The MSE Equity Price Index opened the week on a positive note as it rebounded by 0.29% to 4,762.794 points. The gain reflects the uplifts in the share prices of Farsons, MIA and GO which, in aggregate, outweighed the declines in five other equities. Meanwhile, several companies closed the day unchanged whilst trading volumes improved notably to €0.46 million compared to €0.24 million last Friday.
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc surged almost 6% to a new record high of €10.00 across 3,578 shares. Last week, Farsons reported improved profitability for the 2018/19 financial year as all the group’s operational segments registered growth amid favourable dynamics of the local economy.
The directors are recommending a 15.4% increase in the final net dividend to €0.10 per share which is payable on 25 June to all shareholders as at close of trading on Wednesday 22 May subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming AGM scheduled to be held on 24 June.
Malta International Airport plc initially jumped to a fresh all-time high of €7.25 before ending the day at the €7.00 level representing a 1.4% increase over last week’s close. A total of 12,406 shares traded today. Last Friday, MIA issued an update on its performance in Q1 2019.
MIA noted that, during the first three months of 2019, revenues increased by 11.7% to €15.6 million whilst EBITDA soared by nearly 20% to €7.23 million. Similarly, profits after tax grew by 9.6% to €2.87 million when compared to the €2.62 million generated in the first three months of 2018.
Meanwhile, the announcement also showed that MIA remained debt free as at 31 March 2019. Moreover, it had total cash balances of just under €38 million, representing an increase of €17.6 million over the cash balance held as at the end of 2018.
The directors stated that the favourable start to the summer season, coupled with the projection of further growth in passenger numbers, provide a positive outlook for the rest of 2019.
GO plc opened at a low of €4.18 (-0.9%) before ending 0.5% higher at the €4.24 level across 7,500 shares. The quadruple play telecom operator is due to hold its AGM on 28 May.
HSBC Bank Malta plc shed 1.7% back to the €1.72 level across 39,077 shares.
A single deal of just 5,000 shares forced the equity of Medserv plc to move 0.5% lower to the €0.97 level.
On Monday afternoon, Medserv announced that the company’s two major shareholders – namely Mr Anthony S. Diacono and Malampaya Investments Ltd – who together own 65.5% of the company, have received non-binding offers from interested offerors. Furthermore, the major shareholders are in the process of evaluating the said offers and it is anticipated that Medserv will shortly proceed to grant selected offerors access to further information as part of the process.
BMIT Technologies plc continued to trade within a tight range as the equity retreated by 0.9% to the €0.535 level across 66,700 shares.
In the property segment, Tigné Mall plc (28,000 shares) and Malita Investments plc (21,500 shares) lost just over 1% to €0.91 and €0.83 respectively. Shareholders of Tigné Mall as at close of 18 June will be entitled to receive a final net dividend of €0.0131 per share.
In contrast, both Plaza Centres plc (13,000 shares) and MIDI plc (38,500 shares) traded unchanged at the 2019 lows of €0.99 and €0.59 respectively. Plaza is due to hold its AGM on 5 June whilst MIDI’s AGM is scheduled for 11 June.
Two deals totalling 45,300 shares left the equity of Malta Properties Company plc at the €0.60 level. MPC will also hold its AGM on 11 June.
International Hotel Investments plc held on to its highest level since late November 2015 of €0.80 on activity totalling 44,171 shares. The hotel chain operator is due to hold its AGM on 13 June. Shareholders as at close of trading on 26 June will be entitled to receive a net dividend of €0.02 per share.
RS2 Software plc retained the €1.38 level across 30,000 shares. The company is scheduled to hold its AGM on 18 June.
Similarly, Bank of Valletta plc remained at the €1.33 level on light trading volumes. Shareholders as at close of trading on 6 June will be entitled to a 1-for-10 bonus share. Last week, the bank issued an Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that profits in the first three months of the current financial year are lower than the corresponding period last year due to downward pressure on interest margins, higher costs and lower reversals of impairment provisions.
BOV also noted the progress it is making in introducing certain changes to its business model. These are primarily aimed at strengthening its capital position whilst ensuring long term viability.
The RF MGS Index moved lower for the first time in four days as it retracted by a marginal 0.02% to 1,117.423 points. Prices of Malta Government Stocks erased some of their recent strong gains as sovereign bond yields in the euro area trended slightly higher amid a rebound in German producer prices in April.
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