Daily Market Highlights (22.02.10)

  • Following last week’s marginal increase, the MSE Share Index edges a further 0.1% higher this morning to close at 3,840.499 points on slight gains in HSBC and GO which offset a marginal decline in BOV. Meanwhile MIA and Middlesea trade unchanged. Volumes across the equity market decline as investors await the publication of HSBC’s full-year results which were announced shortly after the close of today’s trading session. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Existing bondholders of the maturing 6.5% Corinthia Finance bonds wishing to roll-over their investment into the new bonds on offer must submit their application form by next Thursday 25 February. Meanwhile the Intermediaries Offer for the bonds not taken up by preferred applicants will take place on 1 March. Further details of this bond issue is available here.
  • Last Friday the Treasury published the statistics with respect to the three new Malta Government Stock Issues. The results reveal that the Treasury received a total of 3,238 applications for the three new Stocks for a value exceeding €248 million against the €150 million on offer. The Treasury also announced that it allotted a total of €149.8 million (nominal) as follows: €67.2 million in the 3.75% MGS 2015 (VI), €75.3 million in the 4.6% MGS 2020 (II) FI and €7.3 million in the Floating Rate MGS 2013 (V). Further details available here.
  • HSBC’s share price edges 0.3% higher to close at the €3.87 level on volumes of just under 9,600 shares. Soon after the close of today’s trading session HSBC Malta published its 2009 accounts. The results reveal a 25.9% drop in pre-tax profit to €71.2 million in 2009 compared to the previous year as net operating income dropped by 15.2%. Meanwhile the Group’s operating expenses declined by 7.3% to €83.3 million. HSBC Malta reported that loans and advances increased by 3.7% to €3.2 billion while deposits edged 1.7% higher to €4.1 billion. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.08 per share for approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010. Shareholders as at close of trading next Monday 1 March will be entitled to this dividend. Further details available here.
  • Meanwhile BOV share price eases by 0.2% to drop back to the €3.49 level also on low volumes of just over 6,800 shares. Existing bondholders of the maturing 6.15% BOV 2010 Bonds have until 3 March to submit their application to be eligible to switch the redeeming bond into the new 4.8% bonds. The BOV Group is issuing €50 million 4.8% Subordinated Bonds with an over-allotment option of another €20 million due in 2020. Further details available here.
  • GO share price edges 0.4% higher to regain the €2.299 level on just two trades amounting to 2,500 shares. Best bids now placed at €2.29 whilst further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • MIA maintains the €3.00 level across two trades totalling almost 3,000 shares. According to the Airport Service Quality Survey 2009 of the Airport Council International (ACI), MIA has been classified as the fourth best airport in Europe overall. The local airport has also been classified as the third best in Europe for its shopping facilities following the recent improvements which were made last year – most notably the expansion of the retail area. An ACI Director explained that airports had to balance tight budgets with high customer expectations for service excellence. The results of the survey helped identify the leaders that met these challenges and revealed those airports which continued to invest and focus on customer services despite falling traffic numbers.
  • Middlesea also unchanged at the €0.75 level on a single trade of 1,300 shares. Recently the Insurance Group announced the closure of its loss-making subsidiary,  Progress Assicurazioni. Further details available here.
  • Island Hotels Group Holdings plc are expected to publish their full-year results for the year ended 31 October 2009 later on today.

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