GO plc share price up ahead of results

The share price of GO plc advanced by 2.1% to a new multi-year high of €1.439 on renewed demand and lower levels of supply ahead of the publication of the 2012 full-year results next Wednesday 20 March. The Board of Directors will also be considering the payment of a final dividend to shareholders.

Bank of Valletta plc also traded higher today as the equity partially recovered from last week’s 1.5% decline. BOV’s share price edged up to €2.255 on volumes of over 8,000 shares.

Despite the gains registered in GO and BOV, the MSE Share Index closed marginally lower at 3,312.573 following the losses registered in Malta International Airport plc, Plaza Centres plc and the minimal decline in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc.

The share price of Malta International Airport plc dropped from last week’s new all-time high as 11,100 shares traded at €1.82 (-4.2%). The airport operator will also be announcing its 2012 full-year results next Wednesday 20 March.

Plaza Centres plc closed 0.9% lower at €0.575 on volumes of 46,000 shares. Last week the company published its 2012 financial statements and the final gross dividend of €0.038 per share is payable to those shareholders as at close of trading on 26 April.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta eased to €2.474 on low volumes of just over 1,000 shares. The weekend press carried an interview with HSBC Bank Malta’s head of insurance James Hewitson in which he provided further details of last week’s announcement related to the Portfolio Transfer Agreement with HSBC Life (Europe) Limited. Mr Hewitson confirmed that Malta has been designated as one of eight core insurance manufacturing sites for HSBC Life Insurance around the world.

Meanwhile, MIDI plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc both closed the day unchanged. 100,000 MIDI shares traded today at €0.314 ahead of the Extraordinary General Meeting scheduled for next Friday 22 March 2013 to obtain approval on the proposed sale of The Point. Few trades took place in Lombard shares with outstanding bids already placed above the last closing price of €1.915 and lowest offers now at €1.998.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index jumped to a new multi-year high of 1,013.119 points after the Central Bank of Malta stockbroker raised its bid prices to new highs of various medium and long-term MGS in response to the sharp decline in ‘safe haven’ eurozone bond yields this morning. Bond prices rallied and equity markets declined following the weekend developments in Cyprus.

The €10 billion Cypriot bailout agreed in Brussels in all-night talks on Friday included a one-off tax on all depositors in Cypriot banks which is expected to raise €5.8 billion. Savers with less than €100,000 could face a levy of 6.75% and those with deposits of more than €100,000 will get charged 9.9%.

The vote by the Cypriot Parliament on this "one-off" levy has been delayed again amid wide protests and a new plan is being discussed which includes a tax-free threshold or a lower tax rate for smaller depositors.



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