Daily Market Highlights (04.11.2021)

Trading in BOV takes centre stage


The MSE Equity Price Index cancelled most of yesterday’s gains as it eased by 0.21% to 3,819.645 points. IHI, Tigné Mall and VBL ended lower while BOV and GO remained unchanged. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Trading in Bank of Valletta plc represented over 83% of all value traded today as the equity held to the €0.87 level after recovering from an intraday low at €0.86 (-1.1%). On Tuesday, BOV issued an Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that in Q3 2021, it posted a pre-tax profit of €20.6 million. As a result, profits before tax for the nine-month period up to September 2021 amounted to €46.5 million compared to €40.6 million in the same period in 2020. BOV noted that the improved profitability over 2020 reflects the gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenues up to September 2021 amounted to €172.1 million (+4% over the comparable period in 2020), mostly due to improved volumes in the retail sector particularly in home lending, cards, and payments. On the other hand, operating costs increased by just 1%. BOV’s financial performance was also boosted by the contribution from its insurance associates which was significantly higher than the same period in 2020 largely driven by the increase in the market value of investments as well as higher written premia.

Also among the large companies by market value, GO plc traded flat at the €3.26 level albeit on negligible volumes.

Tigné Mall plc slumped by 5.9% to the €0.80 level on a single trade of 3,500 shares.

Also in the property sector, VBL plc cancelled yesterday’s gains as it dropped by 3.3% to the €0.29 level on two deals totalling 10,000 shares.

International Hotel Investments plc eased by 0.8% to the €0.595 level after failing to hold to an intraday high of €0.61 (+1.7%) as 5,224 shares changed hands. Last Monday, IHI published a prospectus in relation to the issuance of new €80 million unsecured bonds maturing in 2031 with a coupon of 3.65%. The net proceeds are principally earmarked for the redemption of the 5.8% IHI plc bonds maturing in late December 2021, as well to finance new projects in Rome, New York, and Malta. The offer period starts next Monday 8 November 2021.

Today, Harvest Technology plc announced that it will distribute a net interim dividend of €0.016 per share. Shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 8 November 2021 will be entitled to receive the dividend which will be paid by not later than 26 November 2021. Harvest also provided an update on its financial performance from January to September 2021. In this respect, the company noted that profit before tax amounted to €3.13 million, representing a growth of 9% over the same period in 2020 (€2.88 million). Harvest also reiterated its target of achieving a profit before tax of €4 million for the 2021 financial year which would be in line with the forecast provided in December 2020 but 18% higher than the projections at the time of the IPO in November 2019. The equity remained inactive today.

The RF MGS Index moved higher for the third consecutive session as it added another 0.10% to a five-week high of 1,086.107 points. The eurozone producer prices increased by 2.7% in September, the largest monthly increase in years and well ahead of market expectations. As such, on a yearly basis producer prices increased by 16% in September. Meanwhile in the US, yesterday the Federal Reserve confirmed the tapering of its monthly asset purchase programme in line with expectations. However, interest rates remained unchanged and the Fed’s Chair Jerome Powell refused to give any indications with respect to any possible increases in interest rates. Similarly, today the Bank of England decided to keep interest rates at record lows as concerns of rising prices were superseded by downside risks from a slowdown in economic growth and the potential increase in unemployment levels.