The MSE Equity Total Return Index extended the negative trend set throughout the opening three weeks of 2019, as it sank a substantial 2.342 per cent to close at 8,694.996 points. The bulk of the losses were registered on Wednesday, as various equities posted double-digit losses, albeit on somewhat slim volumes.

From the 21 active equities, 14 lost ground while only three headed north. In the equities market, turnover was in line with the previous week, as almost €1.6 million worth of shares were exchanged over 212 transactions.

One of the main drags on the index was MaltaPost plc, as the equity plunged 21.05 per cent to a four-year low of €1.20 over just one deal of 2,291 shares.

Similarly, a small transaction of 1,580 Mapfre Middlesea plc shares shaved 12.86 per cent off the share price to €1.83, the lowest closing price since September 2018.

The company announced that its board of directors is scheduled to meet on March 13 to consider and approve the company’s audited financial statements for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.

The board shall also consider the declaration of a dividend, if any, to be recommended to the Annual General Meeting.

Its peer, Global Capital plc, also registered a loss in value of 18.67 per cent over just one deal of 480 shares, executed at €0.27.

In the banking industry, Bank of Valletta plc was one of the most liquid equities, as 234,876 shares traded across 50 transactions. As a result, the equity lost another 1.16 per cent to end the week at €1.28.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc moved in the opposite direction by a modest 0.57 per cent to reach €1.76. Trading volume amounted to 47,444 shares over 13 trades.

In the same sector, FIMBank plc was dominated by selling pressure last week, as it lost 2.78 per cent in value to close at $0.70.

The equity traded quite heavily as 167,860 shares changed ownership over seven deals.

The board of directors of Malta International Airport plc shall be meeting on February 20 to consider and approve the financial statements for 2018, and also to consider recommending a dividend payment to the Annual General Meeting.

On Thursday, the company gave an update to the market regarding the final traffic results for 2018, and its forecasts for the new year. Over the past three years, the airport has recorded an increase in traffic of 47 per cent, reaching a record-breaking €6.8 million in 2018. In 2019, the company is forecasting a further increase of 5.8 per cent in passenger movements to 7.2 million.

Total revenue is expected to reach €96 million during 2019, translating to a projected net profit reaching €31 million.

As indicated in the company’s monthly updates, the most popular markets for 2018 were the UK, Italy, Germany, France and Spain, all of which registered growth following the introduction of better connections.

The company has earmarked over €20 million to continue its projects during 2019, including the airport campus project and the development of the aircraft parking area, Apron 10.

The company is also currently working on its parking village project, while it has also recently issued a call for submission of design concepts for the €40 million SkyParks 2 development.

Despite generating a turnover of €190,236 over 18 deals, the equity closed unchanged at €5.90.

Telecommunications company, GO plc, recorded mixed performances during the week, ultimately closing 1.45 per cent lower at €4.08. This was the result of 24 trades of a combined 32,564 shares. On Thursday, the company reminded its shareholders with regards to the proposed Initial Public Offering of up to 49 per cent of GO’s shareholding in BMIT Technologies plc. The offer period during which the company’s shareholders may apply for shares in BMIT is between January 17 and January 31, both days included.

International Hotel Investments plc drifted further by 1.67 per cent to €0.59.

A total of 164,790 shares were exchanged over 23 deals.

RS2 Software plc traded five times last week, as 7,200 shares changed hands. The outcome was a 0.71 per cent decline in price, to close at €1.39.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc sank 9.71 per cent to a three-month low of €7.90. A total turnover of €129,472 was generated across seven trades. Similarly, Grand Harbour Marina plc was down 14.29 per cent to €0.60 over six transactions of a combined 50,326 shares.

Bulk of losses on Wednesday

The retail conglomerate, PG plc erased a further 1.48 per cent in value to close at €1.33. Traded volume totalled 53,679 shares over 14 transactions.

On Tuesday, Medserv plc announced that it has been awarded a two-year contract extension by Eni North Africa to continue providing logistic marine base services in Malta. These services are to be carried out at the company’s base at the Malta Freeport. In spite of this announcement, and a turnover of €22,048 generated over eight deals, the equity traded flat at €1.06.

Loqus Holdings plc also traded flat at €0.077 on one transaction worth just €110.

In the property sector, Malita Investments plc was the best performer of the week, as it bounced back 3.49 per cent from the previous week’s loss. The equity closed at €0.89, as seven deals of 36,505 shares were concluded.

Its peer, Plaza Centres plc, followed suit with a 3 per cent gain to reach a price of €1.03. A total of 21,850 shares were exchanged over five transactions.

On Thursday, Main Street Complex plc issued a performance update for 2018.

During the last five months of the year, the Paola shopping complex saw consistent increases in the footfall monthly figure, ultimately totalling an annual figure of more than 840,000 visitors, which is the highest ever recorded by the mall. The company’s target is to secure full occupancy of the complex during 2019, as the occupancy level at the end of 2018 stood at 96 per cent. Company earnings for the year are expected to be in line with the budget. No trades were registered during the week.

A couple of contrasting performances recorded by Malta Properties Company plc cancelled each other out, as the equity closed unchanged at €0.53.

Traded volume totalled 130,317 shares over seven deals.

The worst performer of the sector was Trident Estates plc, which slumped 10.81 per cent over four deals of 3,351 shares, to close at €1.32.

A sole deal of 1,020 Tigne Mall plc shares dragged the price 0.52 per cent lower to €0.96.

A total of MIDI plc 402,450 shares traded over nine transactions. As a result, the equity registered an identical performance to the previous week, edging 0.75 per cent lower to €0.66.

Yields in the local sovereign debt market were lower, as 17 Malta Government Stocks advanced, while five lost ground. Turnover generated in this market totalled €5.3 million, up from the previous week’s figure of €4.1 million.

All the active equities with terms to maturity of longer than two years posted gains, particularly the longest-dated issues.

The top performer was the 4.1% MGS 2034 which appreciated by 1.39 per cent to €132.40.

In the corporate debt market, performances were more balanced, as gainers amounted to 10, and fallers amounted to eight. Turnover amounted to €2.7 million. The largest gain was registered by the 6% Pendergardens Developments plc Secured 2022 which increase 1.64 per cent in value to €111.80.

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 a member of the Atlas Group. The directors or related parties, including the company and its 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 2122 4410, or email info@jesmondmizzi.com.

http://www.jesmondmizzi.com/

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