Daily Market Highlights (18.03.11)

  • Mild recovery in local equities as the MSE Share Index closes higher for the first time in seven sessions. Share Index gains 0.4% this morning to 3,495.175 points as HSBC, BOV, MIA, RS2 Software and MaltaPost rise and offsets the 2.4% decline in GO. Nonetheless, the Share Index closed the week 2.2% lower – the seventh consecutive week of declines. The Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slid 0.2% lower today to 980.215 points but still ended the week marginally higher. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Fresh bids help BOV’s share price to recover from an intra-day low of €2.90 to close this morning’s session 0.3% higher at the €2.94 level. Just over 18,000 shares change hands today with bids in the market at €2.89 whilst lowest offers placed at the €2.95 level. Despite today’s increase, the banking equity still closed the week 1% lower.
  • HSBC also unable to recover from the losses sustained earlier this week. Share price up 1% today to reach the €2.889 level on a single trade of 2,000 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.
  • MIA share price advances by 1.8% to €1.73 following yesterday’s publication of its 2010 annual results. The airport operator yesterday revealed a 10.5% increase in revenue to €46.5 million on the back of a 12.9% increase in passenger numbers to a record 3.29 million passenger movements. This resulted in a 20.9% increase in net profit to €10.69 million. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.053846 per share (net dividend of €0.035 per share) to those shareholders as at close of trading on 30 March. Further details on results available here.
  • Meanwhile the market reacted negatively to GO’s sharp reduction in dividend. Share price down a further 2.4% to a fresh 16-month low of €1.66 as all bids in the market were satisfied. Equity ends the week 4.1% lower and now ranks as the second worst performing equity since the start of the year with a 14.2% decline. 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.
  • Renewed demand helps RS2 Software recover from an all-time low of €0.30 to close 12.9% higher at the €0.35 level. 14,200 shares change hands today ahead of the imminent publication of the 2010 results.
  • MaltaPost also in positive territory as its share price adds 0.5% today to regain its all-time high of €1.10 across seven trades amounting to 18,389 shares. Further bids unsatisfied at the last traded price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €1.15 level. The postal operator ranks as the best performing equity this week with a weekly rise of 4.6%.
  • Meanwhile Lombard Bank continues to trade at the €3.01 level as a further 9,251 shares trade. This equity will turn ex-dividend as from 25 March.

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