Daily Market Highlights (03.08.2016)

  • The MSE Share Index finished lower for the third consecutive day this week as it retreated by a further 0.37% to 4,425.448 points – the lowest level since mid-January 2016. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index marginally extended yesterday’s loss as it eased to 1,155.729 points. Euro zone sovereign yields increased this morning possibly reflecting an encouraging reading coming out from a survey amongst manufacturing and services businesses across the single currency zone for the month of July. The survey showed that while the rate of expansion in manufacturing remained unchanged at June’s six-month high, growth in the services sector improved slightly.
  • The main reason for today’s drop in the Index was the 5.0% decline in the share price of RS2 Software plc, which closed at its lowest in nearly six months of €1.90 after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.85 (-7.5%) across 11,360 shares. RS2 is expected to release its 2016 interim financial statements on 11 August.
  • Among the large companies, Malta International Airport plc (1,200 shares) and Bank of Valletta plc (16,000 shares) also performed negatively today. MIA only retreated by 0.1% to the €4.147 level while BOV’s share price dropped by 1.3% to end today’s trading session at €2.20. After recently upgrading its 2016 year-end passenger traffic forecast to +7.5% growth, today MIA published the traffic statistics for the month of July during which passenger movements grew by 5.9% on the back of a 3.1% increase in seat capacity and an improved seat load factor of 88% – a record for the month of July. In aggregate, during the first seven months of the year, passenger movements amounted to more than 2.76 million – representing a 9% increase over the previous year’s comparable period.
  • Plaza Centres plc retracted by 4.5% from its all-time high of €1.10 to the €1.05 level on volumes totalling 16,800 shares.
  • In contrast, a single deal of just 5,000 shares left the equity of Tigne’ Mall plc unchanged at the €1.05 level. The Board of Directors of Tigne’ Mall will be meeting on 12 August to consider and approve the interim financial statements for the half-year ended 30 June 2016. The Directors will also consider the payment of an interim dividend.
  • Following the publication of the interim results early this morning before market opening, HSBC Bank Malta plc climbed 2.5% to €1.64 across 49,440 shares – its highest level since mid-April 2016. In the first six months of the year, HSBC posted a 13.8% increase in pre-tax profits of €41.3 million. Nonetheless, the improvement in profitability came on the back of a one-off gain related to the sale of shares in Visa Europe. Indeed, excluding the aforementioned one-off gain, the pre-tax profit of HSBC would have amounted to €30.5 million, representing a 15.9% drop from the previous comparable figure. The Bank declared a gross interim dividend of €0.071 per share (net: €0.0462). This is 39.2% higher than the gross interim dividend for the first six months of 2015. Accordingly, the payout ratio advanced to 61.9% from 49.9% for H1 2015. The interim dividend will be paid on 9 September to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 10 August.
  • A single deal of 2,000 shares lifted the equity of Medserv plc 0.1% higher to the €1.802 level. On Monday, the oil and gas logistic specialist announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Medserv Operations Limited has successfully concluded the renewal of one of its major contracts with an international oil company operating offshore North Africa for a further two years. Medserv Operations will provide fully integrated logistics shore base services from its base in Malta. The project relates to the continuation of the Bahr Essalm offshore gas field development in the central Mediterranean. Moreover, Medserv also stated that its 80%-owned Cypriot subsidiary Medserv (Cyprus) Limited has been granted an extension of its license to carry out port operations from Larnaca, Cyprus, for one year expiring on 31 August 2017. Medserv Cyprus continues to service ENI Cyprus from its base in Larnaca and is currently awaiting adjudication on a very competitive bid for the provision of shore base services to another international oil company. The Board of Directors of Medserv is scheduled to meet on 26 August 2016 to consider and approve the interim financial statements for the half-year ended 30 June 2016.
  • GO plc announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday 9 August 2016 to consider and approve the 2016 interim financial statements. No trades took place in GO’s equity today.
  • The recently issued €50 million 4.0% MIDI plc 2026 secured bonds have been admitted to the Official List today. Trading in the bonds is expected to commence as from tomorrow.

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