Daily Market Highlights (18.08.11)

  • MSE Share Index sheds a further 0.6% today to close at 3,131.410 points as HSBC and BOV trade lower. Meanwhile the other four active equities closed unchanged amid shallow volumes. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary. Foreign equity markets significantly in the red today with the FTSE 100 down 2.5%, the DAX sliding by 3.8% and American stockmarkets also expected to open in negative territory as fears of a looming global recession mounts.
  • Concern on slower economic growth also led to a sharp downturn in benchmark Eurozone yields back to the 2.18% level as investors seek safer sovereign bonds. In turn, the Central Bank of Malta sharply raised its bid prices resulting in a 0.3% rise in the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index to 990.794 points. The price appreciation helped sustain the high volumes across local government paper registered in recent days. In fact, a further €4.75 million (nominal) in Malta Government Stocks changed hands during this morning’s session.
  • HSBC’s share price drops 2% back to a fresh 22-month low of €2.70 level across eighteen trades amounting to over 34,500 shares. Other bids unsatisfied at the closing price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €2.75 level. The Bank is scheduled to pay the recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.082 per share on 24 August.
  • BOV eases minimally lower to the €2.589 level on just a single trade of 5,380 shares. Other offers outstanding at the last traded price whilst best bids in the market at the €2.56 level.
  • Meanwhile Lombard shares recoup from an intra-day low of €2.649 to close unchanged at the €2.699 level. Four trades amounting to over 25,000 shares transacted today ahead of the Bank’s interim results publication on 23 August.
  • GO also unchanged today as another 1,000 shares were exchanged at the €1.25 level. Both GO and Forthnet (the Greek telecommunications group in which GO has an indirect investment) have yet to announce the date of their respective 2011 half-year results.
  • MIA opened marginally higher at €1.51 before easing back to the €1.50 level. Other bids unsatisfied at the closing price whilst lowest offers still in the market at the €1.58 level. The airport operator is expected to pay its recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.0462 per share on 15 September.
  • Simonds Farsons Cisk shares also unchanged at the €1.80 level after touching a low of €1.78. However offers already placed below the closing price whilst best bids still placed at the €1.68 level.
  • MaltaPost publishes its Interim Statement covering the period from 1 April 2011 to mid-August. The postal operator explained that the overall turnover figures are marginally higher compared to those in the corresponding last year whilst profitability on normal trading activity is in line with the comparative period. Further details available here.