Daily Market Highlights (23.02.10)

  • The decline in HSBC’s profitability announced yesterday sends the local equity market into a tailspin. MSE Share Index plunges 3.1% to close at €3,722.587 points as the two big banks’ equities slipped lower. Meanwhile, IHI and GO edge marginally higher. Lombard, Middlesea and Medserv close unchanged. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Following yesterday’s results announcement, HSBC’s share price slumps 7.2% lower to its ‘limit-down’ price of €3.59 on a single trade of just 500 shares. The 2009 accounts 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.
  • HSBC results affect BOV negatively. Equity closes 2.6% lower at €3.398 after recovering from an intra-day low of €3.30. Just under 13,200 shares changed hands this morning with best bids now at €3.311 whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. 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.
  • Meanwhile GO’s share price edges minimally higher to regain its 2010 high of €2.30 on volumes of 8,800 shares. Best bids now placed at €2.25 whilst further offers remain outstanding at the closing price.
  • IHI also edges marginally higher to regain the €0.786 level. This trading activity amounting to just 724 shares with further bids in the market at the closing price whilst lowest offers still pitched at the €0.82 level.
  • A single trade of 10,000 MaltaPost shares executed at the €0.774 level, minimally lower from the previous close. The postal operator will be holding its Annual General Meeting tomorrow.
  • Middlesea closes unchanged at the €0.75 level for the fourth consecutive session after recovering from an intra-day low of €0.72. Low volumes of only 632 shares traded today. Recently the Insurance Group announced the closure of its loss-making subsidiary, Progress Assicurazioni. Further details available here.
  • Lombard and Medserv also closed unchanged. Lombard closes at the €3.09 level on 4,200 shares ahead of the 2009 full-year results publication scheduled for 11 March. A single trade of 2,000 Medserv shares transacted at the €4.25 level with no bids in sight and further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • Yesterday, Island Hotels Group Holdings plc issued a preliminary profit statement for the year ended 31 October 2009. For comparative reasons, the Group published proforma results for the full-year to 31 October 2009 since the holding company was only registered at the end of July 2009. During the year, the Island Hotels Group registered a 14% drop in turnover to €32.3 million. The Group’s profit before tax during 2009 declined by 33% to €3.3 million (2008: €4.8 million). Despite the decline in tourism in 2009, the Group stated that it registered a comparatively positive set of results mainly due to the mix of business models used by the Group’s portfolio of hotels. The Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.012 per share for shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 14 April 2010. Further details available here.
  • 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.

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