Daily Market Highlights (22.03.2010)

  • MSE Index edges 0.3% lower to 3,579.329 points as HSBC, GO, MIA and MaltaPost close in negative territory. On the other hand, Crimsonwing ranks as today’s top performer as it gains 6.1% to close at a new 2010-high of €0.435. Moreover BOV, FIMBank, Plaza and GHM also close higher whilst Middlesea trades unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • BOV’s equity reverses most of last week’s losses as it gains 1.1% to close at €3.285 on total volumes amount to over 11,705 shares. A further 1,867 shares remain on offer at this level whilst highest bids now placed at €3.251.
  • On the other hand, HSBC edges 0.3% lower to close at €3.30 on 5 trades totaling 1,800 shares. Further bids outstanding in the market at the closing price whilst lowest offers still pitched at the €3.379 level. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010.
  • FIMBank’s trades slightly higher at US$1.15 level on two trades totalling 1,000 shares. Last week the trade finance specialist published its 2009 full-year results showing a profit after tax of US$1.6 million. While this represents a substantial decline from the US$24.8 million registered in 2008, the sale of shareholding in the Indian joint-venture factoring company Global Trade Finance Ltd in 2008 contributed to a total profit of US$23.8 million. The Group also stated that the outlook for 2010 is more positive and write-backs may be expected. Liquidity and capital adequacy ratios have been maintained at healthy levels and together with continued improvement in efficiencies, more available and diversified access to funding and a more optimistic economic outlook for 2010, the business performance of FIMBank should gradually return to its normal levels. The Directors recommended the payment of a scrip dividend of US$0.01156 per share. Shareholders have the option of receiving the dividend in either cash or by the issue of new shares at a price which still has to be announced. Those shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 25 March will be entitled to this dividend. Further details available here.
  • GO’s share price drops to an intra-day low of €2.10 before partially recovering to a close of €2.145. Equity ends the day 4.2% lower on volumes of 16,640 shares. This share price decline follows the recent publication of the Group’s 2009 financial statements which showed a 4.5% decline in turnover to €123.7 million as the Group was negatively effected by the international economic climate, the increased competitive environment and by the impact of regulation on certain tariffs. However, revenue from core activities remained strong and the Group continues to offset the decline of traditional fixed-line voice services by maximizing the growth opportunities of broadband and TV services. Also GO stated that it was positively impacted by the results of the BM Group, the data centre operation in which GO acquired a 60% shareholding in April 2009. However the Group explained that the last two financial years were impacted by various one-off transactions. GO’s results were also negatively impacted by the investment in Forthnet. Forthnet managed to reduce its loss during 2009 and announced a pre-tax loss of €40.5 million (2008: loss of €54.6 million). The GO Group incurred a pre-tax loss of €3.2 million (2008: Profit of €0.3 million) resulting in loss per share of €0.066 (2008: +€0.02). GO recommended the payment of a final net dividend of €0.10 per share to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 13 April 2010. Further details available here.
  • Plaza Centres gains 2.4% to €1.69 over a single 1,000-share trade ahead of the 2009 full-year results which are expected to be announced this afternoon. Lowest offers now pitched at €1.75.
  • MIA continues to reverse some of its recent strong gains. Share price drops 4.3% lower to close at €3.10 on low volumes of 2,500. The airport operator’s 2009 financial statements published on 11 March showed a 3.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €14.1 million (the highest level in the last 3 years) despite a 6% decline in passenger numbers in 2009. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.08769 per share (net: €0.057) to shareholders as at close of trading next Monday 29 March 2010. The Board is also proposing the redenomination of the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the Company from €0.465874 per share to €0.50 per share and a subsequent 2-for-1 share split on 1 June 2010. Further details available here.
  • Crimsonwing’s equity climbs 6.1% to a new 2010 high of €0.435 on one deal of 4,327 shares. Further bids remain unsatisfied at the closing level with lowest offers now placed at €0.45.
  • MaltaPost’s share price edges minimally lower to close at the €0.784 level on high volumes totalling 30,000 shares.
  • Share price of Grand Harbour Marina gains 1.1% to €1.92 on a single trade of 2,500 shares. Lowest offers of 5,000 shares now at the €1.97 level.
  • The General Public Offering stage for Premier Capital plc’s bond issue starts on Wednesday 24 March 2010.The development licensee of McDonald’s in Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is offering €20 million worth of 10-year bonds (with a €5 million over-allotment option) at a coupon of 6.8% per annum in order to continue expanding in the Baltic States and Malta. Further details available here.
  • IHI recently announced a new bond issue of €25 million 10-year bonds at a coupon of 6.25% per annum. The proceeds are partly earmarked to fund the redemption of the €11.6 million 5% convertible bonds which mature on 29 May 2010 while the balance will be mainly used to fully repay an outstanding loan with an international bank. IHI will be giving preferential allocation to the holders of the 5% convertible bonds. IHI will also be giving preferential allotment to its shareholders and bondholders, together with bondholders of Corinthia Finance plc and Mediterranean Investments Holding plc. Applications open tomorrow. Further details available here.

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