Daily Market Highlights (07.04.2020)

Lombard & PG lift the MSE Equity Price Index higher


The MSE Equity Price Index erased some of yesterday’s decline as it rebounded by 0.16% to 3,836.260 points. Lombard and PG trended higher, GO and Trident moved lower whilst a further four companies closed the day unchanged. Trading activity improved to €0.26 million compared to just €0.04 million yesterday. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Lombard Bank Malta plc surged by 5% to regain the €2.10 level across 18,084 shares. Today, Lombard announced that in view of the recommendation put forward by the ECB on 27 March 2020, as well as the MFSA circular dated 2 April 2020, it has decided to retain its original recommendation for a net dividend of €0.0455 per share subject that payment will not occur earlier than 1 October 2020, and also that the recommended dividend distribution be reassessed once the situation due to the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic is no longer uncertain. Lombard also added that it remains confident that it has in place robust financial fundamentals, proper technical resources and a competent staff complement which will enable it to meet any challenges that the pandemic may present.

PG plc added 3.7% to the €1.69 level albeit on just 2,036 shares.

Low trading activity also took place in the equity of Trident Estates plc which lost 4.5% to the €1.28 level on volumes of a mere 205 shares.

GO plc eased by 0.5% to an eighteen-month low of €3.78 across 11,260 shares. Last week, GO noted that given the current extraordinary circumstances, it will be re-evaluating the previous recommendation to pay a net dividend of €0.14 per share whilst continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and keep the market updated as necessary.

Meanwhile, Malta International Airport plc maintained the €5.00 level across 11,064 shares.

Bank of Valletta plc (88,230 shares) and HSBC Bank Malta plc (26,710 shares) closed the day unchanged at €0.85 and €0.95 respectively. Last week, the two banks announced that following the recommendation made by the ECB to all European banks, they are both suspending their dividends for the immediate term.

Four deals totalling 43,400 shares left the equity of BMIT Technologies plc at the €0.49 level.

The RF MGS Index extended yesterday’s decline as it eased by a marginal 0.05% to 1,125.007 points. Investor attention in Europe turned to a Eurogroup meeting scheduled for today as euro zone finance ministers discuss the possibility of creating a €0.5 trillion fund aimed at supporting the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Three corporate bond issuers provided an update on their business in relation to the ‘COVID-19’. Mariner Finance plc explained that despite the pandemic, its financial position and resources remain strong and that it is committed to honour all existing payment obligations towards bondholders including the forthcoming interest payment due on 3 July. Although forecasts cannot be accurately computed, Mariner added that it has significant liquid reserves which will assist it during the slowdown in the international logistics chain. Moreover, it has a number of discretionary cash outflows, such as uncommitted, non-essential capital expenditure, which the company has at its disposal to adjust as necessary. As a key node in the international logistics chain, Mariner’s container terminal in Latvia is well-positioned to continue to be a long-term sustainable business.

Dizz Finance plc announced that as part of the mitigating measures, it is re-focussing its efforts on online sales and deliveries. Furthermore, Dizz Finance reassured bondholders and stakeholders that the bond interest payment which is due on 7 October 2020 shall be paid accordingly.

Similarly, 6pm Holdings plc confirmed its plans to settle the next interest payment that is due on 31 July in relation to its 5.1% unsecured bonds maturing in 2025.