Daily Market Highlights (09.03.2020)

MSE Equity Price Index drops to fresh 1-year low


The MSE Equity Price Index trended in negative territory for the fourth consecutive session with a decline of a further 1.49% during today’s session to yet another 1-year low of 4,498.189 points. A total of nine equities declined, including BOV, MIA and HSBC, amid increasing concerns over the coronavirus impact. Only three equities from the property segment edged higher today whilst a further four equities ended the day unchanged. Trading activity also declined today as €0.66 million worth of shares changed hands compared to the almost €1 million that changed hands last Friday. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

Bank of Valletta plc shed 1.9% back to the €1.03 level on volumes of 25,673 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its 2019 full-year results on Wednesday 18 March.

Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc eased by 0.9% back to the €1.05 level on stronger volumes of 202,581 shares.

Malta International Airport plc plunged a further 5.8% back to the €5.70 level for the first time since September 2018 across twenty-three deals totalling 29,135 shares. After the close of today’s trading session, MIA published its traffic results for the month of February revealing a 17.3% growth in passenger months compared to the same month last year. MIA’s CEO Mr Alan Borg noted that the coronavirus outbreak is putting aviation and tourism stakeholders across the globe to the test with MIA envisaging two challenging months ahead as seven airlines have already cancelled 278 flights from Italy and other markets.

Amongst the large equities by market capitalisation, International Hotel Investments plc shed 1.3% back to the €0.74 level on volumes of 41,684 shares and GO plc retreated by 0.9% to €4.22 on just 4,150 shares ahead of the 2019 full-year results publication on Thursday.

Similarly, RS2 Software plc ended the day 1.6% lower at the €2.50 level after partially recovering from an intra-day low of €2.36 on total activity of 25,878 shares.

PG plc retreated by 2.1% to a fresh 7-week low of €1.91 on volumes of 11,580 shares.

In the property segment, MIDI plc plunged 7.9% to €0.442 for the first time since June 2018 albeit on shallow volumes of 8,800 shares and Plaza Centres plc drifted almost 1% lower to €1.03 across 17,000 shares.

On the other hand, Malta Properties Company plc jumped 4.9% to regain the €0.64 level across 14,000 shares and Trident Estates plc edged 3.25 higher to close at the €1.62 level on volumes of 10,560 shares.

Weaker volumes were transacted in Tigné Mall plc as the equity moved 1.1% higher to €0.89 on a single deal of 3,899 shares.

Meanwhile, Mapfre Middlesea plc held on to the €2.32 level across 17,001 shares ahead of the 2019 full-year results publication also scheduled for Thursday.

Likewise, Lombard Bank Malta plc ended the day unchanged at the €2.22 level on volumes of 2,013 shares and its postal subsidiary, MaltaPost plc, retained the €1.30 level across a single trade of 3,750 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc retained the €11.00 level on just 1,400 shares.

The RF MGS Index eased by a further 0.03% to 1,158.767 points as the spread between the peripheral eurozone yields and the benchmark 10-year German Bund yield (which reached a new all-time low of -0.909%) continued to widen amid growing fears as the coronavirus spreads across the globe disrupting travel and business. Moreover, the price of oil slumped to 4-year lows as Saudi Arabia vowed to increase the supply of oil in order to win back market share after OPEC failed to reach an agreement with Russia on further supply cuts aimed at supporting the oil price.