Daily Market Highlights (18.05.12)

  • The MSE Share Index edged 0.2% higher to close at 2,971.832 points as gains in equities of GO, Lombard Bank and Malta International Airport offset the losses in shares of BOV. Download of copy of the equity market summary here.
  • On the local bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher to 990.743 points as the Central Bank of Malta increased its bid prices across most maturities. This morning Eurozone yields touched a new all-time low of 1.394% as concerns regarding the future of Greece in the Eurozone continued to escalate following last night’s downgrade by the credit rating agency Fitch to ‘CCC’. The downturn in yields was also as a result of the announcement by the credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service that it downgraded 16 Spanish banks including the largest banks Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.
  • GO plc maintained its recent upward momentum as the equity gained another 9% to close at €0.85 on volumes totalling 21,950 shares. Trading in GO’s equity was very high during this week with a total of 892,178 shares changing hands with the bulk of the trading occurring mostly during Monday’s session at its all-time low of €0.70. GO is the best performer of the week with a gain of 14.9%.
  • Lombard Bank bounced back from yesterday’s 76-month low of €2.30 as it edged 2.1% higher to €2.349 but on low volumes of only 140 shares. Shortly after the close of today’s trading session Lombard published its Interim Statement. The Bank stated that despite the heightened European debt crisis, Lombard maintained a prudent approach and its liquidity and capital adequacy rations remained above the regulatory requirements. The Bank once again stressed that it holds no exposure to financial instruments of non-Maltese sovereign or corporate bodies. The Bank further stated that although loans and advances to customers increased marginally over the corresponding period last year, the deposit base has stayed at the same level with profitability levels also corresponding to those of the same period in 2011. Lombard Bank indicated that the drop in profits registered by MaltaPost plc during the first half of their financial year to 31 March 2012, as well as a one-off trading gain registered by the Bank in the first half of 2011, are likely to negatively impact the Group’s consolidated comparative financial results for the half year to 30 June 2012.
  • MIA’s share price edged 1.2% higher to €1.75 on a single trade of 500 shares. In the Interim Statement published earlier on this afternoon, the airport operator stated that its financial position has remained sound and the performance has been in line with projected results. The Directors stated that subject to any unforeseen circumstances, the Company’s financial results for 2012 will be within the projections prepared at the beginning of the year.is still to publish its interim directors’ statement.
  • Bank of Valletta dropped 1% lower to a new 2012 low of €2.08 on volumes totalling 15,980 shares. BOV’s equity lost 1.9% this week.
  • HSBC continued to trade at 2012 low of €2.50 on lower volumes of 9,200 shares. HSBC’s share price ended the week 2% lower.
  • Apart from Lombard Bank and MIA, two other companies (RS2 Software plc and Medserv plc) also published their Interim Statements. GO plc and Plaza Centres plc are the remaining companies that are due to make their announcements.