Daily Market Highlights (23.03.12)

  • MSE Share Index in positive territory during the final session of this week with minimal increase to 2,972.092 points as most active equities traded higher. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. Over the week, the local equity benchmark moved 0.4% higher as the increases in the share prices of BOV, MIA, FIMBank and GO, amongst others, offset the only two negative performing equities, namely HSBC and Lombard Bank.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slid back into negative territory with a 0.1% drop to 982.438 points representing a weekly drop of 0.06%. MGS prices failed to follow this week’s drop in eurozone yields back to the 1.86% level. Benchmark yields had surged to a 14-week high of 2.075% on Wednesday on renewed investor confidence. However, investor sentiment took a knock in the latter part of the week following negative economic data published by Germany and China which triggered renewed concerns over the eurozone’s economic growth potential, EU governments ability to meet budget targets as well as the ability of peripheral countries of the region to sustain their respective level of sovereign debt.
  • Yesterday, 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.
  • MIA’s share price up 0.6% to the €1.70 level on increased activity of 30,812 shares following yesterday evening’s 2011 full-year results publication. The results revealed an 11% increase in net profits to €11.9 million mainly due to the 2.1% increase in revenue to €52.4 million which in turn was mainly the result of the 6.5% rise in passenger movements in 2011 to a record 3.5 million passengers. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.0615 per share (representing a 14.3% increase over the previous year’s final dividend) to all shareholders as at close of trading on 3 April. In total, MIA declared a gross dividend of €0.1077 for 2011 compared to €0.10 in 2010.Further details available here.
  • High volumes were also transacted in FIMBank with over 54,300 shares changing hands today helping the equity close 2.4% higher at US$0.87. Activity in FIMBank shares surged over the past two weeks following the announcement of the possible takeover by Burgan Bank (a Kuwaiti based bank). FIMBank’s equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of US$0.031 per share until Thursday 3 April. Further details of results available here.
  • This week’s best performing equity was GO with a 5.3% rise to €0.80 despite last week’s 2011 preliminary results which revealed a record loss of €51 million 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.
  • HSBC’s share price also edged 0.1% higher today to close at the €2.502 level on low volumes of 2,155 shares. Despite today’s upturn the Bank’s equity still ended the week 1.9% lower. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 18 April.
  • On the other hand, BOV reversed some of this week’s earlier increases with a 0.7% decline back to the €2.22 level but still ended the week 2.8% higher. Best bids in the market at €2.20 with lowest offers 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.


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