The MSE Equity Total Return Index dropped by one per cent as it ended the four-day trading week at 7,774.899 points. Fourteen equities were active, of which four headed north while another six closed in the opposite direction. A total weekly turnover of circa €0.5 million, down from €0.9m the previous week, was generated over 132 transactions.

The top performer for the week was Bank of Valletta plc, gaining six per cent. The bank closed the week at €0.90 after trading at a weekly low of €0.84. 119,290 shares changed hands over 37 transactions worth €101,230. Its peer, HSBC Bank Malta plc traded flat at €0.95, as seven transactions worth €44,000 were recorded.

On Tuesday, Lombard Bank Malta plc announced that the AGM scheduled for April 23 has been postponed to a later date. During the AGM, the board will approve the payment of a final gross dividend of 7 cents per nominal €0.25 share – translating into a net dividend of 4.55 cents. The board re-assessed such dividend in line with the COVID-19 impact. On this basis, the recommended dividend will be revised when the situation is stable and will not be paid earlier than October 1, 2020.

The bank’s shares were active on Tuesday as four deals involving 18,084 shares were executed. The price was up by five per cent to €2.10.

On Friday, the FIMBank plc board approved the annual report and financial statements for financial year ended December 31, 2019. The bank recorded a lower profit before tax of $7.3 million versus $13 million in 2018. Net operating income declined by 13 per cent to $51.3 million, mainly due the implementation of certain measures and economic conditions.

The bank’s total consolidated assets were up by $24 million, amounting to $1.89 billion. Due to the de-risking process, portfolios have seen significant shifts. Loans and advanced decreased by $90.6 million and financial assets held at fair value down by $56.2 million. There was an increase in trading assets and treasury balance, as they increased by $113 million and $56.4 million, respectively. Total consolidated liabilities registered a $21.7 million increase as it stood at $1.61 billion. The bank did not record any trading activity during the week.

Malta International Airport plc was the most liquid equity for the week, as total turnover stood at €134,649. A total of 27,278 shares changed hands over 40 transactions, dragging the price four per cent into the red, to close at €4.80 after trading at a weekly high of €5 earlier in the week. On Wednesday, the company announced its traffic results for the month of March. Passenger movements dropped by 64.5 per cent when compared to the same period last year. Seat load factor dropped by 55.6 per cent.

Telecommunications company GO plc was down by almost eight per cent, reaching an 18-month low price of €3.60. This was the outcome of 14,760 shares spread over 11 transactions. Its subsidiary BMIT Technologies plc was active but closed unchanged at €0.49. Eight deals involving 71,400 shares were executed.

RS2 Software plc was active on Thursday, trading four times over a spread of 5,100 shares. The equity’s previous week’s closing price of €1.92 was not impacted, as the equity managed to recover from a weekly low of €1.82 during the final trading session.

Harvest Technology plc announced that the board will meet on April 24 to consider and approve the audited consolidated financial statements for the financial year ended December 31, 2019. The board will also review the management accounts of the first quarter of 2020 and continue assessing the possible impact of COVID-19.

MaltaPost plc was the worst performer, having dropped by 18.2 per cent to €0.90. Retail conglomerate PG plc ended the week in positive territory

On Wednesday, International Hotel Investments plc issued an announcement, referring to the publication of its audited financial statements for 2019, due by April 30, 2020. The COVID-19 situation has put the company’s human resources and auditors under constraints, leading to a delay. The audited financial statements are expected to be published by June 30, 2020.

The company assured its stakeholders of its strength, following measures to reduce operating costs and payroll expenses. The company has also entered into ad hoc agreements with some of its principal lending banks to defer capital, and in cases, interest payments. The company has prepared separate lines of credit in the event of any cash flow shortfall.

On the basis of the measures taken thus far, the company has sufficient liquidity to honour payment obligations, not least bond interest payments. The share price of the hotels operators declined by just over nine per cent as seven deals involving 25,000 shares were executed. The equity’s closing price stood at €0.54, down by 35 per cent since the beginning of the year.

MaltaPost plc was the worst performer, having dropped by 18.2 per cent to €0.90. The equity traded twice over 2,200 shares. Retail conglomerate, PG plc, ended the week in positive territory, closing at €1.69 – translating into a 3.7 per cent change in price. This was the result of five deals involving 6,163 shares.

In the property sector, Malita Investments plc moved up four per cent in price, as it closed the week at €0.80. The equity traded a couple of times over a spread of 2,625 shares.

On Tuesday, Trident Estates plc declined by 4.5 per cent to €1.28. Similarly, a single deal of 5,000 MIDI plc shares resulted into a 2.6 per cent fall in price, as it closed at €0.37. Malta Properties Company plc was also active but closed unchanged at €0.49. Three deals involving 28,040 shares were executed.

On Tuesday, Medserv plc announced that despite the current challenges these unprecedented times have presented, all the group’s facilities continue to remain operational and to service clients. The COVID-19 pandemic and the downward pressure on the price of oil impacted the oil and gas industry, but the demand for the company’s services for the development and production facilities remained consistent, locally and internationally.

The company’s EBITDA for 2020 is expected to be negatively impacted. The main objective is liquidity preservation and ensuring positive EBITDA. The group will benefit from schemes adopted in countries where it operates, including Malta, Cyprus, Egypt, UAE, Oman and Iraq. Medserv announced that it will be able to meet its payment obligations for the year. The company’s auditors have requested for a one-month extension to finish the audit engagement. The audited financial statements will be published by May 31, 2020.

On Tuesday, Santumas Shareholdings plc announced that the results for the financial year ending April 30, 2020, are expected to reflect the negative effects of the downturn in the equity markets. On Wednesday, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc announced it is still too early to quantify the potential impact on the group’s revenues and profitability from the current crisis. However, the company’s food and beverages sectors will be materially impacted as a result of the restrictions imposed by the government. To mitigate the impact of the current situation, the company will be undertaking various measures.

The MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index declined by 0.716 per cent to 1,036.43 points. A total of 48 issues were active, of which 12 advanced while 24 lost ground. The 4.5% Izola Bank plc € Unsecured 2025 was the best performer, as it closed five per cent higher at €105.00. The 6% Mediterranean Investments Holding plc Euro 2021 lost 6.93 per cent, to close at €94.00.

In the sovereign debt market, the MSE MGS Total Return Index was up by 0.8 per cent at it ended the week at 1,121.53 points. The 3% MGS 2040 (I) registered the best performance with a 4.32 per cent increase, to close at €145.00. The 4.65% MGS 2032 (I) traded 1.14 per cent lower at €145.87.

In the Prospects MTF market, six issues were active. The 4.75% Gillieru Investments plc Secured Bonds 2028 closed higher at €98.00, while the rest closed unchanged.

This article, which was compiled by Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd, does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. The company is licensed to conduct investment services by the MFSA and is a member of the Malta Stock Exchange and a member of the Atlas Group. 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 Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, on 2122 4410, or e-mail

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