Daily Market Highlights (17.03.2020)

Further declines across the local capital market


The MSE Equity Price Index continued to move sharply lower as it lost a further 2.68% to 4,030.764 points – the lowest level since mid-June 2015. Thirteen equities finished the day in negative territory whilst another three companies closed unchanged. In aggregate, the total value of equities listed on the Borza contracted by just over €127 million today. Furthermore, the local equity benchmark is now 2 percentage points away from entering ‘bear’ territory, which represents a 20% decline from the most recent high of 4,912.452 points recorded on 30 September 2019. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Malta International Airport plc was the most actively traded equity today as it dropped by 2% to the €4.90 level across 47,948 shares having a market value of €0.23 million. The share price momentarily touched a two-year low of €4.76 before partially rebounding. Shareholders as at close of trading on 7 April will be entitled to receive a final net dividend of €0.10 per share.

HSBC Bank Malta plc shed 6.8% to a fresh multi-year low of €0.96 on nine deals totalling 40,056 shares.

Also among the large companies, RS2 Software plc moved back to the €2.00 level across 89,101 shares.

GO plc lost 2.4% to the €4.10 level albeit on trivial volumes. On the other hand, the company’s data centre subsidiary – BMIT Technologies plc – shed 1.6% to the €0.492 level on heightened activity totalling 277,579 shares. Both equities are trading with the entitlement to the recently declared dividends.

International Hotel Investments plc plunged 7.4% to an over five-year low of €0.56 albeit on light volumes totalling 15,841 shares.

Low trading activity also took place in three property related companies, all of which posted double-digit declines to their lowest levels in several months. Tigné Mall plc plunged 15.1% to €0.73, whilst Malta Properties Company plc and Trident Estates plc shed around 12% to €0.525 and €1.36 respectively.

A single deal of 5,000 shares forced the equity of Malita Investments plc to move 9.1% lower to a two-year low of €0.80. Shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 2 April will be entitled to receive a final net dividend of €0.01853 per share.

Lombard Bank Malta plc and its postal subsidiary – MaltaPost plc – also performed negatively today. Lombard eased by 0.9% to the €2.12 level across 6,213 shares whilst MaltaPost dropped 4.2% to an over two-year low of €1.15 on a total of 5,992 shares.

Four deals totalling 7,600 shares forced the equity of Mapfre Middlesea plc to retract by 1.7% back to the €2.30 level. Shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 4 May will be entitled to receive an ordinary net dividend of €0.0978 per share and a special net dividend of €0.0434 per share.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc remained at the €1.00 level – the lowest since mid-August 2009 – across 102,359 shares. Tomorrow, the bank is due to publish its 2019 full-year financial results.

Main Street Complex plc (30,000 shares) and Plaza Centres plc (4,005 shares) traded flat at €0.50 and €0.98 respectively.

Prices of Malta Government Stocks continued to dwindle in line with the incredibly volatile movements across European peripheral sovereign bond yields. In fact, the RF MGS Index fell by a further 1.23% to a near ten-month low of 1,117.594 points, mostly driven by the significant drops in the longest-dated MGS which all fell by well over 200 basis points.

Considerable drops were also registered across the local corporate bond market as thirteen bonds plummeted by 100 basis points or more. The worst performing bonds were the 6% IHI plc 2024 which lost 900 basis points to 100%, the 4% Eden Finance plc 2027 which shed 400 basis points to 100% and the 3.75% BOV plc 2026/31 which erased 372 basis points to 100.3%. Three other corporate bonds lost between 200 and 275 basis points, whilst another four dropped between 150 and 181 basis points.