BOV & Farsons force the MSE Equity Price Index lower
Following yesterday’s strong uplift of more than 3%, the MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.29% during today’s trading session to 3,908.346 points. The drops in BOV and Farsons outweighed the gains in HSBC, MPC and Trident whilst a further four companies closed the day unchanged. Trading activity remained relatively muted as €0.24 million worth of shares changed hands. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
Bank of Valletta plc erased some of yesterday’s rally as it retracted by almost 2% back to the €1.01 level across 6,603 shares.
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc lost 2.2% to a twelve-month low of €9.00 albeit on trivial volumes. Last week, Farsons explained that the extraordinary measures implemented at national level related to the ‘COVID-19’ are having a material impact on both the food and beverages sectors of its business. Farsons also added that as part of its mitigation plans, it already started implementing important measures to address the situation, including strict cost control, HR and working capital measures, lower production runs and the deferral of a number of capital expenditure programmes.
Low trading activity also took place in the equities of HSBC Bank Malta plc and Malta Properties Company plc which added 1.1% and 2% to €0.96 and €0.50 respectively.
A single deal of 8,333 shares lifted the equity of Trident Estates plc 3.1% higher to the €1.32 level. The company is due to publish its 2019/20 full-year financial results on 13 May. The Directors will also consider recommending the payment of a dividend.
Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc retained the €1.93 level after recovering from an intra-day low of €1.86 (-3.6%). A total of 30,500 shares changed hands.
Also among the large companies, Malta International Airport traded flat at the €4.96 level across 13,303 shares. MIA’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on 22 April to re-consider the proposed final net dividend of €0.10 per share for the 2019 financial year.
Three deals totalling 33,753 shares left the equity of PG plc at the €1.69 level.
BMIT Technologies plc remained unchanged at the €0.49 level across 77,711 shares. BMIT will be paying its maiden dividend as a publicly traded company on 4 June. Shareholders as at close of trading on 27 April will receive a net dividend of €0.02157 per share.
The RF MGS Index resumed its recent downward trend. Following yesterday’s rebound of 0.21%, it slipped by 0.1% today to 1,122.847 points. Prices of Malta Government Stocks were negatively impacted by higher volatility across international financial markets as the publication of more economic and financial indicators is providing a clearer picture of the damage being caused by the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic.
Yesterday, Pendergardens Developments plc announced that it will be redeeming the 5.5% secured bonds by 31 May 2020 as it has sufficient funds in the sinking fund in order to affect the relative redemption. With respect to the 6% secured bonds maturing in July 2022, the company explained that it is still early at this stage to say if, and to what extent, the ‘COVID-19’ crisis will have an effect on its ability to redeem the bond. Nonetheless, the company expressed its confidence that it will be in a position to pay interest and capital to redeem this bond from a mix of sources of funds specifically from the promise of sale agreements that have been concluded, and if necessary through the raising of funds from the capital market or through bank finance. Moreover, Pendergardens Developments noted that it has significant assets at its disposal in the form of commercial and residential immovable properties which should enable it to meet its obligations to third parties as and when these become due.