Daily Market Highlights (06.05.2020)

MSE Equity Price Index declines amid weak activity


The MSE Equity Price Index dropped by 0.58% to 4,013.216 points as the declines in BOV, HSBC, MIA, RS2 and Medserv outweighed the gains in MIDI and PG. Meanwhile, three other equities ended the day unchanged with trading activity remaining weak at €0.14 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

In the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc eased almost as a single trade of 4,000 shares was executed at the €1.04 level and HSBC Bank Malta plc slipped by 3.9% to the €0.98 also on shallow volumes of just 1,000 shares.

Also, among the large companies, Malta International Airport shed nearly 2% as it retreated to the €5.00 level across 16,818 shares.

Medserv plc resumed its negative trend today as the equity slipped to fresh 5-year lows when it lost a further 2.4% to the €0.80 level across 13,900 shares.

Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc fell by almost 1% to the €2.04 level albeit across insignificant volumes.

On the other hand, MIDI plc surged 7.7% as the equity recaptured the €0.42 level cross 2,300 shares.

Today’s only other positively performing equity, PG plc climbed by 1.6% to a 6-week high of €1.88 across 1,541 shares.

A single trade of 2,500 shares in International Hotel Investments plc left the equity unchanged at the €0.59 level. Following a company announcement made by International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) on 11 December 2019 whereby it informed the market that the operations of the Azure Group were being scaled down given that its allocation of timeshare at the Golden Sands Resort had been largely sold out, the company issued another announcement on 5 May 2020 which stated that the scaling down process of the Azure Group has run its natural course and a liquidation process has commenced. The company noted that it has every intention to ensure that the upcoming liquidation is conducted in an orderly manner and that timeshare owners will continue to enjoy the same service and benefits as they have for the past years. IHI owns 50% of the Golden Sands Resort and the Azure Group. The remaining 50% is owned by international investors specializing in timeshare resort operations. All shareholders have reaffirmed their commitment towards the future of the Golden Sands Resort as a high-end luxury destination.

Malta Properties Company plc retained the €0.55 level as 24,580 shares changed hands.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc traded unchanged at the €8.30 level across 2,372 shares. The annual financial statements of Farsons for the financial year ended 31 January 2020 will be published on 27 May.

Yesterday, Plaza Centres plc announced that following the announcement made by the Minister of Health and Superintendent of Public Health on 1 May 2020, it has resumed business activity subject to the restrictions imposed by the public health authorities. The company is taking all necessary measures to ensure full compliance with all health-related precautions whilst the Board of Directors also noted that it will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep under review its policies as the situation evolves.

Today, Loqus Holdings plc announced that Loqus UK Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the company incorporated in England and Wales, acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Simno Software Services Limited, a software company incorporated and registered in the UK which has five employees. The company explained that the consideration to be paid by Loqus UK for Simno shall be paid over a three-year period, out of profits generated by Simno itself. Simno provides software support services to mainly one large customer, which is also a customer of Loqus Group.

The RF MGS Index fell for the second day in succession as the index lost a further 0.05% to 1,120.619 points. Today the European Commission (EC) released its latest economic forecasts – the first estimates since European countries introduced lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The EC forecasts the European economy to contract by 7.4% in 2020 in what would be the worst economic shock since the Great Depression in the 1930s. In February, the EC had previously estimated a 1.4% rise in GDP for the EU this year. The forecasts published today also showed a rebound of 6.1% in GDP for the EU in 2021. The EC also noted that the drop in output in 2020 and the strength of the rebound in 2021 is set to differ markedly between countries as this depends not only on the evolution of the pandemic in that country, but also on the structure of their economies and their capacity to respond with fiscal measures.