Daily Market Highlights (20.08.12)

  • MSE Share Index kicks off the week in positive territory with a 0.2% increase to 3,032.933 points as BOV’s 2.4% rise offset the declines registered in the share prices of HSBC, Lombard and GO. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased marginally lower to 994.640 points reflecting the rise in eurozone yields to 1.585% this morning as markets continue to hope for intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB) in the bond markets of peripheral eurozone countries.
  • New bids for BOV shares lifted the Bank’s equity 2.4% higher to regain the €2.15 level across fourteen trades totalling 20,890 shares. Few other offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price whilst best bids pitched at the €2.10 level.
  • Meanwhile HSBC shares fell to an intraday low of €2.60 before partially recovering to close at the €2.631 level which still represents a 0.7% drop from the previous close. Three trades totalling 5,000 shares changed hands today. The Bank is expected to pay the recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.10 per share on Wednesday 22 August.
  • Lombard also in negative territory today as a single trade of 500 shares was transacted at a new 7-year low of €2.10 representing a 2.3% drop from the previous close. Lombard’s share price has shed 22.2% since the start of 2012 reflecting the prevailing unfavourable environment for banks as well as the expected adverse impact from the significant decline in profitability at MaltaPost. Last week, the latter reported that its expects the downward trend in profitability registered in the six months ended 31 March 2012 to continue and may even accelerate until such time as the regulatory framework within which the Company operates is adequately revised.
  • GO’s equity reversed last Friday’s 2% increase to drop back to the €1.00 level across two trades totalling 3,000 shares. The telecoms quad-play operator is expected to publish its half-year results by the end of August.
  • Last week, MIH published its 2012 half-year results revealing a net profit of €4.4 million compared to €0.1 million in the first half of 2011. The surge in profitability was the result of the significant increase in revenue to €12.3 million (June 2011: €5.1 million) as the occupancy at Palm city increased to reach the 82% level. The half-year report also updated the market on the Company’s next project, the Medina Tower development.  Since the start of 2012, MIH invested a further €9.1 million in this project thereby raising the Company’s total investment to €13 million (including the initial €3.9 million invested in 2010). Works on site are expected to commence later on this year. The Directors reiterated their view that the project’s business case has increased significantly following the conflict in Libya. Further details on results available here.