IHI acquires remaining 50% stake in Golden Sands
The MSE Equity Price Index posted a four-day losing streak as it fell by 0.18% to 3,837.516 points. The declines in HSBC, IHI, RS2 and MaltaPost outweighed the gains in BOV, GO, BMIT, MIA and MPC whilst Mapfre traded unchanged. Meanwhile, trading activity improved to €0.17 million from €0.11 million yesterday. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
Today, International Hotel Investments plc announced that it acquired the remaining 50% in the issued share capital of Golden Sands Resort Limited (GSRL) for a total consideration of €13 million. The current global pandemic provided an opportunity for IHI to acquire the remaining 50% shareholding, in consequence of which IHI now holds the entire share capital of the company, thus securing the hotel’s long-term future. The Board of IHI explained that it considers the full ownership of Golden Sands Resort Limited (GSRL) and its underlying asset as an important strategic decision in consolidating its business interests in Malta. IHI’s share price declined by 3.2% to the €0.60 level as 3,500 shares changed hands.
GO plc rebounded off its 11-week low reached yesterday as it rose by 1.3% to the €3.24 level across a single trade of 5,234 shares. GO will be publishing its annual financial statements on 11 March.
GO’s data centre subsidiary – BMIT Technologies plc – ended the day 2.1% higher as it recaptured the €0.48 level across 25,692 shares. BMIT will be publishing its annual financial statements on 9 March.
Malta Properties Company plc advanced by nearly 1% to the €0.54 level across a single deal of 1,500 shares. Yesterday, MPC published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2020 whereby is registered an uplift of almost 20% in pre-tax profit to €4.33 million when compared to the previous comparable period. In their commentaries, the Chairman and the CEO of MPC explained that given the company’s sound financial position, MPC is evaluating a number of new acquisition opportunities which have the potential to add significant value to shareholders. The Board of Directors of MPC is recommending the payment of a net dividend of €0.012 per share (2019: €0.01 per share). Shareholders as at close of trading on 14 June 2021 will be entitled to receive this dividend on 21 July 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on 15 July 2021.
Malta International Airport plc regained the €6.00 level as it rose by 0.8% across 998 shares. On Wednesday, MIA published its annual report and financial statements for 2020 whereby it reported a 76.1% decline in passenger traffic as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, the airport operator reported a net loss for the year of €4.63 million when compared to a record profit after tax of €33.9 million in 2019. Looking ahead, management reiterated that over the coming year, it will continue to lay out the groundwork for long-term investments, including the new business center and hotel project SkyParks 2 and the construction of a new parking stand (‘Apron X’) and supporting facilities. The company noted that it is not recommending a dividend payment for the financial year 2020 given the performance in 2020 and the limited visibility of the way ahead. Meanwhile, MIA’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 5 May 2021.
In the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc inched 0.2% higher to the €0.902 level on a total of 36,001 shares whilst HSBC Bank Malta plc eased by 1.1% to the €0.86 level as 18,471 shares changed hands. Today HSBC announced that its forthcoming Annual General Meeting will be held remotely on Thursday 22 April 2021.
Also among the large equities by market cap, RS2 Software plc failed to hold onto an intra-day high of €1.93 (+6.6%) before closing 0.6% lower at the €1.80 level across 38,163 shares.
Elsewhere, MaltaPost plc lost 1.7% to the €1.16 level across 7,820 shares.
Mapfre Middlesea plc traded flat at the €2.24 level as 1,948 shares changed hands.
The RF MGS Index erased most of yesterday’s gains as it slid by 0.16% to 1,113.137 points on the back off yesterday’s global sell-off in the global bonds market. Yesterday, two members of the European Central Bank’s (“ECB”) board pledged to keep borrowing costs low, as the ECB looks to stem a steady rise in yields that challenges the bank’s accommodative monetary policy and threatens to derail the EU’s economic recovery. Both members explained that the ECB has plenty of policy flexibility to get its desired goals, a signal that the ECB could step up stimulus without any fresh policy decision. Furthermore, they also noted that while economic growth within the euro area during Q1 2021 could fall short of the ECB’s expectation due to extended lockdowns, the full-year figure was still seen in the “same ballpark” as earlier estimates. Moreover, based on current projections, the euro area economy should reach pre-crisis levels by mid-2022.