Daily Market Highlights (16.03.10)

  • MSE Share Index edges marginally higher to close at 3,604.885 points as BOV’s 0.5% increase offsets declines in GO, Middlesea Insurance and MaltaPost. On the alternative list, Loqus Holdings (formerly Datatrak) closes sharply higher with a gain of 23.8%. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Preplacement for Premier Capital plc bond issue to take place next Thursday 18 March. The development licensee of McDonald’s in Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is offering €20 million worth of 10-year bonds (with a €5 million over-allotment option) at a coupon of 6.8% per annum in order to continue expanding in the Baltic States and Malta. Further details available here.
  • IHI recently announced a new bond issue of €25 million 10-year bonds at a coupon of 6.25% per annum. The proceeds are partly earmarked to fund the redemption of the €11.6 million 5% convertible bonds which mature on 29 May 2010 while the balance will be mainly used to fully repay an outstanding loan with an international bank. IHI will be giving preferential allocation to the holders of the 5% convertible bonds. IHI will also be giving preferential allotment to its shareholders and bondholders, together with bondholders of Corinthia Finance plc and Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. Applications open on 23 March. Further details available here.
  • BOV’s share price recovery continues following the decline last Friday. BOv’s equity gains a further 0.5% today to close at €3.295. Over 12,000 shares exchanged today with further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price and highest bids placed at €3.28. Last Friday the Bank announced the allocation policy with respect to its recent bond issue. BOV stated that it received a total of €96,473,400 from 6,793 applicants and therefore it exercised its over-allotment option increasing the bond issue to €70,000,000. The Bank satisfied all applications from Preferred Applicants’ in full. Meanwhile, the following allocation policy was adopted with respect to applications at the general public offer stage: (i) Applications up to €10,000 weremet in full; (ii) Applications exceeding a value of €10,000 were allotted the first €10,000 in full and 23.77% of any balance. Further details available here.
  • GO eases 0.8% lower to €2.25 following this morning’s full-year results announcement. Over 26,000 shares traded today with various other offers outstanding at the close price. GO published its 2009 financial statements today showing a 4.5% decline in turnover to €123.7 million as the Group was negatively effected by the international economic climate, the increased competitive environment and by the impact of regulation on certain tariffs. However, revenue from core activities remained strong and the Group continues to offset the decline of traditional fixed-line voice services by maximizing the growth opportunities of broadband and TV services. Also GO stated that it was positively impacted by the results of the BM Group, the data centre operation in which GO acquired a 60% shareholding in April 2009. However the Group explained that the last two financial years were impacted by various one-off transactions. GO’s results were also negatively impacted by the investment in Forthnet. However Forthnet managed to reduce its loss during 2009 and this morning announced a pre-tax loss of €40.5 million (2008: loss of €54.6 million). The GO Group incurred a pre-tax loss of €3.2 million (2008: Profit of €0.3 million) resulting in loss per share of €0.066 (2008: +€0.02). GO recommended the payment of a final net dividend of €0.10 per share to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 13 April 2010. Further details available here.
  • MIA holds on to its recent strong gains as a further 6,600 shares trade at the €3.26 level. The airport operator’s 2009 financial statements (published last week) showed a 3.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €14.1 million (the highest level in the last 3 years) despite a 6% decline in passenger numbers in 2009. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.08769 per share (net: €0.057) to shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 29 March 2010. The Board is also proposing the redenomination of the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the Company from €0.465874 per share to €0.50 per share and a subsequent 2-for-1 share split on 1 June 2010. Further details available here.
  • Middlesea Insurance slips 1.4% lower to close at the €0.72 level on just three trades amounting to 3,375 shares. This morning the Insurance Group held an Extraordinary General Meeting during which shareholders approved the proposed changes to the Group’s memorandum and article of association which now reflects the new shareholding structure following the November 2009 Rights Issue. An election for Directors was not necessary as the number of nominations equalled the number of vacant posts.
  • MaltaPost share price edges minimally lower to close at the €0.788 level on low volumes of 9,700 shares.
  • Loqus Holdings (formerly Datatrak) jumped 23.8% to a fresh 16-month high of €0.26 on a single trade of 700 shares. Best bids still placed at €0.25 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €0.32 level. It was recently revealed that Loqus was awarded a €1.9 million contract by the Government of Malta to implement a system called Land & Estate Management Information System.

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