Daily Market Highlights (22.01.10)

  • Local equity market recovers some of yesterday’s drop as the MSE Share Index rises by 0.2% to regain 3,900. HSBC climbs back to €4.00 level. MIA, Middlesea, Plaza Centres and MaltaPost also trade higher offsetting BOV’s 1.4% slide. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • HSBC reverses yesterday’s decline on low volumes of just 6,200 shares. Share price edges 0.5% higher to €4.00. Best bids still at €3.90 whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. HSBC closes the week 9.6% higher. The Bank is shortly expected to publish its 2009 full-year results and declare a final dividend to shareholders.
  • Meanwhile, BOV slips lower for the second consecutive session. Equity drops 1.4% to €3.549 on volumes of over 32,400 shares. Despite the downturn in the previous two sessions, BOV still ends the week 5.9% higher. During the first three sessions of the week BOV had jumped 12.2% buoyed by the confirmation of its long-term rating ‘A-‘ with a stable outlook from Fitch Ratings. In its report, Fitch stated that BOV’s rating reflects it conservative management, satisfactory liquidity and healthy capital ratios. Fitch reported that the rating also factors in the Bank’s historically weak asset quality by international standards (although it has been improving in recent years) and its reliance on Malta’s small economy. Further details on the rating confirmation is available here.
  • GO maintains its 16-month high amid high volumes reaching over 40,000 shares to end the week marginally higher. Share price closes unchanged this morning at the €2.285 level after it recovered from an intra-day low of €2.25. Earlier this week the Greek company Forthnet, in which GO has an indirect shareholding, announced that it is proceeding with the operational integration of the fixed telecommunications business (branded Forthnet) and the pay television business (NOVA) in order to improve its service and achieve further operational efficiency.
  • Middlesea Insurance recovery goes on as the share price edges a further 3.4% higher to close at €0.86. Just over 23,500 shares changed hands this morning with best bids at €0.835 whilst lowest offers now pitched at the €0.875 level. Despite last week’s announcement that preliminary data is showing a marked deterioration in claims at the Group’s Italian subsidiary Progress Assicurazioni during the last quarter of 2009, the insurance equity this week recovered by 17.7% towards its recent high of €1.00 – reached on 11 January 2010. Further details on the announcement available here.
  • MIA jumps 5.5% to a fresh 15-month high of €2.90 on miniscule volumes of only 666 shares. The airport operator ends the week 9.4% higher following the statistics publication last Monday. During a press conference, MIA CEO Julian Jaeger announced a 6.1% yearly decline in passenger movements in 2009 when compared to 2008. This represents an improvement from the 2009 forecast of a 6.8% decline in passenger movements provided by the company in July 2009. Moreover Mr. Jaeger announced that the Company is forecasting a 2.8% growth in passenger movements for 2010 based on the new routes for 2010 which will be operated by Easyjet, Ryanair, BMI and Norwegian. Further details of the statistics available here.
  • Intensified demand for MaltaPost shares following yesterday’s results publication showing improved profitability. Equity jumps 6.8% to €0.80 (marginally below the equity’s 2009 high of €0.82) on high volumes of over 26,000 shares.  Yesterday MaltaPost published its September 2009 full-year results showing a 10% increase in pre-tax profits to €3.2 million as cost savings outweighed the marginal decline in revenue. The Board of Directors is proposing a final net dividend of €0.04 per share for shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 26 January 2010. Shareholders have the option of receiving this dividend in shares at an attribution price of €0.66 per share. Further details of results available here.
  • Plaza Centres moves 2.4% higher to €1.69 – marginally below its 2009 high of €1.72. Two trades amounting to 10,000 shares executed this morning with best bids at €1.63 whilst further offers outstanding at the €1.69 level.
  • A single trade of 3,000 IHG Holdings shares transacted this morning at the €1.01, unchanged from the previous close. The Group is scheduled to publish its October 2009 full-year results on 22 February 2010.

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