Daily Market Highlights (19.12.11)

  • MSE Share Index back into negative territory as it dropped by 0.1% to a new 27-month low of 3,056.748 points as HSBC’s 2% rise was offset by declines in the share prices of Middlesea Insurance and MIDI. Meanwhile, BOV, MIA and MaltaPost all closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged higher for the fourth consecutive session with another 0.1% rise to a 5-week high of 988.254 points. This reflects the recent downturn in benchmark Eurozone yields as markets grow increasingly wary of the region’s sovereign debt crisis. The price of the 5.20% MGS 2031 advanced by 28 basis points to a new all-time high of 102.83% on volumes of €326,300 (nom).
  • HSBC’s share price lifted 2% higher during this morning’s session helping the equity regain the €2.55 level across 11,760 shares. Lowest offers now placed at €2.59. Last week, the Bank announced that it will be closing down a total of six branches by mid-March 2012 as part of the Bank’s cost savings plans. Moreover, as announced in its recent Interim Directors Statement, employees will be offered voluntary retirement schemes which will be the main item in the expected one-off restructuring charge of €10 million. Further details on the Interim Directors’ Statement available here.
  • BOV’s equity also moved into positive territory during the initial stages of this morning’s trading session with the equity rising to the €2.52 level. However, BOV’s share price subsequently dropped back to close unchanged at the €2.50 level. Over 32,500 shares changed hands today with few other offers unsatisfied at the closing price. Last Friday the Bank held its Annual General Meeting during which shareholders approved all the items on the agenda including the final gross dividend of €0.08 per share, which was paid on 17 December, and the 1 for 8 bonus share issue. Shareholders as at close of trading on 9 January will be eligible to receive the bonus shares.
  • A single trade of 1,300 MIDI shares was executed at the €0.351 level – a new all-time low for the equity which was listed in December 2010. Other bids outstanding at the last closing price with lowest offers at the €0.38 level.
  • Middlesea also in negative territory today as one deal of just 50 shares was transacted at the equity’s 2011 low of €0.80.
  • MaltaPost held on to last week’s 0.5% increase as a further 2,145 shares changed hands at the €0.955 level. The postal operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 17 January 2012 during which shareholders will be asked to approve the final net dividend of €0.04 per shares as well as the resolution to give shareholders the option to take the dividend either in cash or in new shares at the attribution price of €0.98.
  • MIA also unchanged at the €1.60 level across two trades amounting to 2,366 shares. Further bids unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers at the €1.68 level. The airport operator is set to exceed its passenger growth forecast for 2011 of 4.5% after it registered a 6.9% rise in passenger movements to 3,332,993 during the first eleven months of 2011.
  • Last week GO, through Forgendo, requested Forthnet to postpone its Extraordinary General Meeting to 13 January 2012. GO stated that given the current macroeconomic environment in Greece and the adverse impact on Forthnet’s performance, it requires further evaluation of the request made by Forthnet to increase shareholders’ equity through a rights issue. GO added that in their view it is premature for the company, through Forgendo Ltd, to commit any funds to the proposed capital increase. GO’s shares were inactive today whilst Forthnet shares hit yet another all-time low of €0.105 during this morning’s session on the Athens Stock Exchange.