Daily Market Highlights (21.03.12)

  • MSE Share Index again in positive territory with a marginal increase to 2,971.289 points on the back of positive movements in the share prices of BOV and GO. Meanwhile the equities of HSBC and MIA traded lower. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged lower for the thirteen consecutive session with a further 0.1% drop to 981.583 points reflecting the sustained rise in yields. However, this afternoon, eurozone benchmark yields dropped back to 2.02% level as demand for German paper increased on the back of the recent yield hike. Moreover, the UK announced that it will be continuing with its austerity plans in a bid to reduce its public debt.
  • Yesterday, BOV published the Final Terms in relation to the issue of the second series of Notes under its €125 million Debt Issuance Programme. The first tranche of this second series will encompass €40 million of Notes carrying a coupon of 4.25% and maturing in 2019. Further details on the new notes together with copies of the Final Terms and other relevant documentation available here.
  • Further demand for BOV’s equity evident today with the share price rising by 2.3% to €2.23 across fourteen trades totalling just over 31,600 shares. Best bids in the market at €2.18 with lowest offers at the €2.235 level. This month marks the end of the BOV Group’s half-year end with the interim results generally published by the end of April.
  • GO also in positive territory for the second session in a row with a further 2.6% rise to regain the €0.79 level. Just under 25,000 shares changed hands today with further bids unsatisfied at the closing price and lowest offers at the €0.84 level. Last week’s full-year results publication revealed a record €51 million loss and the lack of a dividend for shareholders. The subdued performance is again solely attributable to the losses incurred by the Greek telecommunications company Forthnet (in which GO and its major shareholder have a stake of 41%) which offset the steady performance of the Maltese operation. In fact, Forthnet’s losses, which included a €128.5 million impairment of goodwill on its Pay-Tv business, led to a €62.3 million charge in ‘losses attributable to investments in jointly-controlled entity’. Coupled with the previous years’ write-downs, GO’s indirect investment in Forthnet (originally valued at around €120 million) is now worth only €3.6 million. For the first time since the privatisation way back in 1998, GO’s Directors did not recommend a dividend. The Directors explained that at this stage it is important for the GO Group to replenish its reserves after these have been depleted by the various impairments on GO’s indirect investment in Forthnet in recent years. GO now ranks as the eight largest company by market capitalisation compared to a fourth position in early 2010.
  • Meanwhile HSBC Malta’s shares slid 2% lower to €2.50 on volumes of 8,000 shares. Other bids unsatisfied at the last traded price with lowest offers at the €2.54 level. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 18 April.
  • The only other active equity, MIA, edged minimally lower to €1.678 on a single trade of just 300 shares. Offers already placed minimally lower at €1.677 with highest bids at the €1.64 level. The airport operator is scheduled to publish its 2011 full-year results tomorrow.