Daily Market Highlights (29.03.10)

  • MSE Share Index sheds a further 0.2% to close at 3,568.484 points as HSBC’s 0.9% drop offsets BOV’s 0.3% rise. Meanwhile the other three active equities closed unchanged. Equity trading remains subdued on the local bourse as the local bond market is still in focus. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • HSBC sheds 0.9% to drop back to the €3.25 level on volumes of almost 28,700 shares. Best bids now placed at the €3.20 level whilst there are a few offers unsatisfied at the closing price. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010.
  • Meanwhile BOV’s equity advanced in positive territory for the fourth consecutive session as the share price edges a further 0.3% higher to close at the €3.29 level. Just under 8,000 shares changed hands today with best bids at €3.28 remaining unsatisfied.
  • Middlesea Insurance holds on to last week’s 4.2% rise, as a further 5,000 shares trade at the €0.75 level during this morning’s session. 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 December 2009 Rights Issue. Middlesea is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 9 June 2010.
  • MIA again closed unchanged at the €3.15 level after touching an intra-day high of €3.16. Low volumes of 4,500 shares traded today with the equity turning ex-dividend as from tomorrow. MIA’s recently published 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. At the Annual General Meeting, the Directors will also be proposing the redenomination of the nominal value of the ordinary shares of the Company together with a 2 for 1 share split. Further details available here.
  • A single trade of 700 MaltaPost shares transacted this morning at the €0.749 level, unchanged from the previous close. Best bids now placed at the €0.70 level whilst further offers outstanding at the closing price.
  • Last week 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. Equity inactive today with best bids at €0.781 and lowest offers still pitched at the €0.82 level.
  • Also last week, Premier Capital 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 planned to be remodelled through conversion into hybrid restaurants and McCafes.

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