Mixed markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

Markets end mixed, Inmarsat goes private and Qatar supports Boeing’s 737 MAX

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Friday after a downbeat round of economic data in Europe and the U.S. brought about global growth fears with investors turned towards bonds as equities came under pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 460.19 points, or 1.8%, to 25,502.32 while the S&P 500 index slipped 54.17 points, or 1.9%, to 2,800.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 196.29 points, or 2.5%, to close the session at 7,642.67.

European markets meanwhile ended the week higher, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index rising 0.3%, led by gains in Germany’s DAX which closed 0.6% up. France’s CAC40 closed up 0.2% and the UK’s FTSE100 slipped 0.2% as the Pound tracked the latest Brexit news higher, rising 0.3% in early trade.

Maltese markets continued higher with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing up 0.389%, lifted by gains in FIMBank Plc and Bank Of Valletta Plc, which rose 5.7% and 2.17% to $0.74 and €1.41 respectively. 12 other stocks traded hands, 5 of which posted losses for the session.

Inmarsat goes private

U.K.-based satellite operator Inmarsat Plc announced on Monday that a group of private equity firms and pension funds have agreed to buy the company in a deal that values it at $3.4 billion. A takeover of the company could be closely scrutinised by the British authorities because of Inmarsat's position as a strategic asset. Inmarsat is a long established provider of communication services to shipping and sees a growing opportunity to supply in-flight broadband services to commercial aircraft.

The offer comprises $7.09 cash for each Inmarsat share plus a previously announced final dividend of $0.12 per share to be paid on May 30, for a total bid value of $7.21 per share. The bidders formed a joint-venture company to make their offer, owned in equal shares by Apax Fund, Warburg Pincus Fund, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. The company was the first international satellite operator to be privatised, and Apax was part of the group that invested in 2003, before taking it public two years later.

Qatar supports Boeing’s 737 MAX

Qatar Airways threw its support behind Boeing on Monday as the U.S. planemaker faces its biggest crisis in years after deadly crashes of its flagship 737 MAX jet. “We have confidence in the Boeing airplanes and we are sure they will find the issue they had which is still under investigation,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Muscat.

Regulators grounded the worldwide MAX fleet after an Ethiopian Airlines MAX crash killed all 157 people on board this month, wiping nearly 15 percent off shares in the world’s biggest planemaker. Attention has focused on the anti-stall system, known as MCAS, and the sensors that activate it. MCAS pushes the plane’s nose down if it believes it is ascending at too steep an angle. Qatar Airways will attend a Boeing briefing this week on software and training updates for the MAX, al-Baker said.

Disclaimer: This article was issued by Peter Petrov, junior trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.