Daily Market Highlights (03.11.16)

  • The MSE Share Index edged higher for the third consecutive day as it advanced by a further 0.03% to a fresh near four-month high of 4,553.989 points. A very large chunk of today’s trading activity took place in BOV, HSBC and RS2. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index posted a three-day negative streak as it edged 0.07% lower to 1,171.210 points. The yield of the 10-year Malta Government Stocks – the 7.00% 2026 I – recaptured the 1.0% mark again today from 0.97% yesterday. Meanwhile, the opening indicative bid price of the Central Bank of Malta for the 3.00% MGS 2040 I reached a new all-time high of 122.65%. Volatility in bond markets intensified amid various developments taking place concurrently. Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve kept its monetary policy unchanged in its last rate-setting decision before the Presidential election, but signalled that a rate rise is likely at its next meeting in mid-December as long as it sees “some further evidence” of growing economic momentum. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Bank of England today raised its forecasts for UK inflation but warned of slowing economic growth. Furthermore, the UK’s High Court ruled that Brexit procedures must be approved by the UK parliament. In the euro zone, unemployment held steady at 10% in September – in line with expectations. In its latest economic bulletin, the European Central Bank (ECB) said that the single currency economy should continue to expand at a moderate and steady pace but this is subject to downside risks, primarily from sluggish global growth and political uncertainty. The ECB also said that consumption and employment should continue to rise and the recovery in business investment should continue beyond the next quarter.
  • RS2 Software plc closed in positive territory for the fifth consecutive trading session. The equity climbed 3.2% to a one-month high of €1.61 across 31,500 shares.
  • HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €1.89 (-0.5%) and finished the day unchanged at €1.90. A total of 46,053 shares changed hands today.
  • Bank of Valletta plc slipped 0.4% to the €2.31 level on volumes totalling 64,771 shares. Yesterday, BOV revealed that Mr Taddeo Scerri has been nominated by the Government of Malta to replace Mr John Cassar White as chairman of the Bank with effect from 16 December 2016, subject to regulatory approval. At the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on Friday 16 December, shareholders will be asked to elect six directors as well as approve a final gross dividend of €0.0852 per share (net: €0.0554) to be paid to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 14 November. During the AGM, shareholders will also be asked to approve a 1 for 13 bonus issue.
  • Also in the banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc traded for the first time in the last seven trading sessions and shed 3.7% to the €2.10 level on insignificant volumes.
  • Plaza Centres plc recaptured the €1.12 level (+0.9%) on shallow volumes.
  • Low volumes were also transacted in GO plc which maintained the €3.219 level.
  • The Treasury announced that the refunds to applicants in the 2.1% MGS 2039 will take place by Friday 4 November. Trading in this new bond is expected to commence next week.