Daily Market Highlights (21.02.12)

  • Local equity market in positive territory for the third consecutive session as HSBC’s equity rises by a further 0.8%. On the other hand, Lombard and GO traded lower whilst BOV and RS2 closed unchanged. Overall, the MSE Share Index edged 0.1% higher to just below the 3,000-point level. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index was practically unchanged at 987.142 points as Eurozone yields remained stable at the 1.97% level. Last night, the EU granted a new €130 billion bailout to Greece after the country committed itself to further cuts, private investors agreed to take more losses and the European central Bank agreed to distribute profits generated from its dealing in sovereign debt paper. The agreement envisages that with these measures Greece will be able to cut its ratio of debt to gross domestic product (GDP) to 120.5% by 2020. Nonetheless, scepticism over the sustainability of Greece’s sovereign debt still remain as various analysts think that Greece will still struggle to return to economic growth for many years to come.
  • The retail tranches of the recently issued Malta Government Stocks were yesterday admitted to the Official List. The 4.3% MGS 2022 (II) was immediately active as €10,000 (nominal) changed hands at 100.5% representing a 50 basis points increase over the recent offer price. No trades were effected in the other two stocks.
  • HSBC’s share price up for the third successive session ahead of next Friday’s 2011 results publication. Equity up another 0.8% to regain the €2.60 level on low volumes of 1,500 shares.
  • Meanwhile BOV closed unchanged at the €2.17 level after it recovered from an intra-day low of €2.16 across two trades totalling 1,351 shares. Further offers outstanding at the closing price with best bids still pitched at the €2.16 level.
  • GO’s equity remains under pressure as it slid a further 3% to yet another all-time low of €0.805 on a small trade of 367 shares. GO’s share price slumped by 49.4% in 2011 and has declined by a further 17.9% since the start of 2012 as investors shun the equity over the uncertainty surrounding its investment in the Greek telecommunications group Forthnet.
  • Lombard also in negative territory with a 0.4% decline to a new 16-month low of €2.51 on volumes of 8,800 shares. This afternoon the Bank announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on 15 March to consider and approve the Group’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011.
  • A single trade of 33,500 RS2 Software shares was executed at the €0.55 level, unchanged from the previous close. RS2 has yet to announce the date when the 2011 full-year results will be published.