Daily Market Highlights (05.08.2016)

  • Yesterday’s rebound in the MSE Share Index was short-lived as the local equity benchmark eased 0.31% lower during this morning’s trading session to a fresh 7-month low of 4,416.470 points on shallow volumes worth €0.09 million. Week-on-week, the local equity index dropped by 1.20% – the fourth sharpest weekly drop of 2016 – mainly reflecting the weekly declines in the share prices of IHI (-7.1%), RS2 (-5.0%) and MIA (-1.9%). Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index posted its biggest daily jump in a month as it advanced by 0.28% to a near four-week high of 1,159.521 points. Downward pressure on euro zone sovereign yields escalated after yesterday’s announcement by the Bank of England relating to new measures in order to combat the negative effects stemming from the Brexit vote. In fact, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield slid to -0.086% from yesterday’s -0.040%. Likewise, the 10-year yields of Italy and Spain trended lower (prices went up). Furthermore, on the economic front, data showed that German factory orders surprisingly fell 0.4% in July from the previous month.
  • This morning, the equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc failed to hold on to its 13-week high of €1.64 as it retreated 2.4% back to the €1.60 level on volumes totalling 20,650 shares. On Wednesday, HSBC reported a 13.8% increase in pre-tax profits to €41.3 million in the first half of the year ended 30 June 2016. 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 such a gain, the pre-tax profit of HSBC would have dropped to €30.5 million (-15.9%). 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.
  • Also amongst the largest equities by market capitalisation, RS2 Software plc eased 0.3% back to its six-month low of €1.90 across 7,933 shares. The Company is scheduled to release its 2016 interim financial statements on Thursday 11 August.
  • A single deal of just 3,000 shares forced the equity of Malita Investments plc down 3.3% to a new 17-month low of €0.851. This morning, Malita published its interim results showing a 65.7% decline in net profits to €3.9 million (H1 2015: €11.5 million), largely reflecting a lower incidence of positive fair value movements on the Company’s investment properties and a tax charge of nearly €1.0 million compared to a tax credit of €0.8 million in the comparable period last year. The Directors declared a minimally reduced gross interim dividend of €0.0128 per share (net: €0.00832) to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Thursday 4 August 2016. This dividend will be paid on Friday 9 September.
  • FIMBank plc only managed to partially recover from an intra-day low of USD0.999 to end today’s trading session at the USD1.017 level, representing a slight decline of just 0.1%. A total of 10,000 shares changed hands today. FIMBank is expected to reveal its performance for the six-month period ended 30 June 2016 on Tuesday 9 August.
  • Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc maintained the €2.22 level across 8,045 shares. Yesterday, BOV issued a company announcement explaining the mechanism it will be adopting for the election of its directors.
  • Similarly, Mapfre Middlesea plc, also closed this morning’s session unchanged at the €2.042 level on insignificant volumes. Recently, the Company published its 2016 interim financial statements showing a 62.7% decline in pre-tax profits to €5.7 million.
  • Low volumes also characterised today’s trading activity in Malta Properties Company plc and GO plc. MPC registered a gain of 0.2% to close at the €0.508 level whilst GO rebounded by 0.7% from its 16-month low of €2.80 to regain the €2.82 level. The Board of Directors of GO is scheduled to meet on Tuesday 9 August 2016 to consider and approve the Group’s 2016 interim financial statements.
  • Malta International Airport plc also trended higher today as it advanced by 0.5% to the €4.12 level across 3,095 shares. On Wednesday, 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.
  • The recently issued €55 million 4.0% International Hotel Investments plc secured bonds maturing in 2026 have been admitted to the Official List today. Trading is expected to commence as from next Monday 8 August 2016.

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