Positive week on thin trading

This week the Malta Stock Exchange Index closed at 3,249.673 a gain of 0.68 per cent.  During the week, six equities were negotiated, with three closing in positive territory, two closing in negative territory and one remaining stable. Go plc gained most territory with an increase of 5.11 per cent to Euro1.85 in its share price while International Hotel Investments plc lost most ground as its share price dropped by 2.79 per cent and closed at Euro0.87.

During this week 162 deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of over Euro4.6 million.  In the equity market 98 transactions were carried out for a total value of Euro227,302.  In the corporate bond market 31 transactions for a total value of Euro296,119 were executed. While in the government bond market 16 transactions were executed for a value of Euro343,910.  Twelve transactions were carried out in the Treasury Bills market for a value of over Euro3.6 million.   Trading in the corporate bond market was spread over 13 bonds while in the government bonds trading was executed over 12 bonds.

The banking sector was the most active and during this week the share price of Bank of Valletta plc appreciated by 2.78 per cent to Euro2.96 as 63 deals were executed for a total volume of 39,730 shares. Shareholders of Bank of Valletta plc as January,12, were eligible to the 1 for 5 bonus share issue approved by shareholders during the last Annual General Meeting.

HSBC Bank Malta plc was another positive performer on the exchange as its share price appreciated by 3.67 per cent to Euro2.799.  20,942 shares were negotiated across 18 deals.

As mentioned above Go plc was the best performer this week as its share price rose by 5.11 per cent to Euro1.85 as 14,625 shares were negotiated across ten deals.

On the other hand International Hotel Investments plc lost most territory during this week as its share price dropped by 2.79 per cent to Euro0.87 on two deals for a total volume of 7,017 shares.

Malta International Airport plc retained its previous share price of Euro2.49 as a single deal of 2,100 shares was executed.

Maltapost plc dropped by 0.86 per cent to Euro0.81 as 9,151 shares were negotiated across four deals.  On Thursday the Company published its full-year results where it was stated that it generated a pre-tax profit of Euro2.9 million, representing a 74% rise over the period year. Moreover, the Directors recommended a final net dividend of Euro0.04 per share to be approved by shareholders at the Company’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for February, 17. Shareholders on the Company’s register as at January,19 will be eligible to this dividend and have the option to receive it either in cash or by the issue of new shares at a price of Euro0.77 per share.

On Tuesday, MIDI plc announced that its bond issue has been oversubscribed and applications closed one hour after they opened. The over-allotment option was taken up bringing the bond issue total to the equivalent of Euro40 million. Of these, Euro12 million were collected at the pre-placement stage, before applications opened to the general public.   MIDI plc is expected to announce its allocation policy on Tuesday, January, 20 when the interest on the bond is expected to start accruing. The Company is also expected to refund any unallocated monies by  January,27, 2009.  Trading in the euro and sterling bonds is expected to take place by February,5.

On Thursday the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 2 percent on Thursday, matching its lowest-ever rate as inflation plummets and recession spreads.  The cut, in line with consensus forecasts, marks the fourth cut in just over three months amidst signs the financial crisis is biting hard into the real economy and inflation threatens to fall further below the ECB’s 2 percent ceiling.  The cut would not likely be the last one, but ECB might pause before the next cut, economists said.

This article which was compiled by Jesmond Mizzi Financial Services Limited (JMFS) does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such.  JMFS is licensed to conduct investment services by the MFSA.  The directors or related parties, including the company, and their clients are likely to have an interest in securities mentioned in this article.  For further information contact JMFS at 67/3, South Street, Valletta or on Tel: 21224410 or email [email protected]