Daily Market Highlights (22.03.12)

  • The local equity market’s two-day positive stint was halted with a marginal decline during this morning’s session as the MSE Share Index closed at 2,970.401 points. The declines in the share prices of GO and FIMBank offset the increases in BOV and MIA. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index moved higher for the first time in fourteen sessions by 0.1% to 982.915 points. Today’s upturn was in line with the drop in benchmark Eurozone yields to below the 2% level following negative economic data from China and the Eurozone as well as renewed concerns on the ability of peripheral Eurozone countries to spur growth and meet budget targets.
  • This morning Corinthia Finance published the allocation policy with respect to its recent issue of €7.5 million 6% bonds maturing between 2019 and 2022. The Company announced that applications of up to €40,000 will be satisfied in full. Amounts of over €40,000 will be allotted the first €40,000 in full together with 4.95% of the balance rounded to the nearest €1,000 (nominal). Further details, including interest commencement and trading, available here.
  • Earlier this week, 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.
  • New bids helped MIA’s share price to recover from an intra-day low of €1.66 to close this morning’s session 0.7% higher at the €1.69 level ahead of the 2011 full-year results publication later on this afternoon. Just over 34,000 shares changed hands today with best bids in the market at €1.64 whilst lowest offers pitched at the €1.70 level.
  • Likewise, BOV’s equity ended today’s session in positive territory with a 0.2% rise to €2.235 across seven trades totalling 23,340 shares. Other offers unsatisfied at the closing price with highest bids at the €2.23 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.
  • Meanwhile GO partially reversed some of yesterday’s gains as the equity slipped by 1.3% today to the €0.78 level across five trades totalling 11,730 shares.  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.
  • Similarly, FIMBank trimmed some of its recent recovery with a 2.3% drop during this morning’s session back to the US$0.85 level on high volumes of 310,000 shares. Last week, FIMBank plc informed the market of a possible transfer of shares amounting to 38.8% of the total issued share capital from the largest shareholder Massaleh Investments K.S.C.C. to Burgan Bank. Furthermore, Burgan Bank subsequently intends to inject new equity which will increase its potential holding to over 50% thereby initiating a Mandatory bid for the remaining shares. The above transactions are subject to the necessary approvals. It is also noteworthy to highlight that FIMBank’s equity is still trading with the entitlement to the net dividend of USD0.02 per share together with the 1 for 25 bonus issue. Further details of results available here.