Daily Market Highlights (17.03.11)

  • Local equity market in negative territory for the sixth consecutive session. MSE Share Index slips another 0.2% to 3,482.322 points on declines in HSBC, GO and MIA. Meanwhile BOV and Lombard trade higher. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.2% higher to 982.490 points. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • MIA’s share price plunges 5.6% to €1.70 across 18,000 shares ahead of the 2010 financial statements publication expected later on this afternoon. Further bids unsatisfied at the closing price whilst lowest offers placed at €1.795.
  • GO also moved 1.7% lower to a fresh 16-month low of €1.70 on a single trade of 100 shares following this week’s publication of the 2010 full-year results n and the announcement of a 50% decline in dividends. 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. Further details on results available here.
  • Selling pressure in HSBC persists as the equity trades lower for the third consecutive session. HSBC’s equity retreated by another 0.4% to a new 5-month low of €2.86 also on low volumes of 1,220 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.
  • Meanwhile BOV again edged higher as its share price advanced by 1% to €2.93 on volumes of over 3,800 shares. Further offers unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids placed at the €2.90 level.
  • Fresh bids lift Lombard Bank’s share price 0.3% higher to €3.01 on total volumes of 14,160 shares. Equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.115 per share until 24 March. Details on the Lombard results available here.
  • Middlesea Insurance remains inactive following the recent 2010 results publication. The 2010 accounts show 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.
  • Similarly, Grand Harbour Marina shares remain inactive despite the two announcements this week. Despite registering a 14% increase in revenue to €2.3 million, the Company reported a loss of €771,422 mainly due to the substantially higher net interest costs of €662,677. The Directors did not recommend the payment of a dividend. Further details on the results available here. In a separate announcement, GHM revealed that it has approved the acquisition of a 45% shareholding in the Cesme Marina in Turkey from its majority shareholder Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Limited (CNMI). Details of the acquisition are available here.

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