Daily Market Highlights (01.03.2017)

  • The MSE Share Index erased most of yesterday’s decline as it rebounded by 0.25% to 4,748.764 points today, reflecting the uplifts in the share prices of the three retail banks (BOV, HSBC and Lombard) and MIA which outweighed the declines in Malita and Medserv. Trading volumes dropped to €0.26 million – the lowest in the last seven trading sessions. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index moved lower for the first time in five days as it slipped by 0.06% to 1,131.715 points. Euro zone sovereign yields rallied today (bond prices fell) following a speech delivered to a joint session of Congress by the US President Donald Trump during which he promised again to increase government spending on infrastructure and defence. On the economic front, a survey gauging American consumers’ assessment of current conditions and expectations rose to its highest level since 2001 whilst updated figures confirmed earlier estimates that the US economy grew by 1.6% year-on-year in 2016, the slowest rate in five years. Within the single currency area, fresh data issued today showed that inflation in Germany accelerated further in February to +2.2% from +1.9% in January. This is the highest level since August 2012 and above the European Central Bank’s target of just under 2%.
  • Bank of Valletta plc touched a fresh nine-year high of €2.21 (+0.9%) but closed at the €2.20 level, representing a gain of 0.5% from yesterday’s close. A total of 39,185 shares changed hands.
  • Positive sentiment towards HSBC Bank Malta plc continued and the equity advanced 0.3% to a new three-year high of €2.066 across 14,700 shares. Last week, HSBC published its 2016 financial results showing slightly reduced profits on an adjusted basis. The Board of Directors recommended a final net dividend of €0.027 per share to shareholders as at the close of trading on 10 March 2017.
  • A single deal of just 2,100 shares pushed the equity of Lombard Bank Malta plc to a fresh twelve-month high of €2.37 (+0.9%).
  • Malta International Airport plc rebounded by 2.4% to recapture the €4.25 level albeit on shallow volumes totalling 2,800 shares. Last week, MIA revealed record results for the financial year ended 31 December 2016. The Directors recommended an unchanged final net dividend of €0.07 per share, payable to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Thursday 6 April 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 10 May 2017. Meanwhile, Ryanair today launched its largest ever Malta winter schedule for 2017/18 consisting of new routes as well as more flights to existing destinations.
  • Medserv plc dropped by 3.6% back to the €1.60 level across 56,000 shares. On Monday, the Company announced that it was awarded its largest contract ever. The new long-term contract is between Medserv’s wholly-owned subsidiary METS and Sumitomo Corporation Tubular Supply Oman and involves the supply chain management of Oil Country Tubular Goods to Petroleum Development Oman – a joint-venture between the Government of Oman and Shell. The oil and gas logistics specialist however also announced that it was not successful in its first tender to offer its services in Trinidad. The Company is however awaiting adjudication on a second tender and is actively pursuing other work in Trinidad as well as the surrounding region.
  • Malita Investments plc slumped 4.9% to a new two-year low of €0.77 on two deals totalling 15,000 shares. Following the closure of this morning’s trading session, the Company issued a preliminary statement of its 2016 financial results showing a marked drop in net profitability to €6.42 million (FY2015: €16.6 million) as Malita benefitted from a significantly lower change in the fair value of its investment properties (€3.02 million) when compared to the previous corresponding period (€11.6 million). The Directors recommended the payment of a slightly improved final net dividend of €0.01482 per share, payable to shareholders as at close of trading on Friday 24 March 2017 subject to shareholders’ approval during an Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday 27 April 2017.
  • Meanwhile, a further three equities closed unchanged today. International Hotel Investments plc maintained the €0.63 level across 17,515 shares. Santumas Shareholdings plc (11,398 shares) held on to its all-time high of €1.55 whilst RS2 Software plc retained the €1.65 level on trivial volumes.