Daily Market Highlights (12.03.2020)

MSE Equity Price Index slumps to near 14-month low


The MSE Equity Price Index resumed its recent negative trend today as the index fell by 1.42% to 4,365.893 points. Large declines were experienced across the board with only Mapfre Middlesea registering gains. Meanwhile, five other equities traded unchanged whilst trading activity amounted to €0.4 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

In the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc fell by 1.9% to return to the €1.02 level across 96,246 shares whilst HSBC Bank Malta plc closed at a near 17-year low as the equity declined by 2.9% to the €1.00 level across 41,979 shares. Meanwhile, a single trade of 1,200 shares saw the equity of Lombard Bank Malta plc slip by 3.6% to the €2.14 level.

Also among the large companies, Malta International Airport lost 3.8% as it returned to the €5.05 level across persistently high volumes totalling 21,041 shares whilst International Hotel Investments plc plunged by 8.1% to a 13-month low of €0.625 across 27,780 shares.

In the property segment, Plaza Centres plc dropped by 4.4% to the €0.985 level across 7,500 shares whilst Malta Properties Company plc shed 1.6% as it fell back to the €0.62 level across a single trade of 26,350 shares.

Similarly, Tigné Mall plc fell by 3.4% to the €0.86 level across a single trade of 1,800 shares.

Today’s only positive performing equity was Mapfre Middlesea plc which surged 7.8% to €2.48 on volumes of 8,462 shares. Today, Mapfre published its preliminary statement of annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 showing that post-tax profits of the non-life insurance business jumped to €21.68 million compared to €9.43 million in 2018 largely reflecting the €18.03 million in dividends (€12.17 million special dividend and €5.86 million ordinary dividend) distributed by MAPFRE MSV Life plc. Overall, the Group’s net profit amounted to €9.63 million which is 12.1% higher than the €8.59 million figure reported in the 2018 financial year.

The Directors are recommending an unchanged ordinary net dividend of €0.0978 per share and the payment of a special net dividend of €0.0434 per share to shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 4 May 2020.

BMIT Technologies plc ended the day unchanged at the €0.54 level across 61,400 shares. Today, BMIT published its financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019 during which revenues increased by 4.8% to €22.4 million and the profit for the year eased minimally lower to €4.45 million. The Board of Directors are recommending the payment of a net dividend of €0.0216 per share which is exactly in line with the projected dividend at the time of the equity listing. The dividend is payable on 4 June 2020 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 27 April 2020.

Malita Investments plc closed unchanged at the €0.90 level across 40,000 shares. Today, Malita published the 2019 Annual Report and Financial Statements showing record revenues of €8.33 million. The financial performance of Malita was heavily impacted by the much higher incidence of positive fair value movements of investment properties as these amounted to €34.6 million in 2019 compared to €7.7 million in the previous year. The Directors are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.01853 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Thursday 2 April 2020.

Elsewhere, PG plc traded unchanged at the €1.90 level as 2,500 shares changed hands.

Trident Estates plc (€1.62) and Medserv plc (€1.00) closed flat on weak volumes.

The RF MGS Index climbed 0.33% higher to 1,157.338 points following an exceptionally volatile day for financial markets which saw all of the main indices record significant declines. Today, the European Central Bank decided not to maintain interest rates in a move which disappointed markets but announces measures to support bank lending, and expanded its quantitative easing program by €120 billion.