Daily Market Highlights (24.02.12)

  • MSE Share Index back into positive territory in the final session of this week with a 0.6% jump to 2,998.034 points following increases in the share prices of HSBC, BOV and Crimsonwing. The only other active equity, GO, closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary. After six consecutive weeks of declines, the local equity benchmark this week registered an increase of 0.3% mainly due to the increases in the share prices of the two large banks.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged marginally higher today to 987.707 points but still ended the week with a 0.1% drop. The weekly decline in the local MGS benchmark reflects the rise in Eurozone yields following this week’s agreement between the EU and Greece with respect to the second bailout of €130 billion.
  • HSBC also closed in positive territory today with its share price rising by 1.4% to €2.59 across four trades totalling just over 3,500 shares. Shortly after the close of this morning’s trading session, HSBC Malta published its 2011 full-year results revealing a 6.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €88.3 million. The rise in profitability is mainly due to a €6.9 million unrealised gain relating to a one-off adjustment in the methodology of the insurance business in line with HSBC Group policies. The financials also include one-time costs of €11 million related to the voluntary retirement scheme launched earlier this year which was broadly offset by the gain registered on the sale of the card acquiring business. HSBC today recommended the payment of a final gross dividend of €0.072 per share payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 13 March. Further details available here.
  • The share price of BOV also rose by 0.7% to regain the €2.18 level representing a weekly increase of 0.5%. Just under 20,000 shares changed hands today with few other offers remained unsatisfied at the closing price and highest bids at the €2.17 level.
  • The only other active equity today was GO which closed unchanged at the €0.83 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €0.79 across seven trades totalling 5,300 shares. The quad play telecom operator this morning announced that it has reached an agreement with the Government of Malta to transfer eleven properties to the Company. These properties, which mainly consist of telephone exchanges, are already occupied by the Company and form part of the Company’s core operations. In return, GO will transfer the land in Qawra back to the Government. The transfer of properties, which is still subject to Parliament approval, was valued at €13.8 million.
  • Fresh demand for Crimsonwing shares helped the equity gain 12.5% today from last week’s all-time low of €0.16. During this morning’s session, 41,150 shares traded at the €0.18 level. In the Company’s recent Interim Statement, the Directors explained that they expect Crimsonwing’s net overall financial position for the current financial year ending 31 March 2012 to be in line with that of the previous year when the Group registered a loss of €109,135. Nonetheless, the announcement also revealed that following a number of investments and cost cutting measures, the Crimsonwing Group has built a solid foundation that will enable it to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. Further details available here.
  • Next Middlesea Insurance is scheduled to publish its 2011 full-year results followed by Plaza (8 March), FIMBank (12 March), Lombard (15 March), Medserv (21 March) and MIA (22 March).