The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.04% to 4,744.320 points as the drops in RS2 and Malita slightly outweighed the gains in IHI and Trident. Meanwhile, another five shares closed the day unchanged whilst total equity market trading activity contracted to €0.24 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
The RF MGS Index trended higher for the first time in four days as it rebounded strongly by 0.2% to 1,115.835 points. Movements in the prices of Malta Government Stocks were again mostly influenced by the prevailing uncertainties related to the trade relationship between the US and China. Meanwhile, fresh economic data across the euro area was mixed reflecting disappointing GDP growth in Germany but a rebound in inflation in France.
Today’s main development on the local Borza was the publication of the January 2019 annual financial statements by Simonds Farsons Cisk plc. Farsons reported a new set of record numbers with net profits rising by almost 10% to €15.1 million as all the Group’s operational segments registered growth amid favourable dynamics of the local economy. The Directors are recommending a 15.4% increase in the final net dividend to €0.10 per share which is payable on 25 June to all shareholders as at close of trading on 22 May subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming AGM scheduled to be held on 24 June. The equity remained inactive today.
International Hotel Investments plc extended its recent positive trend as the equity climbed by a further 1.3% to the €0.80 level (the highest since late November 2015) across 50,000 shares. The hotel chain operator is due to hold its AGM on 13 June. Shareholders as at close of trading on 26 June will be entitled to receive a net dividend of €0.02 per share.
In the property segment, Trident Estates plc climbed 2% to a new 2019 high of €1.50 on a single deal of 10,000 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on 22 May will be entitled to receive a net dividend of €0.0067 per share.
In contrast, Malita Investments plc slipped by 0.6% to the €0.83 level on activity of 33,000 shares.
RS2 Software plc also performed negatively today with a drop of 3.2% back to the €1.50 level across 28,811 shares. Tomorrow, the equity will turn ex-bonus.
Meanwhile, the two largest banks – Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc – closed the day unchanged at €1.34 and €1.72 respectively on light trading volumes. Shareholders of BOV as at close of trading on 6 June will be entitled to a 1-for-10 bonus share. Today, BOV issued an Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that profits in the first three months of the current financial year are lower than the corresponding period last year due to downward pressure on interest margin, higher costs and lower reversals of impairment provisions. BOV also noted the progress it made in introducing certain changes to its business model. These are primarily aimed at strengthening the bank’s capital position while ensuring long term viability.
Also among the large companies, Malta International Airport plc held on to the €6.90 level across 7,800 shares. This morning, MIA held its AGM during which shareholders approved all resolutions placed on the agenda including the payment of a final net dividend of €0.09 per share. The dividend is payable on 29 May to all shareholders as at close of trading on 11 April.
MaltaPost plc (15,969 shares) and Plaza Centres plc (8,900 shares) maintained the €1.32 and €0.99 levels respectively. The postal operator is due to publish its interim results on 30 May.