MSE Equity Price Index posts sharpest upsurge in 4 months
The MSE Equity Price Index rallied by 3.5% to a 7-week high of 3,917.991 points as several equities recorded strong gains, reflecting renewed positive sentiment across the local equity market. In fact, nine equities closed higher including large cap stocks MIA, HSBC, RS2 and IHI. Meanwhile, Harvest, BMIT and Mapfre trended lower whilst BOV, MIDI and PG closed unchanged as overall trading activity improved to €0.22 million. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
Malta International Airport plc closed at a 2-month high as it advanced by 1.6% to the €6.20 level across 4,850 shares. Yesterday, MIA published its March 2021 traffic results showing a total of 32,033 passenger movements which represents a drop of 93% when compared to the same month in 2019. The airport operator noted that the rapid vaccination roll-out among the local population together with government’s recently announced plan for the restart of tourism on 1 June 2021 bode well for the second half of the year. However, the successful revival of air travel is also highly dependent on the restoration of consumer confidence in the industry in the build-up to summer.
HSBC Bank Malta plc gained a further 3.2% as it closed at the €0.815 level with 10,000 shares changing hands.
Malta Properties Company plc edged 1.9% higher to the €0.55 level as 1,000 shares changed hands whilst Simonds Farsons Cisk plc added 0.6% as it advanced to the €8.15 level across 870 shares. The Board of Directors of MPC is recommending the payment of a net dividend of €0.012 per share. Shareholders as at close of trading on 14 June 2021 will be entitled to receive this dividend on 21 July 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on 15 July 2021.
Today’s best performing equity, International Hotel Investments plc surged by 25% to a 10-week high at the €0.70 level as 18,578 shares changed hands. Today, IHI circulated a report by MeDirect Bank (Malta) plc in terms of the Listing Authority policy on sinking funds. The report showed that to date, IHI’s sinking fund related to the €20 million 5.8% IHI plc 2021 bonds amounts to €7,643,923 and that such balance is in accordance with the table of sinking fund contributions in the prospectus of the bond.
Meanwhile, MaltaPost plc jumped by 15% to an 11-week high at the €1.32 level albeit across trivial volumes.
Following yesterday’s sharp decline to a 4-month low, FIMBank plc rebounded by 4.7% to the USD0.314 level across 48,000 shares. Yesterday, FIMBank published its annual financial results for the year ended 31 December 2020 whereby it reported a loss after tax of USD47 million due to significant reductions in income, higher expenses and impairments of almost USD36 million.
GO plc rose by 2.8% to a near 11-month high at the €3.70 level as 10,500 shares changed hands. The net dividend of €0.16 per share is payable on 31 May 2021 to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 23 April 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on 27 May 2021.
GO’s data centre subsidiary, BMIT Technologies plc eased by just under 1% to the €0.525 level across heightened activity of 100,100 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on 22 April 2021 will be entitled to receive a final net dividend of €0.02922 per share.
In the same sector, Harvest Technology plc shed 0.7% to the €1.45 level as 16,600 shares changed hands. Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc advanced by 1.7% to recapture the €1.79 level across 6,000 shares.
A single trade of 10,000 shares left MIDI plc flat at the €0.40 level.
Similarly, Bank of Valletta plc closed unchanged at the €0.90 level as 1,800 shares changed hands.
BOV’s insurance subsidiary, Mapfre Middlesea plc fell by 0.8% to the €2.36 level across a single trade of 1,690 shares.
PG plc held onto the €2.04 level across two deals totalling 8,450 shares.
The RF MGS Index lost 0.07% to 1,116.304 points before being revised a further 0.20% lower to 1,114.115 points later this afternoon. Yesterday, ECB President Christine Lagarde stated that global prospects have improved due to the progress made in vaccination campaigns and strong policy support, notwithstanding the considerable uncertainty that remains. Ms Lagarde cautioned that it is crucial to refrain from withdrawing policy prematurely, either on the monetary or fiscal side. Furthermore, the ECB’s monetary policy meeting minutes published yesterday stated that inflation expectations have recorded an upward revision for the short and medium-term.