Daily Market Highlights (17.08.12)

  • MSE Share Index tumbled 0.4% to 3,027.783 points as BOV, IHI and MaltaPost traded lower. On the other hand, GO and Malita moved higher whilst HSBC ended this morning’s session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. Over the week, the local equity benchmark retreated by 0.4% mainly due to the weekly declines in HSBC and IHI. MaltaPost and Lombard also ended the week in red whilst BOV, Farsons and the recently listed Malita Investments closed higher.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged 0.1% higher to 995.027 points as eurozone yields eased back to the 1.55% level. The local MGS benchmark slid 0.2% this week reflecting the rise in benchmark 10-year German bund yields from last Friday’s level of 1.375% to 1.55% as markets await details of further measures to support the ailing countries in the eurozone following reassuring comments by ECB President Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Yesterday, MIH published its 2012 half-year results revealing a net profit of €4.4 million compared to €0.1 million in the first half of 2011. The surge in profitability was the result of the significant increase in revenue to €12.3 million (June 2011: €5.1 million) as the occupancy at Palm city increased to reach the 82% level. The half-year report also updated the market on the Company’s next project, the Medina Tower development.  Since the start of 2012, MIH invested a further €9.1 million in this project thereby raising the Company’s total investment to €13 million (including the initial €3.9 million invested in 2010). Works on site are expected to commence later on this year. The Directors reiterated their view that the project’s business case has increased significantly following the conflict in Libya. Further details on results available here.
  • The share price of MaltaPost slumped 6.1% during this morning’s session to a new 28-month low of €0.77 following a profit warning issued earlier on today. In the Interim Statement, the Directors explained that the changes in the tariffs on cross-border mail imposed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) with effect from 1 January 2012 continued to have an adverse impact on the company’s financials. As such, the Directors noted that the downward trend in profitability reported for the six months ended 31 March 2012 will also be reflected in the second six months of the Company’s financial year ending 30 September 2012. Furthermore, the Board of Directors believes that this trend will continue and even accelerate in future financial periods and until such time as the regulatory framework within which the Company operates is adequately revised. In this respect, MaltaPost noted that it continued to work closely with the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) to ensure the adoption of a fair and regulatory approach to its public tariffs. MaltaPost remarked that the increases in costs from the change in tariffs on cross-border mail must necessarily be balanced by realistic tariffs. Further details available here.
  • BOV also closed in negative territory as the equity slid 1.9% lower to the €2.10 level on low volumes of 1,895 shares. Nonetheless, the Bank’s equity still ended the week 1% higher.
  • IHI’s equity also traded lower with a minimal decline to €0.848 on a single deal of 1,000 shares.
  • Meanwhile GO regained the €1.02 level across three trades totalling 8,500 shares to end the week unchanged.
  • The recently issued shares of Malita Investments traded for the first time today with 5,000 shares changing hands at the €0.52 level representing a 4% rise over the IPO price.
  • The only other active equity today, HSBC, failed to recover this week’s earlier losses as the Bank’s equity closed this morning’s session unchanged at the €2.649 level representing a weekly increase of 1.9%.