Daily Market Highlights (02.03.2020)

MSE Equity Price Index falls to 10-week low


The MSE Equity Price Index reached a 10-week low today as the index fell by 0.66% to 4,599.235 points. The declines in five equities, including BOV and IHI, outweighed the gains in GO, RS2 and PG. Meanwhile HSBC and MIA ended the day unchanged. Trading activity surged to €0.83 million from €0.41 million last Friday, mainly on account of heightened trading activity in HSBC and RS2. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

International Hotel Investments plc ended today’s session at a 6-month low as the equity slipped by 2.6% to the €0.75 level across 8,000 shares. Today, IHI announced that its operating arm, Corinthia Hotels Limited, entered into an agreement with United Development Company (“UDC”), the Qatari master developer of ‘The Pearl’ in Doha, to manage and operate a luxury Corinthia hotel which will be built on UDC’s newest flagship real estate development, Gewan Island. The Corinthia Doha hotel is to be built on a site with an area of 13,000 square metres and will feature 110 guestrooms, a 1000-person banquet hall, several restaurants and a luxurious spa facility. The same development will also include luxury villas, a golf course and a beach club, which will all be managed by Corinthia Hotels Limited.

Also among the large companies by market capitalisation, Bank of Valletta plc shed nearly 1% as it retreated back to the €1.04 level across 30,672 shares.

Similarly, BOV’s subsidiary, Mapfre Middlesea plc also fell by 0.9% to the €2.32 level across a single trade of 4,113 shares.

FIMBank plc dropped by 6% to the USD0.545 level across 6,271 shares.

In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc plunged nearly 9% as the equity closed at a 9-month low of €0.61 across 34,700 shares.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc retained the €1.05 level across 301,000 shares having a total value of €0.32 million, accounting for more than 38% of today’s total trading activity.

Malta International Airport plc recovered from an intraday low of €6.80 (-0.7%) to also end the day unchanged at the €6.85 level across 1,445 shares.

Among the positive performing equities, RS2 Software plc rebounded by 0.8% to regain the €2.50 level across 165,749 shares valued at €0.41 million, representing just under half of today’s total trading activity.

GO plc climbed 0.9% higher to reach a 7-week high of €4.28 on weak volumes of 1,500 shares. GO is due to publish its 2019 annual financial results on 12 March. The Directors will also consider recommending a dividend.

Meanwhile, a single trade of 4,900 shares in PG plc saw the equity advance by 2% to the €2.00 level.

The RF MGS Index surged 0.32% higher today to a near 4-month high of 1,158.352 points as the demand for safe-haven assets intensified following the latest developments related to spreading of the coronavirus and the virus’ effects on global growth projections. In fact, the OECD today warned that the adverse effects of the coronavirus can cut global growth in 2020 to 1.5% compared to the previous forecast of 2.9% growth. Nonetheless, the ECB today announced that it stands ready to act, as required. The same expectations are being echoed in the US as markets have priced in a 50-basis point rate cut at the Federal Reserve’s next meeting, scheduled to be held between 17 and 18 March.