Daily Market Highlights (18.03.2010)

  • MSE Index sheds 0.2% to end this shortened week at 3,590.125 points after BOV, FIMBank, MIA and MaltaPost all close today’s session in negative territory. HSBC is today’s only positive performer whilst IHG trades unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • BOV’s equity reverses this week’s gains and falls back to the €3.25 level, thereby closing the week 0.03% lower. Volumes increased to 17,332 shares during this morning’s session with best bids now placed at the closing level whilst offers are available at €3.29.
  • Meanwhile, HSBC rises by 0.3% to close at €3.31 on a single-100 share transaction. Further bids outstanding in the market at the closing price whilst lowest offers still pitched at the €3.35 level. The Bank is scheduled to hold its annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010.
  • FIMBank’s trades slightly lower US$1.139 level on four trades totalling 4,800 shares. Last Tuesday the trade finance specialist published its 2009 full-year results showing a profit after tax of US$1.6 million. While this represents a substantial decline from the US$24.8 million registered in 2008, the sale of shareholding in the Indian joint-venture factoring company Global Trade Finance Ltd in 2008 contributed to a total profit of US$23.8 million. The Group also stated that the outlook for 2010 is more positive and write-backs may be expected. Liquidity and capital adequacy ratios have been maintained at healthy levels and together with continued improvement in efficiencies, more available and diversified access to funding and a more optimistic economic outlook for 2010, the business performance of FIMBank should gradually return to its normal levels. The Directors recommended the payment of a scrip dividend of US$0.01156 per share. Shareholders have the option of receiving the dividend in either cash or by the issue of new shares at a price which still has to be announced. Those shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 25 March will be entitled to this dividend. Further details available here.
  • IHG Holdings closes unchanged at the €1.01 level with 10,000 shares exchanged over 7 trades. Investors on the register as at 14 April 2010 will gain eligibility to the net final dividend of €0.012 per share.
  • MIA reverses some of this week’s gains as 3,650 shares drag the equity 0.6% lower to close the week at €3.24. 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.
  • MaltaPost’s share price edges minimally lower to close at the €0.786 level on increased volumes totalling 65,000 shares.
  • Preplacement for Premier Capital plc bond issue took place this morning ahead of the General Public Offering which opens on Wednesday 24 March 2010.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. Equity this morning traded unchanged at the €0.80 level on low volumes of just under 6,200 shares.

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