Daily Market Highlights (18.02.10)

  • Local equity market closes in negative territory for the first time in eight sessions. MSE Share Index sheds 0.4% to close at 3,839.318 points as declines in BOV, HSBC and Lombard offset the 0.5% increase in Grand Harbour Marina. Meanwhile MaltaPost closes unchanged on significantly high volumes. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Subscriptions from retail investors for the new Malta Government Stock issues closed yesterday. Meanwhile tenders for amounts in excess of €100,000 in the fixed rate stocks and for a minimum of €250,000 in the Floating Rate Stock close at 12 noon on Friday 19 February. Further details available here.
  • Existing bondholders of the maturing 6.5% Corinthia Finance bonds have until next Thursday 25 February to submit their application to avail of the preferential allocation. Meanwhile the Intermediaries Offer for the bonds not taken up by preferred applicants will take place on 1 March. 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 expected to be announced shortly. After rising ‘limit-up’ yesterday, Grand Harbour Marina’s share price gains a further 0.5% to the €1.87 level on a single trade of 5,000 shares. Further bids remaining unsatisfied at the closing price whilst lowest offers now pitched at the €1.97 level.
  • BOV’s share price again slips marginally lower to close at the €3.49 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €3.452. Contracted volumes of just over 8,800 shares exchanged today with best bids now at €3.45 whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. 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 also in negative territory as the equity sheds 1% to drop back to the €3.86 level ahead of the 2009 full-year results publication next Monday 22 February. 10,065 shares change hands this morning with best bids at €3.85 and lowest offers now pitched at the €3.898 level. Also next Monday, HSBC will announce a final dividend for shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 1 March.
  • Substantial high volumes in MaltaPost amounting to 115,000 shares. Equity holds on to yesterday’s gains and closes again at the €0.77 level. On Monday, 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.
  • Middlesea also closes unchanged at the €0.75 level on volumes of 11,600 shares. 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, Progress Assicurazioni, 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.
  • A single trade of 1,200 Lombard shares transacted this morning at the €3.09 level, representing a 0.6% decline from the previous close. Best bids still at the €2.99 level whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. Lombard is due to publish its full-year results on 11 March

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