Daily Market Highlights (30.12.11)

  • On the last trading day of 2011, the MSE Share Index edged 0.1% higher to 3,094.799 points as the 8.3% rise in MIDI’s share price offset the declines in BOV and HSBC. The only two other active equities closed unchanged. Download a copy of the Equity Market Summary.
  • During 2011, the local equity benchmark slipped 18.2% (the first yearly drop since 2008) as most of the large cap equities registered double-digit declines. Only four equities ended 2011 in positive territory with RS2 Software ranking as the best performer as it climbed 25% during the year reflecting the improved financial performance and higher dividends to shareholders. Meanwhile all other equities, with the exception of MaltaPost which closed unchanged, traded lower during the last twelve months. GO’s equity stands at the bottom of this year’s rankings with a dismal 49.4% plunge as the Group incurred significant impairments on its investment in Forthnet.
  • On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index closed a volatile 2011 with a decline of 0.4% to 988.877 points. Eurozone yields initially surged to 3.51% from 2.968% as at 30 December 2010 as the ECB raised interest rates by 50 basis points to 1.50%. However, yields dropped to end the year at 1.83% as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis took centre stage pushing investors towards the ‘safe haven’ sovereign paper of Germany and as the European Central Bank reversed the interest rate rises communicated earlier on in the year.
  • During this morning’s session, BOV’s share price edged 0.4% lower back to the €2.50 level across eleven trades totalling just under 16,000 shares. BOV’s equity will trade with the entitlement to the bonus share issue until Monday 9 January 2012. The Bank’s share price ended 2011 with a decline of 22.2% following the downward pressure on profitability and indications of an equally challenging 2012.
  • A small trade of 200 HSBC shares was transacted during today’s session at €2.579 representing a marginal decline from the previous close. Similar to BOV, HSBC traded lower during each of the four quarters of 2011 resulting in a yearly drop of 20.8%. Recently the Bank announced that its Board of Directors approved a cost savings plan in order to mitigate the expected slowdown in business during 2012. The profit from the sale of the Bank’s card acquiring business for €11 million which was announced earlier this week should offset some of the one-off restructuring costs of circa €10 million.
  • GO recovered from an intra-day low of €0.95 to close today’s session unchanged at the €0.98 level. 5,200 shares changed hands today with further offers unsatisfied at the closing price and highest bids at the €0.92 level. GO’s equity ranks as the worst performer of 2011 with a yearly plunge of 49.4% as investors remained concerned on the financial situation at the Greek telecommunications Group Forthnet S.A. in which GO has an indirect investment.
  • Two trades of 5,500 MIDI shares were executed at the €0.38 level representing an 8.3% rise over the previous close. Despite today’s recovery the equity ended its first year on the Malta Stock Exchange, 15.6% below its December 2010 IPO price of €0.45.
  • The other active equity today was MaltaPost which traded unchanged at the €1.00 level on volumes of 2,000 shares. The postal operator also ended the year unchanged after touching a new all-time high of €1.102 on 25 March 2011. During the year the Company invested in its business in order to be in a better position to face the challenges ahead and the ever increasing competition in the postal and logistics market.
  • Trading on the Malta Stock Exchange will resume on Tuesday 3 January 2012.