced that it was granted approval by the MFSA to issue €50 million 4.8% Subordinated Bonds with an over-allotment option of another €20 million. The Subordinated Bonds will be issued at par and will mature in 2020. The Bank also confirmed that preferential allocation will be given to the Bondholders of the maturing 6.15% Subordinated Bonds redeemable on 15 March 2010. Further details available here.
  • HSBC edges marginally higher to close at the €3.90 level on high volumes of almost 43,000 shares. Over 5,100 shares still on offer at the €3.90 level with highest bids placed at €3.875. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2009 financial results next Monday 22 February. Shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 1 March will be eligible to the final dividend which will also be announced on 22 February.
  • Despite the closure of Progress Assicurazioni, Middlesea share price edges 0.7% higher to regain the €0.755 level after touching an intra-day high of €0.77. Last Thursday Middlesea announced that following a further detailed examination of the preliminary unaudited data for the fourth quarter of 2009, it was revealed that the Italian subsidiary requires a further material injection of capital in order to continue in business in conformity with Italian regulations. Accordingly the Board of Directors of Middlesea Insurance concluded that a fresh capital injection, over and above the €45 million already injected in 2009, is not feasible. As a result, Middlesea informed the Italian Insurance Regulators (ISVAP) that it wished to cease the operations of its Italian subsidiary Progress Assicurazioni Spa. Further details available here.
  • Meanwhile MaltaPost sheds 2.7% to drop back to the €0.73 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €0.71. Just over 4,000 shares exchanged today with further offers in the market at the closing price and best bids at the €0.685 level. Yesterday MaltaPost published its Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that during the first few months of their 2009/10 financial year, the company managed to achieve the same level of turnover as that recorded in the comparable period while operating profitability remains in line with that forecasted at the beginning of the company’s financial year. Moreover the business strategy of the Company is to enhance stakeholder value on an ongoing basis through continuous cost controls and process improvement. Furthermore the Directors reassured investors that the financial fundamentals of the company remain strong. Further details available here.
  • MIA closes unchanged at the €3.05 level on two trades totalling 14,000 shares. Last Tuesday the airport operator published the January 2010 traffic results showing a 6% rise in passenger departures mainly due to increased passenger traffic from UK, Italy and Spain which offset the 11.3% decline from Germany. Meanwhile Ryanair announced an additional route to Edinburgh starting in March and have reportedly also reached an agreement with the Government to base an aircraft in Malta and serve additional destinations. Further details available here.

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