The MSE Equity Total Return Index continued to trade in negative territory, as it lost a marginal 0.053 per cent to 9,617.968 points. In the equities market, 20 securities were active last week, eight of which were a drag on the index, while another five posted gains. Turnover in the market amounted to €1.7 million over 206 deals, compared the previous week’s figure of €1.4 million.

One of the main drivers of the negative performance was RS2 Software plc, as its price plunged 13.75 per cent to €1.38. This fall in price was partly due to the fact that only shareholders who bought RS2 shares by Wednesday, May 15, shall be eligible for the bonus issue of one share for every eight ordinary shares held. The equity traded heavily throughout the week, as 164,536 shares changed hands over 28 transactions.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc published the company’s financial statements for the year ended January 31. The group registered a five per cent increase in turnover to €99.8 million, driven by growth across all three operational segments. The company registered growth across its beer portfolio which has continued to evolve in a very competitive market. The beverage importation company has continued to enhance its product offering, in response to changing consumer trends. The food importation company also registered growth in turnover, despite incurring higher costs related to distribution. The franchised food business also registered positive result.

During the week, the equity traded just twice, as 2,878 shares changed hands. The result was a 2.16 per cent gain to €9.45, the highest closing price in a year and a half.

The best performer of the week however, was Medserv plc, as it partially rebounded from the previous week’s loss, climbing 3.72 per cent to €0.975. Trading volume amounted to 27,991 shares across nine transactions.

In the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc was the only positive mover, as its share price advanced 1.74 per cent to reach €1.75. A total of 64,414 shares traded over 17 deals.

Its peer, Bank of Valletta plc issued an interim directors’ statement with regards to the financial performance of the bank for the first quarter of 2019, which was broadly in line with expectations and lower than that achieved during the first quarter last year.

The bank confirmed that it will be seeking to raise new contingent to further strengthen its regulatory capital, with work in this regard well under way and in line with the plan to go to the market later this year.

With regards to the February cyber incident, a substantial part of the irregular payments has already been recovered. However, the bank has prudently set aside a provision for the outstanding amounts which shall be re-assessed in the light of new developments.

The share price closed unchanged at €1.33, in spite of 32 transactions of 91,550 shares.

Lombard Bank Malta plc traded once, as 1,500 shares were exchanged. The outcome was a 1.69 per cent fall in price to €2.32.

Another sole deal of just 300 FIMBank plc shares had no impact on the share price of $0.65.

In the telecommunications sector, GO plc extended its losing streak to four straight weeks, as it drifted a further 1.4 per cent to €4.22. A turnover of €177,730 was generated over 13 transactions.

Meanwhile, International Hotel Investments plc reached the highest price levels in over three years, as it closed at €0.80. The 2.56 per cent price increase was the result of 26 transactions of a combined 281,740 shares.

GO plc extends losing streak to four weeks as it drifts a further 1.4 per cent

Malta International Airport plc (MIA) held its Annual General Meeting last Wednesday, May 15. Among other resolutions, the AGM approved the 2018 financial statements, as well as the payment of the final net dividend of €0.12 per share.

The share price marginally retracted from the previous week’s all-time high of €7.00, as it closed 1.43 per cent lower at €6.90. The equity was the most liquid, as a substantial turnover of €329,931 was generated over 12 deals.

In spite of a traded volume of 15,969 shares over six deals, MaltaPost plc closed unchanged at €1.32.

Similarly, BMIT Technologies plc also closed unchanged at €0.54, despite generating a turnover of €33,248 over nine trades.

Retail conglomerate, PG plc erased the previous week’s gain, as it lost 1.2 per cent to return to the €1.65 price level. A total of 29,300 shares were exchanged over four deals.

In the insurance sector, Mapfre Middlesea plc traded three times on slim volume. All trades were executed at an unchanged price of €2.26.

The property sector was a drag on the index, as three equities posted losses. Most notably, MIDI plc registered the largest negative movement of 6.35 per cent to the price level of €0.59, fully erasing the previous week’s gain. A relatively slim volume of 13,500 shares traded over three deals.

Malta Properties Company plc also surrendered the previous week’s gain with a 1.64 per cent price decline to return to €0.60. A substantial volume of 314,380 shares traded over 13 deals.

Malita Investments plc followed suit with a 1.18 per cent depreciation to a price of €0.84. The equity traded 15 times, as 86,650 shares changed hands.

The only exception in the property sector was Trident Estates plc as it added another 2.04 per cent to the previous week’s significant gains, reaching €1.50. In total, 17,325 shares changed ownership over four transactions.

Meanwhile, Tigne’ Mall plc kicked off the week with two contrasting sessions which cancelled each other out, to ultimately close the week unchanged at €0.92. The equity traded six times, generating a turnover of €48,820.

Similarly, Plaza Centres plc traded flat at €0.99 over a couple of transactions of 8,900 shares.

Yields in the sovereign debt market drifted lower, as gainers amounted to 13 and fallers amounted to seven. In fact, the MSE MGS Total Return Index was up 0.21 per cent to 1,054.41 points. Investor participation was in line with the previous week, as €2.3 million worth of corporate bonds traded over 114 deals. The 4.8% MGS 2028 (I) posted the largest price movement, as it advanced 0.5 per cent to €135.99.

Performances in the corporate debt market were somewhat balanced, as from 50 active securities, 19 advanced while 16 headed in the opposite direction. Activity in the market was higher than the previous week, as turnover amounted to €2.2 million, compared to the previous weekly figure of €1.7 million. The MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index posted a modest gain of 0.1 per cent, reaching 1,076.045 points. The 3.65% GAP Group plc Secured € 2022 was by far the most liquid security, as it was responsible for nearly a third of the total turnover generated in the market. The outcome was a 0.86 per cent price decline to €101.

This article, compiled by Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited, 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 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 Limited at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on Tel: 21 224410, or email info@jesmondmizzi.com

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