Equity market activity improves
The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.28% to 4,666.703 points as the drops in four companies including IHI and BOV outweighed the gains in three other large caps. Meanwhile, GO and MaltaPost traded unchanged as overall trading activity increased to an over two-week high of €0.24 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
International Hotel Investments plc lost 1.2% to the €0.80 level on heightened activity totalling 125,000 shares. In early November 2019, IHI had stated that it was expecting bids for the sale of the Corinthia Hotel Prague to be negotiated by the end of 2019.
Also among the large companies, Bank of Valletta plc moved back to the €1.06 level (-0.5%) across 26,643 shares.
BOV’s insurance associate – Mapfre Middlesea plc – tumbled almost 7% to the €2.20 level albeit on trivial volumes following yesterday’s rally of 8.3%.
Two deals totalling 5,686 shares forced the share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc to retreat by 4.4% back to the €2.18 level. Lombard’s annual financial statements will be published on 23 March.
Within the same sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc regained the €1.20 level (+1.7%) across 19,436 shares.
RS2 Software plc closed the day 0.9% higher at the €2.18 level after rebounding from an intra-day low of €2.10 (-2.8%). A total of 27,969 shares changed hands.
Malta International Airport plc also trended positively today with a gain of 0.7% to the €6.90 level on two deals totalling 1,542 shares. MIA is soon expected to publish its December 2019 traffic results. During the eleven-month period to 30 November 2019, the company welcomed more than 6.8 million passengers, representing an increase of 6.9% over the previous comparable period in 2018. MIA had stated in mid-January 2019 that it was expecting passenger movements to increase by 5.8% during the whole of 2019 to 7.2 million.
Meanwhile, both GO plc (€4.28) and MaltaPost plc (€1.31) traded unchanged on weak volumes.
The RF MGS Index reversed yesterday’s gains as it slipped by 0.25% to 1,143.071 points. Prices of Malta Government Stocks declined notably as sovereign euro bond yields trended higher amid an apparent ease of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. On the economic front, inflation in the euro area remained at 1.3% (well below the ECB’s target of close to 2%). Separately, retail sales during the month of November 2019 exceeded expectations and surged by 2.2% over the same period in 2018.