Daily Market Highlights (06.04.2017)

  • The MSE Share Index closed virtually flat today at 4,716.327 points as the 2% gain in the share price of Lombard offset the 3.1% decline in MIDI. Meanwhile, four other shares remained unchanged. Trading activity improved to a four-day high of €0.26 million. Download a copy today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • Following the gains in the previous two days, the RF MGS Index eased by 0.06% to 1,125.545 points. The 10-year and 20-year benchmark German Bund yields stayed at 0.25% and 0.76% respectively, but the corresponding yields on the Spanish and Italian government bonds gained ground. On the economic front, German Factory Orders rebounded by 3.4% in February from -6.8% in the previous month but the increase was lower than expected (+4%). The result of a survey gauging the level of activity of purchasing managers within the retail sector in the single currency area also disappointed. Meanwhile, comments made by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi confirmed the central bank’s intention not to raise the rate of interest on its deposit facility, which currently stands at -0.4%, before the end of its quantitative-easing programme.
  • Eight deals totalling 25,883 shares lifted the equity of Lombard Bank Malta plc 2% higher to a fresh six-year high of €2.499. This morning, the Bank issued an announcement containing all the resolutions to be presented for the consideration and approval by shareholders during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 27 April 2017, including a number of special business resolutions concerning the shareholding and the share capital structure of Lombard. The Bank also notified that the sale process for the disposal of the 49.01% shareholding of Cyprus Popular Bank (CPB) in Lombard has recently been launched. The Board of Directors of the Bank resolved that it would be in the interest of the Bank and all its stakeholders to participate in the process with a view to possibly acquiring the CPB shareholding. The Bank lodged an expression of interest and on 5 April 2017 submitted its indicative offer in terms of the sale process.
  • Also in the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc maintained its over nine-year high of €2.21 across 71,060 shares whilst a single deal of 7,655 shares left HSBC Bank Malta plc at the €2.08 level.
  • Malta International Airport plc also finished the day flat at the €4.19 level after opening an intra-day high of €4.205 (+0.4%). A total of 3,777 shares traded.
  • Medserv plc held on to its four-month low of €1.515 across 4,000 shares. Yesterday, the oil and gas logistics specialist revealed its 2016 financial results showing a significant drop in revenues and profitability largely due to the notable drop in the price of oil which resulted in significant delays of drilling operations. Indeed, Medserv reported a pre-tax loss of €2.45 million compared to a pre-tax profit of €5.8 million in FY2015. The Directors did not declare a dividend. Meanwhile, Medserv also issued an updated Financial Analysis Summary (FAS) containing its financial forecasts for 2017. The FAS shows that the Group is expected to report a pre-tax loss of €1.42 million this year. Overall, the Directors of Medserv warned that the oil price dynamics will continue to remain uncertain and volatile in 2017. However, the Directors also expressed their optimism for the future as the drilling activity that has been planned for both Portugal and Cyprus is now expected to commence by Q4 2017. In addition, the Group anticipates a better performance in the Oil Country Tubular Goods operating segment given the Group’s business pipeline in the Middle East.
  • MIDI plc dropped 3.1% to a fresh 22-month low of €0.31 albeit on insignificant volumes.