The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s negative performance by a further 0.44% to 4,441.442 points as the declines in the share prices of six equities outweighed the gains registered in BOV and GO. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
On the bond market, the RF MGS Index gained a further 0.03% to 1,168.378 points. Overall, euro zone sovereign yields trended lower today as the latest economic data showed that GDP growth in the single currency area slowed between April and June as major economies, such as France and Italy, stalled. GDP growth came in at just 0.3% for the second quarter, lower than the 0.5% growth seen in the first three months of the year. The 10-year Spanish government yield fell below the 1.0% mark again % whilst that of Italy retracted to 1.146%. Locally, the CBM bid prices for the longer dated MGSs issued this year – i.e. the 2.50% 2036 I and the 2.40% 2041 I r – reached new all-time highs of 109.13% and 105.37% respectively. Nonetheless, the 2.40% MGS 2041 I r closed at 107.00% today on robust volumes totalling €1.57 million nominal.
Most notably, the 4.0% fall in the share price of RS2 Software plc weighed heavily on the Index today. RS2 retreated to €1.68 – its lowest level since November 2015 – on relatively weak volumes totalling 6,020 shares.
Also among the large companies, HSBC Bank Malta plc and Malta International Airport plc trended lower today. HSBC lost 1.6% to finish at the €1.575 level across 13,411 shares. The Bank is scheduled to pay the recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.071 per share (net: €0.0462) on Friday 9 September.
Meanwhile, Malta International Airport plc eased 0.7% lower back to the €4.25 level on 13,600 shares. Earlier this afternoon, MIA published its August traffic results revealing a 2.3% increase in passenger movements over August 2015 to an all-time monthly high of 598,515 passengers. The growth in passenger traffic was due to an increased seat capacity coupled with a high seat load factor of 88.8%. Accordingly, during the first eight months of 2016, MIA registered a 7.7% increase in passenger movements to 3.36 million when compared to the same period last year. In July, MIA had revised upwards its passenger growth forecast for 2016 to +7.5% to 4.97 million passengers compared to the previous 2016 forecast of 4.73 million (+2.4%) revealed in January 2016.
In the property segment, Plaza Centres plc, Malta Properties Company plc and MIDI plc all closed today’s trading session lower. Plaza and MIDI retreated by 1.2% and 0.3% to the €1.135 and €0.349 levels respectively on miniscule volumes. Last week, MIDI reported a post-tax loss of €0.86 million in the first six months of 2016 reflecting the limited amount of property available for delivery to their respective buyers. The Company explained that approximately half of the Q2 apartments, which were launched earlier this year, are now subject to a promise of sale agreement. Meanwhile, the remaining apartments are expected to be launched prior to completion of works. Furthermore, civil works on the business centre, of which MIDI owns 50%, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. With respect to the Manoel Island project, MIDI noted that it has engaged Foster + Partners (a world renowned architectural firm) to draw up a conceptual masterplan for this project.
Malta Properties Company plc shed 1% to the €0.515 level across five deals totalling 73,430 shares.
Bank of Valletta plc added to its recent gains as it advanced by a further 0.2% to a fresh four-month high of €2.26 across 23,116 shares. BOV usually announces its full-year financial results for the period ended 30 September by the end of October.
GO plc advanced to a new fifteen-week high of €3.14 (+1.3%) on activity of 8,900 shares.
A single deal of just 1,000 shares left the equity of Simonds Farsons Cisk plc at its all-time high of €6.50.
Medserv plc held on to the €1.501 level across 18,000 shares.