Daily Market Highlights (26.02.10)

  • MSE Share Index closes the last session of the week 0.4% higher at 3,620.153 as index heavyweights BOV and IHI trade marginally higher. Meanwhile GO and MaltaPost edge minimally lower whilst HSBC and Middlesea close unchanged. Volumes remain low as investors continue to focus on the bond market. Despite today’s upturn, the Index still closes 5.7% lower as HSBC slumped 14.5% during the week after announcing a 25.9% drop in pre-tax profits on Monday. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Following the subscription period for existing bondholders of the maturing 6.5% Corinthia Finance, the Intermediaries Offer for the bonds not taken up by preferred applicants will take place next Monday 1 March. Further details of this bond issue is available here.
  • Following the 14.7% drop in the previous three sessions, HSBC closes unchanged this morning at the €3.30 level on volumes of over 17,500 shares. On Monday afternoon HSBC published its 2009 accounts revealing a 25.9% drop in pre-tax profits to €71.2 million as net operating income declined by 15.2%. Meanwhile 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.
  • Meanwhile BOV recovers some of its recent declines. Equity edges 0.5% higher to regain the €3.365 level. Low volumes of 6,750 shares exchanged today with best bids still placed at the €3.33 level whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. BOV ends the week 3.8% lower as the share price was negatively impacted by HSBC’s downturn. The BOV Group is issuing €50 million 4.8% Subordinated Bonds with an over-allotment option of another €20 million due in 2020. 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. Further details available here.
  • IHI also edges 1.8% higher to regain the €0.80 level also on low volumes of 3,000 shares. Further bids outstanding at the closing price whilst lowest offers still pitched at the €0.82 level. IHI ends the week as the best performing equity with a 2.6% rise.
  • GO eases minimally lower to close at the €2.299 level on volumes of 3,000 shares. Nonetheless equity still closes the week 0.4% higher.
  • MaltaPost slips lower for the third time this week. The postal operator sheds a further 0.8% during this morning’s session to close at the €0.759 level. Volumes of 13,400 shares traded today with best bids still placed at the €0.75 level whilst offers already placed minimally below the last closing price. Equity ends the week 2.1% lower.
  • Middlesea trades unchanged at the €0.75 level on just three trades totalling 6,600 shares. Middlesea recently announced that it closed down its loss making Italian subsidiary Progress Assicurazioni. Further details available here.
  • On Monday Island Hotels Group Holdings plc issued its 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.

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