Daily Market Highlights (26.03.10)

  • MSE Share Index slips 0.3% back to close at 3,576.707 points as IHI, GO, Lombard, and MaltaPost trade lower, offsetting BOV’s 0.2% increase. Meanwhile HSBC and MIA closed unchanged. Loqus Holdings (on the Alternative List) jumps 23.1%. The Index closed this week 0.4% lower mainly due to the declines in the share price prices of HSBC, GO, & MIA. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • BOV’s share price edges minimally higher to regain the €3.28 level on volumes of 12,600 shares. Best bids now placed at €3.279 whilst further offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. The Bank ends the week 0.9% higher.
  • Meanwhile HSBC shares continue to trade at the €3.28 level. Low volumes of 1,430 shares traded this morning with few other bids at the closing price whilst lowest offers still pitched at the €3.31 level. Following the declines registered in the early part of the week, HSBC closed the week 0.9% lower. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010.
  • IHI reverses yesterday’s 2.4% rise as the share price drops back to the €0.801 level on a single trade of just 316 shares. Following today’s decline, equity closes the week just 0.1% higher. On Wednesday 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.
  • GO edges 0.2% lower to close at the €2.18 level on volumes of 4,000 shares. Following last week’s 1.2% decline, equity drops by a further 2.6% this week possibly in reaction to the Group’s 2009 results. The 2009 financial statements show a 4.5% decline in turnover to €123.7 million as the Group was negatively effected by the international economic climate, the increased competition and by the impact of regulation. On the other hand, GO stated that it was positively impacted by the results of the BM Group, the data centre operation in which GO acquired a 60% shareholding in April 2009. GO’s results were also negatively impacted by the investment in Forthnet. Forthnet managed to reduce its loss during 2009 and announced a pre-tax loss of €40.5 million (2008: loss of €54.6 million). The GO Group incurred a pre-tax loss of €3.2 million (2008: Profit of €0.3 million) resulting in loss per share of €0.066 (2008: +€0.02). GO recommended the payment of a final net dividend of €0.10 per share to those shareholders as at close of trading on Tuesday 13 April 2010. Further details available here.
  • A single trade of 910 Lombard shares transacted at the €2.99 level. Best bids now placed at the €2.80 level with further offers remaining unsatisfied at the closing price. Equity reverses all of this year’s gains as it ends this week 3.6% lower.
  • Middlesea Insurance maintains the €0.75 level on three trades amounting to over 11,700 shares. Renewed demand helped the Insurance equity close the week 4.2% higher. Middlesea 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 closes unchanged at the €3.15 level on volumes of over 13,000 shares. The airport operate slipped 2.8% this week despite trading with the entitlement to the final gross dividend. 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.
  • MaltaPost’s share price eases 0.1% lower to close at the €0.749 on a single trade of 1,000 shares. The postal operator ends the week as the worst performer with a weekly decline of 4.7%.
  • Loqus Holdings (formerly Datatrak Holdings) jumps 23.1% to close at a fresh 28-month high of €0.32. It was recently revealed that Loqus was awarded a €1.9 million contract by the Government of Malta to implement a system called Land & Estate Management Information System.
  • Premier Capital plc on Wednesday also 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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