Daily Market Highlights (29.02.12)

  • Local equity market back into positive territory with the MSE Share Index rising 0.3% to 3,008.860 as the share prices of the two large banks reversed yesterday’s declines. Meanwhile the only other active equity, Farsons, closed in negative territory. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased minimally lower to 988.605 points following marginal reductions in the bid prices of Malta Government Stocks quoted by the Central Bank of Malta.
  • This morning the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the results of its second liquidity injection in just two months to counter the lack of liquidity in the wholesale market and ease tensions in the region’s bond market. Following the €489 billion borrowed in December 2011, over 520 European institutions were today allotted a record €529.5 billion in 3-year loans.
  • Locally, this morning, Corinthia Finance plc published the Prospectus in conjunction with the new €7.5 million 6% bond maturing between 2019 and 2022 following approval by the Listing Authority on Monday. Copies of the Prospectus are available here.
  • HSBC’s share price edged 0.6% higher to regain the €2.60 level across twelve trades totalling 12,124 shares. Best bids in the market at €2.585 with lowest offers at the €2.65 level. Last Friday, the Bank published its preliminary 2011 financial results revealing a 6.3% increase in pre-tax profits to €88.3 million. The 2011 results were characterised by a number of one-offs such as the sale of the card acquiring business and the €6.9 million unrealised gain from an adjustment in the methodology of the insurance business on the income side and an €11 million charge relating to a voluntary retirement scheme on the costs side. Excluding such extraordinary items, HSBC Malta’s profitability is line with that of 2010. The Directors recommended 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.
  • Likewise, BOV reversed yesterday’s drop as it edged 0.9% higher to regain the €2.20 level. Over 28,200 shares changed hands today with best bids placed at €2.17 and lowest offers at the €2.21 level.
  • The equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk slipped 1.7% lower to the €1.72 level on low volumes of 1,724 shares. Other bids remained unsatisfied at the closing price with lowest offers at the €1.85 level. The Farsons Group generally publishes its full-year results by mid-April.
  • Yesterday, Middlesea Insurance published its 2011 full-year results. The Middlesea Group registered a pre-tax profit of €3.1 million (2010: €6.4 million) as the significant increase in technical results was outweighed by the lower contribution from investments. After an absence of 3 years, the company proposed the payment of a marginal dividend of €0.01 gross per share. The publication of the financial statements and the re-instatement of the dividend failed to generate any trades but best bids are already placed higher than the last closing price at the €0.70 level.