Daily Market Highlights (30.03.10)

  • MSE Share Index slides into negative territory for the third successive session to close this morning’s session 0.5% lower at 3,549.241 points on the back of declines in HSBC and MIA. Today marks the end of the first quarter of 2010 with the Index ending this period 3.1% higher than its value at the end of 2009. Nonetheless the Index shed a combined 7.2% during February and March mainly due to the drops in the share prices of HSBC and BOV during these months. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • HSBC slumps 1.5% to drop to a fresh 2010 low of €3.20 on three trades amounting to 1,110 shares. Best bids now placed at €3.10 whilst other offers remain unsatisfied at the closing price. HSBC closed the first quarter of 2010 marginally lower as the slump in February and March offset the 20.7% rise in January. The Bank is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 8 April 2010.
  • Meanwhile BOV’s equity closed unchanged today at €3.29 after easing from an intra-day low of €3.30. Just under 9,900 shares exchanged today with few other bids outstanding at the close price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €3.299 level. During the first quarter of 2010, BOV’s share price advanced by 6.3%.
  • MIA shed 1% today to close at the €3.12 level as the equity went ex-dividend. Almost 4,000 shares changed hands this morning with further bids remaining unsatisfied at the last trading price whilst lowest offers now placed at the €3.15 level. 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. MIA ranks as the best performing equity from all the constituents of the MSE Index with a 30% rise in the first quarter of 2010.
  • MaltaPost closes unchanged at the €0.749 level on volumes of just over 3,000 shares. The postal operator rallied 6.3% over the first three months of this year.
  • 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 any day soon. 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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