Daily Market Highlights (02.04.2020)

MIA share price recaptures the €5.00 level


The MSE Equity Price Index extended yesterday’s uplift as it added 0.13% to 3,866.858 points. The gains in MIA, IHI, RS2 and BMIT outweighed the declines in PG and MPC whilst a further four companies closed the day unchanged. Trading activity remained relatively muted as €0.18 million worth of shares changed hands. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Malta International Airport plc regained the €5.00 level (+0.4%) across 8,635 shares.

RS2 Software plc moved 1.6% higher to recapture the €1.90 level on six deals totalling 10,600 shares.

Also among the large companies, International Hotel Investments plc gained 0.8% to the €0.595 level albeit on just 900 shares. Last Saturday, IHI issued an announcement explaining measures taken for preserving financial resources. The company noted that it has been in touch with its funding banks in Malta and internationally. To varying degrees, all banks have agreed or are in advanced discussions with IHI to defer payment of capital and, in some cases, also interest. IHI also explained that it has sufficient resources and funds to maintain all its payment obligations including bond interest payments as they arise through the course of the year.

The other positive performing equity today was BMIT Technologies plc as it surged 3.3% to the €0.494 level across 36,950 shares.

Conversely, PG plc lost 4.1% to the €1.63 level albeit on light volumes.

Malta Properties Company plc eased by 2% to the €0.49 level across 88,370 shares. Today, MPC announced that in view of the ‘COVID-19’ situation, the company is postponing its AGM to a future date when such a meeting can be held. MPC also added that in the light of the current extraordinary circumstances, and in the interest of its shareholders, in particular the minority shareholders, it will proceed with the payment of the net dividend of €0.01 per share. This will be paid on 1 June 2020 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 24 April 2020.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc (30,762 shares) and Lombard Bank Malta plc (250 shares) traded flat at €0.85 and €2.10 respectively. Yesterday, BOV explained that in the light of the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic, and following a strong recommendation of the ECB of 27 March 2020 on dividend distributions applicable to all European banks, the bank has decided to keep the initial proposal for distribution of the dividend but make the actual payment conditional on the reassessment of the situation once the uncertainties caused by ‘COVID-19’ disappear, the earliest of which, in line with the ECB’s recommendation, would be 1 October 2020.

Malita Investments plc finished unchanged at the €0.77 level after recovering from €0.755 – the lowest since late 2017 – on a total of 34,750 shares.

Mapfre Middlesea plc maintained the €2.26 level on trivial volumes.

Today, HSBC Bank Malta plc announced that following the recommendation made by the European Central Bank for the suspension of dividends, HSBC Malta concluded that it is therefore obliged to delay the payment of the final net dividend of €0.014 per share for the 2019 financial year and also potential future dividends. HSBC Malta also noted that as it has sufficient capital to support the previously announced final net dividend, it will re-examine the situation and will update the market accordingly once this is appropriate to do so, but not before Q4 2020.

Today, GO plc announced that in view of the ‘COVID-19’ situation, it is postponing the AGM indefinitely. The Board of Directors also noted that given the current extraordinary circumstances, the company will be re-evaluating the previous recommendation to pay a net dividend of €0.14 per share whilst continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and keep the market updated as necessary.

Grand Harbour Marina plc also provided an update to the market in relation to prevailing developments related to the ‘COVID-19’. In this respect, GHM explained that it is expected that the Pontoon and Superyacht visitors’ sector to be significantly impacted. Although the full extent of the impact is unclear, GHM noted that it took a worst-case scenario in its forecast where no income from Pontoon and Superyacht visitors is generated for the next six months up to and including September 2020. In such a scenario, GHM would still have sufficient resources to meet all its payment obligations, including but not limited to salaries and annual bond interest payments. Such a scenario would also not alter GHM’s ability to redeem in full its current €15 million bond maturing in 2027.

The RF MGS Index extended yesterday drop as it eased by a further 0.33% to 1,125.600 points. On the economic front, producer prices in the euro area fell by more than expected. In the US, new claims for unemployment benefits soured by a record 6.6 million, bringing the total over the past two weeks to 10 million.

Today, Exalco Finance plc issued an announcement reassuring its bondholders that it has sufficient resources at its disposal to honour its existing payment obligations, including those relative to the forthcoming interest payment which shall fall due on 20 August 2020.