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  • The MSE Share Index retreated by 0.16% as the negative performances of FIMBank and HSBC outweighed the gains in six other equities. Moreover, five shares traded unchanged. Volumes surged to nearly €712,000 on heightened activity in RS2, HSBC, BOV and Pefaco. Indeed, trading in these four particular equities represented 72% of the total value traded today. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index closed lower for the first time this week as it retreated to 1,134.622 points (-0.10%). The bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) continued to mirror the price movements of peripheral sovereign papers (namely Italy and Spain). Indeed, while the benchmark 10-year German Bund yield slipped from the 0.28% of yesterday to 0.25% today, the equivalent Italian and Spanish yields rose (bond prices dropped). Last Monday, the President of the European Central Bank reiterated his commitment to lift eurozone inflation to the Bank’s target of close to 2.0%
  • Last Friday, the Treasury announced the issue of two new Malta Government Stocks for a total aggregate amount of €200 million. The new issues are the 1.50% MGS 2022 (IV) and the 2.50% MGS 2036 (I). The fixed offer prices will be determined tomorrow afternoon while subscriptions for the General Public will open on Monday 22 February and close on Wednesday 24 February (or earlier in the case of oversubscription).
  • Yesterday’s uplift in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc was short-lived as it lost 1.9% today to a fresh multi-year low of €1.59 on heightened activity totalling 76,842 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2015 financial statements on Monday 22 February.
  • The other negative performer today was FIMBank plc. The equity of the trade finance specialist retreated by 4.7% to the USD0.61 level across 8,000 shares. FIMBank is expected to publish its 2015 financial statements on 15 March.
  • Also in the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc managed to recover from an intra-day low of €2.20 to close at the €2.21 level (+0.5%) across 48,761 shares. The equity had closed lower for the previous four consecutive sessions.
  • Meanwhile, BOV’s associate company, Mapfre Middlesea plc, advanced 2.0% to €2.50 – its highest level since early March 2009 – across 8,890 shares. The Company will be announcing its 2015 financial results on 2 March.
  • Amongst the large companies by market capitalisation, GO plc and Malta International Airport plc also registered gains. The telecom’s operator reversed yesterday’s decline as it regained the €3.265 level (+0.2%) across 20,050 shares. Last Thursday, GO revealed improved results for its 2015 financial year as operating profits increased by 27.9% to €27.8 million whilst profits before tax (after accounting for certain one-off items) amounted to €34.2 million. The Board of Directors will be recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.10 per share (2014: €0.07 per share) to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 7 April 2016. This dividend will be paid on 13 May subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 11 May. Moreover, last Friday the Company announced that it received a number of non-binding bids from parties interested in acquiring the Company’s entire issued share capital.
  • Meanwhile, Malta International Airport plc closed at a new all-time high of €4.74 (+0.4%) across 2,669 shares. The airport operator is scheduled to reveal its 2015 financial results on Wednesday 24 February.
  • Medserv plc dropped back to its recent rights issue offer price of €1.50 before recovering on low volumes to close the day 1.3% higher to the €1.55 level across 27,890 shares.
  • 6PM Holdings plc gained 4.8% to the GBP0.76 level across 25,530 shares.
  • Also in the I.T. services sector, RS2 Software plc maintained the €3.38 level across robust volumes totalling 54,180 shares.
  • Three single deals in Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (2,000 shares), Pefaco International plc (45,339 shares) and Loqus Holdings plc (1,212 shares) were executed at €6.25, €2.24 and the €0.13 respectively.
  • Likewise, the equity of International Hotel Investments plc held on to the €0.72 level across 18,090 shares. Yesterday, IHI updated the market via a company announcement highlighting the new projects being pursued in connection with the development and management of new luxury Corinthia hotels in Dubai, Rome, Brussels and Abuja (Nigeria), where in some cases negotiations have advanced significantly in recent months and agreements are expected to be signed in the first half of 2016. Furthermore, the residential penthouse in London (adjoining the Corinthia Hotel London) has been leased for a period of two years.

 

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