The MSE Share Index finished lower for the fifth consecutive trading session today as it retreated by a further 0.34 per cent to a fresh three-week low of 4,482.186 points. Activity was spread across thirteen equities, five of which closed in negative territory, four shares gained whilst another four remained unchanged.
The most actively traded equity today was Bank of Valletta plc as 41,999 shares (having a market value of €0.09 million) changed hands, pulling the share price 0.5 per cent lower to the €2.20 level after hitting an intra-day six-month low of €2.17.
Also in the retail-banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc dropped to a fresh twelve-year low of €1.55 (-2.5 per cent) across 19,575 shares. The Bank will publish its interim results on 3 August.
The other negative performing large cap was RS2 Software plc as the equity lost 1.4 per cent to close at its lowest level this month of €2.10 on tiny volumes totalling 1,939 shares.
The worst performers today were 6pm Holdings plc and MIDI plc. The Sterling denominated equity of 6pm shed 5.6 per cent to a three-month low of GBP0.85 on volumes of 50,000 shares while MIDI fell to its lowest level since late February 2016 of €0.35 across 23,400 shares. Preferred applicants of MIDI plc (i.e. holders of the 7 per cent MIDI plc 2016/18 (EUR) bonds, 7 per cent MIDI plc 2016/18 (GBP) bonds and shareholders of MIDI plc) had until this morning to apply for the new €50 million 4.0 per cent secured bonds maturing in 2026.
In contrast, Plaza Centres plc advanced 2.8 per cent to a new all-time high of €1.10 across 10,000 shares. Recently, Plaza published its 2016 interim results showing a 6.4 per cent increase in post-tax profits to €0.52 million (H1 2015: €0.49 million). During the first half of the year, the occupancy at Plaza increased to 99 per cent compared with 93 per cent during the first six months of 2015.
Within the same segment, Malita Investments plc recaptured the €0.89 level (+1.1 per cent) on volumes totalling 11,000 shares.
Malta International Airport plc gained 2.4 per cent to regain the €4.25 level on volumes totalling 7,000 shares. Last Wednesday, MIA announced that it is now expecting 4.97 million passengers to pass through the airport this year, up by 5.1 per cent from the previous 2016 forecast of 4.73 million revealed in January 2016. This represents a 7.5 per cent uplift on the record number of 4.62 million passenger movements registered in 2015 and the seventh consecutive year of record performances. The interim financial statements of MIA will be published on 17 August.
Similarly, two deals totalling 50,850 shares pushed the equity of FIMBank plc 2.0 per cent higher to the USD1.00 level. The Board of Directors of FIMBank will be meeting on 9 August 2016 to consider and approve the 2016 interim financial statements and also consider the declaration of an interim dividend.
Meanwhile, four equities closed today’s trading session unchanged. Medserv plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc held on to €1.84 and €6.28 respectively on trivial volumes.
Likewise, Lombard Bank Malta plc (11,300 shares) and Malta Properties Company plc (16,100 shares) closed flat at €2.20 and €0.508 respectively. Lombard will publish its 2016 half-yearly results on 25 August.
On the bond market, the RF MGS Index finished lower for the fifth consecutive day to a fresh three-week low of 1,154.889 points (-0.09 per cent). Euro zone sovereign bond yields continued to trade broadly higher today. Indeed, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield advanced from -0.027 per cent last Friday to -0.013 per cent today after momentarily resurfacing slightly above zero. On the economic front, Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, in its customary monthly report today said that Europe’s largest economy is set to rebound in the coming months after a weak second quarter and that any impact from Britain's decision to leave the European Union in the near future could be limited.
Shareholders of International Hotel Investments plc as at the close of trading on 27 June (preferred applicants) have until tomorrow to apply for the new €55 million 4.0 per cent secured bonds maturing in 2026. The general public offer opens on Wednesday 20 July and closes on Friday 22 July, or earlier in the case of over-subscription.
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