Daily Market Highlights

July 29, 2020

MIA posts €2 million loss in H1 2020


The MSE Equity Price Index resumed its negative trend today as it declined by 0.39% to 3,932.415 points across light trading activity totalling €0.04 million. The declines in five equities outweighed the gains in BMIT and BOV whilst MIA and GO closed the day unchanged. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

International Hotel Investments plc lost 1.9% as it eased to the €0.53 level across 29,285 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc plunged by 5% to a fresh 22-month low at the €7.55 albeit across trivial volumes.

Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc fell by 1.1% to the €0.92 level across a single trade of insignificant volumes. The bank will publish its interim financial statements on Monday 3 August.

Malita Investments plc retracted from a six-month high of €0.93 as it shed 1.1% to the €0.92 level across 1,229 shares.

Elsewhere, Harvest Technology plc declined by 0.7% to the €1.48 level as 7,665 shares changed hands. Yesterday, Harvest issued its interim financial results showing a near 20% increase in revenues to just under €9 million and a 25.4% surge in net profits to €1.2 million. The Board of Directors resolved to distribute a net interim dividend of €0.024 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading today. The payment of the dividend will take place by not later than 14 August 2020.

BMIT Technologies plc returned to the €0.484 level as the equity gained 0.8% across a single trade of 11,900 shares. BMIT will publish its interim results on Friday 7 August.

Today’s only other positively performing equity, Bank of Valletta plc, added just over 1% as it recaptured the €0.99 level across 1,800 shares. BOV will publish its interim financial statements on Friday 31 July.

Meanwhile, GO plc traded flat at the €3.44 level across weak trading volumes. Yesterday, GO held its AGM during which shareholders approved all resolutions that were placed on the agenda including the payment of a net dividend of €0.10 per share for the 2019 financial year. The dividend will be paid out tomorrow to all shareholders as at close of trading on 28 April 2020.

Malta International Airport plc remained rooted to the €5.50 level on low volumes of 250 shares. Today, MIA published its interim financial statements for the six-month period ended 30 June 2020 showing a €2 million loss following the sharp drop in passenger numbers as a result of the imposed ban on all passenger flights on 21st March. Given the uncertainty of the duration of the current state of affairs, the company noted that it does not have sufficiently reliable data to be able to provide dependable forecasts that can give accurate guidance to the market for the being.

The RF MGS Index extended yesterday’s uplift as it added a further 0.07% to 1,107.804 points. Sentiment across international financial markets continued to be dampened by the uncertainties related to the higher number of COVID-19 cases around the world, ahead of the conclusion of the two-day US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

Today, Plaza Centres plc published its interim financial results covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2020. Plaza registered a decline of almost 16% in revenue to €1.44 million despite an increase in occupancy rates from 87% to 93%. Meanwhile, operating profit contracted by 27% to a six-year low (at interim stage) of €0.83 million as the company took a number of actions to support its tenants including the reduction in lease rates as well as the absorption of a larger portion of the common area costs. Overall, Plaza posted a pre-tax profit of €0.61 million compared to €0.94 million in H1 2019. Plaza made reference to the offer for the sale of Tigné Place which was announced on 18 December 2019. It was noted that although a final deed was scheduled to take place by the end of June 2020 and a deposit was affected in line with the promise of sale agreement, the execution of the final deed of sale was extended following changes in law due to ‘COVID-19’

Trident Estates plc announced that further to an expression of interest, the lease proposal at Trident Park has been selected as the preferred bid to house the office premises for the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). In addition to this, the company announced that other promise to lease agreements have also recently been confirmed with financial services and investment holding companies, bringing the total area that has been committed at Trident Park to 4,928 sqm or 30% of the total office space available for lease which amounts to approximately 15,000 sqm.