Daily Market Highlights (25.03.10)

  • Local equity market in positive territory for the first time in six sessions. MSE Share Index closes 0.6% higher during this morning’s session to edge towards the 3,600-point level. BOV, IHI, MIA, Middlesea and Crimsonwing all trade higher to offset the 1.2% drop in the share price of Plaza Centres. Meanwhile HSBC and MaltaPost close unchanged. Volumes remain low across the 9 active equities, . Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • BOV’s share price inches 0.4% higher to regain the €3.275 level on low volumes of just over 4,300 shares. Few bids in the market at the €3.27 level whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • Meanwhile HSBC closes unchanged at the €3.28 level for the second consecutive session. Thin trades totalling just 900 shares with few other bids outstanding at the last traded price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €3.31 level. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010.
  • IHI share price up by 2.4% to close at a fresh 2010 high of €0.82. A miniscule trade of 813 shares transacted today with best bids still pitched at the €0.801 level whilst few other offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. Yesterday IHI announced the closure of its €25 million 6.25% bond issue due to over-subscription. These bonds were raised to fund the redemption of the €11.6 million 5% convertible bonds issued in 2000 and due to mature on 29 May 2010 and to fully repay an outstanding loan amounting to €12 million with an international bank. The allocation policy is expected in the coming days.
  • Middlesea Insurance rises a further 2.7% to regain the €0.75 on a single trade of 1,500 shares. The insurance company recently held an Extraordinary General Meeting during which shareholders approved a number of changes to the memorandum and articles of association to reflect the new shareholding structure following the November 2009 Rights Issue. Middlesea is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 9 June 2010.
  • MIA’s share price advances by 1.6% to regain the €3.15 level on volumes of 4,700 shares. Best bids still placed at €3.10 whilst further offers outstanding at the closing price. MIA’s 2009 financial statements show a 3.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €14.1 million as the 6% decline in passenger numbers in 2009 was more than offset by the 20% increase (equivalent to €2.1 million) in non-aviation income following the Air Terminal extension and the increase in rentable area. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.08769 per share to shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 29 March 2010. The Directors will also be proposing the redenomination of the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the Company and a 2 for 1 share split. Further details available here.
  • Plaza‘s equity eases by 1.2% to €1.67 on three trades amounting to 10,000 shares. Further bids in the market at the closing price whilst lowest offers now pitched at the €1.685 level. The Company recently announced its 2009 full-year results revealing a 9% rise in revenue to €2 million mainly as a result of a full-year’s contribution of the increased rentable area following the extension completed in April 2008. This rise in turnover helped the profit for the year rise by 6.8% to €0.84 million. Plaza managed to maintain a high level of occupancy during 2009 at 94%. The Directors are recommending the payment of a final gross dividend of €0.13 per share to shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 6 April. Further details available here.
  • Crimsonwing rises by 5.8% to a fresh 2010 high of €0.46 on two trades totalling 5,673 shares. Further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price with highest bids now placed substantially lower at the €0.25 level.
  • A further 6,500 MaltaPost shares trade at the €0.75 level. Best bids still placed at €0.72 whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price.
  • Premier Capital plc yesterday announced the closure of its bond issue due to over-subscription. In view of the strong demand for the bonds, the company exercised its over-allotment option and increased the amount of the 10-year bond issue to a maximum of €25 million. The allocation policy should be published by Thursday 1 April. Premier Capital plc is the development licensee of McDonald’s in Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and the €25 million bond issue was raised principally for financing the expansion and development programme over the coming 2 years. The Premier Group intends to acquire 8 new McDonald’s restaurants in Malta and the Baltic states while a number of existing McDonald’s outlets are intended to be remodelled through conversion into hybrid restaurants and McCafes.

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