MSE Index up as HSBC and BOV gain ground


Trading Report for week ending February 24th, 2012


Index up as HSBC and BOV gain ground

The recent string of negative

week-on-week performances on the local Stock Exchange came to an end as this

week the MSE Index managed to gain a mere 0.3 per cent to end yesterday’s

session at 2,998.034 points, after having surpassed the 3,000 points level

in  mid-week. On a general note, the

positive sentiment was witnessed nearly across all sessions with the exception

of Thursday, when the MSE Index shed almost one per cent. Year-to-date the

local equity’s Index is down by three per cent, which compares negatively to

the huge rally being recorded in the main global indices.

Earlier this week the Eurozone finance

ministers approved the second Greek bailout, and as a result, the Euro traded

at a 10 month high against the US Dollar. Despite an initial gain, the Euro

then weakened on the view that several barriers remain, but regained  lost ground following an unexpected rise in

German business confidence. This news pushed markets higher, as the economy

seems capable of rebounding from a slowdown seen in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Likewise, US markets closed the week higher, as home sales picked up in the United

States, thus also reflection an improving US economy.

Locally, the major banks together with

Crimsonwing plc were the only

contributors to this week’s gain. Six other equities failed to move higher

while International Hotel Investments

plc (IHI) and RS2 Software plc closed

flat. During the week, 97 transactions worth EUR425,000 were executed, with GO plc and IHI being heavily traded.

In the fixed-income market, a total of

EUR7.66m was traded. As is usually the case, bonds issued by the local

Government were the most liquid. Government bond yields closed the week higher

as all active issues, with the exception of the 5.2% MGS 2031 (I), closed the week on a negative note. This week

trading also commenced in the MGSs issued earlier in the month.

Meanwhile in the Corporate Bonds Market 12 bonds managed to record price changes,

while 10 ended the week flat. The 7.15%

MIH 2015 — 2017 was the worst performer with a one per cent decline, while

on the other hand the 6.75% Corinthia

Finance maturing in April 2012, gained one per cent.

In the equity’s market, HSBC Bank Malta plc was the main supplier

of upbeat sentiment as the equity experienced a gradual gain since the

beginning of the week, despite a pullback on Thursday. However, the share price

managed to move higher by 1.2 per cent or EUR0.03 to close the week at EUR2.59,

and thus shifting the equity from red to green territory on a year-to-date

basis. In fact, following yesterday’s close the equity is up by 0.43 per cent

since the beginning of the year. In a statement, seconds after close of trading

yesterday, HSBC announced that

profit before tax for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased by 5 per cent

to EUR88m. The directors are recommending a dividend of EUR0.072 gross per

share, which will be paid on April 27, 2012 to all shareholders who are on the

company’s shareholders’ register as at March 19, 2012.


of Valletta plc managed to snap a 0.46 per cent or EUR0.01

gain to close at EUR2.18, after having traded at a low of EUR2.151. Trading

volume declined on the week to nearly 41,000 shares but still much higher than

that traded in its largest counterpart HSBC, which traded a mere 9,201 shares.

On the downside, both Lombard Bank plc and FIMBank plc failed to move in line with

their peers. The former shed 0.4 per cent to end the week at EUR2.51 after five

deals of 9,800 shares were executed. On Tuesday the Bank announced that the

Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on March 15, 2012 to consider and

approve the Group’s and the Bank’s Audited Financial Statements for the year

ended December 31, 2011 and to consider the declaration of a final dividend.

Meanwhile, two deals of 8,500 shares

in FIMBank plc reduced the price to

$0.747, a decline of 0.13 per cent on the week.


plc shed a further 2 per cent following last

week’s announcement that the company is experiencing higher operating costs,

which are impacting negatively profit levels. This week the equity closed at EUR0.93

hence down by 7 per cent year-to-date. However, trading volume remained weak

and surely not reflective of the whole market.


plc shares closed lower by 0.24 per cent after

some intra-week price volatility. The telecoms company traded between a weekly

low of EUR0.76 and a high of EUR0.83, the week’s closing price. Over 173,000

shares changed hands over 24 deals.

In the IT sector, Crimsonwing plc returned a hefty 12.5 per cent to close at EUR0.18,

while RS Software plc traded

unchanged at EUR0.55.

Thin trading in Malta International Airport plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc pushed the equities lower by 0.6 per cent

and 4.4 per cent respectively.

This article which was compiled by Atlas

JMFS Investment Services Limited, does not intend to give investment advice and

the contents therein should not be construed as such. Atlas JMFS is licensed to

conduct investment services by the MFSA and is a Member Firm of the Malta Stock

Exchange. 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 Atlas JMFS at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta,

or on Tel: 21224410, or email [email protected]