The MSE Equity Total Return Index gained 2% to end the week at 8,213.194 points. A total of 17 equities were active, of which five headed north while another six closed in the opposite direction.

A total weekly turnover of €937,794 was generated across 207 transactions.

Malta International Airport plc was the best performer and registered the highest liquidity as total weekly turnover stood at €354,743. Last Friday, the equity reached €5.85 during the session but ended the week at a 12-week high price of €5.80 – translating into a 17.4% gain.

This was the result of 65,481 shares spread over 69 deals. On a year-to-date basis, the equity is still down by 16 per cent.

On Tuesday, HSBC Bank Malta plc issued an announcement following reports in the local media regarding an article published by an international news agency speculating on the HSBC Group’s future global strategy. The bank informed the market that it has no information which requires a further company announcement and that it will not  comment on speculative stories.

The bank’s shares were up by 3 per cent, reaching the €0.99 price level. A total of 31,376 shares changed hands across 15 transactions.

Bank of Valletta plc reached €1.04 on Monday but did not sustain the gain until end of week as it closed flat at €1.02.

A total of 25 deals involving 124,876 shares were executed.

On Monday, FIMBank plc reached a five-year low of $0.35 but managed to recoup part of the loss, as it closed 15% higher at $0.40. A total of 275,528 shares change hands across 12 transactions.

Lombard Bank Malta plc also closed in negative territory with a 1% change in price. The bank reached the €2.06 price level over two deals involving 8,050 shares.

On Wednesday, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc announced that the board approved the annual report and consolidated financial statements for the year ended January 31, 2020. This shall be submitted for shareholders’ approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on a date not yet confirmed.

An increase of 3.7% in turnover was recorded as it stood at €103.5 million. While the group registered a turnover growth across all segments, reported pre-tax profits were 12.6% lower than the previous year, as it reached €12.3 million. The positive economic performance experienced by the country over the past years started to show signs of levelling off during the end of the financial year.

A gradual slow-down in the payment patters of its customers were observed, which deteriorated further since the financial year end.  These factors represent the major contributing reasons for the lower profits reported by the group in this financial year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to €22.7 million, translating into a 2% decline when compared to the previous year’s figure. This reflects the lower reported profit net of the impact of the introduction of IFRS16 for the ‘Right-of-use assets’. Net borrowings were up by €1 million, while following the inclusion of the liabilities in accordance with IFRS 16, the gearing ratio increased to 25.9% as compared to 23.4% for 2019. Total equity of the Group increased by 7.4% to €116 million, reflecting the profit generated net of the dividends distributed during the year. 

Bank of Valletta plc reached €1.04 on Monday but did not sustain the gain until end of week

An interim net dividend of €1,000,000 was approved at the board meeting held on September 25, 2019 and distributed to shareholders on October 16, 2019. In light of the current unprecedented times, the board does not consider it appropriate at this time to recommend the payment of a final dividend to the forthcoming AGM.

The equity reached €8.30 on Monday but did not manage to sustain the gain, as it closed 0.6% lower at €8.00. A total of 7,804 shares were spread across 16 transactions.

Retail conglomerate, PG plc, ended the week at a 12-week high price of €1.95. Four deals involving 7,500 shares pushed the price by 2.6% into positive territory. The equity registered a 6% gain on a year-to-date basis.

Two deals involving 6,900 GO plc shares pushed the price 1% higher to €3.64. Meanwhile, its subsidiary, BMIT Technologies plc, closed flat at €0.478. A total 119,400 shares were spread over 14 deals.

Three deals of 1,913 Grand Harbour Marina plc shares dragged the price by 4% into the red, to close at €0.72. The equity reached an all-time-low price of €0.40 on Friday.

International Hotel Investments plc registered a positive 8.3% movement in price, as it reached the €0.585 price level. This was the outcome of 12 deals involving 56,973 shares.

In the property sector, Malita Investments plc and Trident Estates plc were both active but traded flat at €0.89 and €1.55 respectively.

Tigne’ Mall plc declined by 8.2%, as 7,998 shares changed ownership across three transactions. The equity ended the week at €0.78. Similarly, MIDI plc lost 2.4%, to close at €0.41. Six deals involving 50,850 shares were executed.

Five deals involving 40,320 Medserv plc share did not impact the equity’s previous closing price of €0.70. Likewise, RS2 Software plc was active but closed unchanged at €1.95. The equity traded 14 times over 17,320 shares.

Last Friday, MaltaPost plc announced the board’s approval of  the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the half-year period ended March 31, 2020. The company registered a profit before tax of €1.41 million, which is similar to the previous year’s figure of €1.37 million. Total revenue was up by 1.18% as it amounted to €17.2 million, following the local tariff revisions and increased parcel businesses.

The company’s increase in expenditure remained relatively unchanged at €15.9 million. Meanwhile, the cost to income ratio improved to 92.1% from 92.5% registered during the same period of the previous year. The shareholders’ funds remained stable at €26.3 million – equivalent to a €0.6 million decline.

These results need to be considered in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Significant declines were registered in March, in both postal and non-postal revenues, with the impact being most noticeable when very stringent measures, including an air travel ban, were introduced.

The MSE MGS Total Return Index advanced by 0.73% as it closed at 1,115.22 points. A total of 17 issues were active, of which 10 advanced while six closed in the red. The 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) was the best performer, as it closed 6.9% higher at €131.50. On the other hand, the 2.3% MGS 2029 (II) lost 5.1%, ending the week at €115.02.

The MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index closed 0.25% lower as it reached 1,059.86 points. Out of 40 active issues, 19 registered gains while another 10 lost ground. The 3.85% Hili Finance plc Unsecured Bonds 2028 headed the list of gainers as it closed 3.7% higher at €98.49. Conversely, the 4% International Hotel Investments plc Unsecured € 2026 closed 7.3% lower at €91.73.

In the Prospects MTF market, six issues were active. The 5.5% Anchovy Studios plc € Unsecured 2027 was the most liquid with a total turnover of €10,000.

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: 21224410, or email info@jesmondmizzi.com.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us