Daily Market Highlights (20.12.11)

  • Local equity market in negative territory for the second consecutive session as the MSE Share Index retreated a further 0.2% back to yet another 27-month low of 3,049.456 points. FIMBank traded lower today whilst MaltaPost edged higher. The remaining three active equities, namely BOV, HSBC and GO, closed the session unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved 0.2% lower to 986.635 points as Eurozone yields regained the 1.93% following the publication of positive data from Germany indicating an improved business confidence for the second consecutive month. It is noteworthy to highlight the €15 million (nominal) that traded in the 4.3% MGS 2016 (IV) during this morning session. The trade was executed at 104.37% representing a 34 basis points decline from the previous closing price.
  • FIMBank share forced 9% lower to a new 2-month low of US$0.70 across two trades totalling 8,500 shares. No other bids in sight with lowest offers at the $0.77 level.
  • The share price of MaltaPost initially traded up to €1.00 for the first time since 19 August. However, the postal operator’s equity partially eased back to close at the €0.979 level representing a 2.5% increase over the previous close. Just over 40,500 shares changed hands today with best bids in the market at €0.96 and lowest offers at the €0.99 level. The postal operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 17 January for shareholders to consider and approve a number of resolutions including the final net dividend of €0.04 per share and the scrip dividend option with an attribution price of €0.98 per share.
  • Increased activity also recorded in GO with 19,600 shares changing hands today. Equity slumped to a new all-time low of €0.94 before recovering to close unchanged at the €1.00 level. Similar downward trend in the share price of Forthnet which last traded on the Athens Stock Exchange at another all-time low of €0.09 per share. The Greek company recently postponed its Extraordinary General Meeting to 13 January. Forthnet is seeking approval from its shareholders on a number of changes to its capital structure and a €30 million rights issue in line with the conditions of the bank debt restructuring.
  • BOV failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.51 as the equity slipped back to close unchanged at the €2.50 level during the latter part of this morning’s trading session. 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.
  • Likewise, HSBC closed unchanged at the €2.55 level on a small deal of 500 shares. Other bids unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers at the €2.58 level. 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.