Daily Market Highlights (15.09.16)

The MSE Share Index extended the negative performance of the past two trading sessions as it slipped by a further 0.1% to a one-week low of 4,415.247 points. Trading activity was spread across eight equities, with only GO registering a gain whilst Medserv, Malita and IHI all trended lower. Meanwhile, four other shares closed the day flat. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index rebounded by a minimal 0.02% to 1,164.901 points despite the marginal uptick in euro zone yields. In fact, the 10-year benchmark German bund touched the 0.056% level this morning (from 0.046% yesterday) before easing back to 0.03% later in the day. Likewise, the 10-year yields of Italy and Spain edged minimally higher to 1.343% and 1.078% respectively. On the economic front, fresh inflationary data showed that consumer prices in the euro area went up 0.2% year-on-year in August, the same as in July. Although figures came in line with preliminary estimates, they remained well below the European Central Bank’s target of an inflation rate of close to but lower than 2%. In the meantime, this morning the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England unanimously decided to keep interest rates in the UK unchanged at a record low of 0.25%, in line with market forecasts, but signalled another rate cut to just above zero later this year. Furthermore, the MPC also voted to leave its asset purchase program unchanged. The MPC also noted that a number of near-term indicators of economic activity had been somewhat stronger than expected and now expects “less of a slowing in UK GDP growth in the second half of 2016.”

Trading activity in the recently issued 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) r continued to be particularly strong as €1.9 million (nominal) changed hands today, leaving the price of this stock at 107.60% after touching an intra-day high of 107.75% – which is significantly higher than today’s CBM bid price of 105.27%.

After recently recovering from its 2016 low of €1.50 to the €1.585 level, the equity of Medserv plc posted its first decline in the last eight trading sessions as it dropped by 3.1% back to the €1.55 level across 63,000 shares.

A single deal of 19,400 shares pulled the share price of Malita Investments plc 1.1% lower to the €0.86 level.

The other negative performing equity today was International Hotel Investments plc which retreated by 0.8% to the €0.635 level on low volumes totalling 8,635 shares. On Tuesday, IHI announced that it has acquired the remaining 80% shareholding in QPM Limited. As a result, QPM is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of IHI. The Board of IHI expressed its confidence that the full ownership of QPM will place IHI in a stronger position to achieve its strategic objective to develop and operate properties worldwide.

In contrast, GO plc advanced 0.6% to regain the €3.14 level across 2,865 shares.

Also among the large companies, BOV, HSBC, RS2 and MIA all finished the day unchanged. Bank of Valletta plc (8,224 shares) and HSBC Bank Malta plc (1,606 shares) maintained the €2.25 and €1.60 levels respectively.

RS2 Software plc managed to rebound from an intra-day low of €1.615 (-1.5%) to close unchanged at the €1.64 level. A total of 9,825 shares changed hands today.

Meanwhile, Malta International Airport plc also closed flat at the €4.205 level on trivial volumes. Last week, MIA published the August traffic results revealing a 2.3% increase in passenger movements over August 2015. During the first eight months of 2016, MIA registered a 7.7% increase in passenger movements to 3.36 million when compared to the same period last year. In July, MIA had revised upwards its passenger growth forecast for 2016 to +7.5% to 4.97 million passengers compared to the previous 2016 forecast of 4.73 million (+2.4%) revealed in January 2016.

Yesterday evening, MIDI plc issued an announcement referring to its Interim Directors’ Statement dated 27 May 2016, to the Directors’ commentary in the Interim Financial Statements dated 31 August 2016, and to an article appearing on the newspaper ‘MaltaToday’ on 12 September 2016. MIDI stated that whilst it continues to be in discussions with third parties who have previously expressed an interest in the Manoel Island project, the Group has not placed ‘a price tag on Manoel Island’. In this respect, MIDI will make further announcements as and when necessary. The equity remained inactive today.