Daily Market Highlights (16.02.12)

  • MSE Share Index in negative territory again today with a further 0.1% decline to yet another 31-month low of 2,986.885 points. Today, MaltaPost slumped 4% lower following yesterday’s Interim Directors’ Statement whilst HSBC and FIMBank closed unchanged on low volumes. Shallow trading activity again characterised the local equity market with this morning’s session registering the lowest amount of equity volume since the start of the year. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • The financial reporting season is due to commence next week with the publication of the full-year results by Island Hotels Group Holdings plc (23 February), HSBC Bank Malta plc (24 February) and Middlesea Insurance plc (28 February).
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed in positive territory for the fourth consecutive session with a further 0.1% rise to 989.168 points. Today’s upturn is in line with the decline in benchmark Eurozone yields as the next bailout of Greece is delayed. The price of the longest-dated MGS (the 5.20% MGS 2031) increased to 102.65%.
  • Earlier this week, Corinthia Finance plc announced that it has submitted an application to the Listing Authority with respect to a new issue of €7.5 million bonds maturing between 2019 and 2022. The announcement also revealed that the proceeds will be mainly used to partly finance the redemption of the existing €14.6 million 6.75% Corinthia Finance Bonds which are due for redemption on 8 April. The new bond will be issued and traded in lots of €1,000 subject to a minimum of €10,000.
  • MaltaPost’s equity slumped 4% during this morning’s trading session to the €0.95 level across three trades totalling 10,408 shares. Today’s downturn follows the interim statement published yesterday by MaltaPost which revealed the expectation by the Directors of a reduction in profitability for the first half of the year to 31 March 2012. During the first half of the previous year, MaltaPost generated a pre-tax profit of €1.1 million. The lower level of profits reflects the general challenging economic environment, the incidence of higher operating costs and the ‘local letter post’ business which remains loss-making since the postage rates are still not commercially viable. Further details available here.
  • Meanwhile HSBC traded unchanged at the €2.55 level on low volumes of 400 shares. Bids already placed marginally higher at €2.551 whilst lowest offers in the market at the €2.57 level. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2011 full-year results on 24 February.
  • Similarly FIMBank maintained that US$0.75 level on a single deal of 4,000 shares with offers already placed marginally below the last closing price. The trade finance specialist is expected to reveal its 2011 full-year results on 12 March.
  • Shortly after the closing of today’s trading session, Crimsonwing published its Interim Directors’ Statement giving an overview of the current financial year ending 31 March 2012. The Directors expect Crimsonwing’s net overall position for the current financial year to be in line with that of the previous year when the Group registered a loss of €109,135 mainly due to the losses incurred at Crimsonwing NL (VDA) business unit following the extensive one-off restructuring costs incurred. Nonetheless, the Directors explained that following the investments undertaken this year to enhance the Group’s capabilities, the Crimsonwing Group is now able to participate in large bids with international clients which, although initially impact operational profitability, have great potential rewards. Crimsonwing also revealed that it was selected as a strategic partner by an international multi-channel retailer for a global eCommerce roll-out across over 50 countries by 2013 and this could result in Crimsonwing implementing over 100 eCommerce sites from mid-2012 onwards and subsequently supporting these businesses. Further details available here. Crimsonwing shares were inactive today with best bids placed at the equity’s all-time low of €0.16 and lowest offers at the €0.24 level.