Daily Market Highlights (17.08.2021)

Local equity market remains upbeat


The MSE Equity Price Index climbed 0.91% to a 1-month high at 3,912.079 points as BOV, FIMBank and PG closed higher while three other equities closed the day unchanged. Overall trading activity across the equity market remained muted at under €0.04 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

FIMBank plc surged by 11.7% to the €0.40 level on four deals totalling 10,000 shares after recovering from an intraday low of €0.348. Last Friday, FIMBank published its interim results whereby the Bank reported a marginal net profit of USD0.87 million which, in turn, translates into an annualised return on equity of 0.71%. FIMBank explained that the results continued to be marked by the effects of the pandemic. Although the Bank was successful in resolving some recoveries of non-performing legacy cases, on the other hand interest revenue generation remained negatively impacted by the very low interest rate scenario. Looking ahead, FIMBank will continue to focus on its key strategic objective of decreasing the size of its non-performing portfolio and improve asset quality. Moreover, the Bank will remain vigilant to cost efficiencies, prioritise investment so as to strengthen corporate governance, risk management and compliance functions, as well as simply operations and businesses.

Also in the financial services sector, Bank of Valletta plc advanced by 1.7% to the €0.90 level on three trades totalling 2,499 shares.

A single trade of 500 shares lifted PG plc 3.6% higher to the €2.28 level. On 25 August, PG will be publishing its 2020/21 annual financial statements.

BMIT Technologies plc traded flat at the €0.492 level on volumes of 10,000 shares.

Similarly, Malta International Airport plc remained at the €6.30 level on activity totaling 3,580 shares.

MaltaPost plc held the €1.24 level on a single trade of 680 shares.

The RF MGS Index gained 0.05% to 1,105.387 points. Eurostat data for the second quarter showed a 1.8% gain in eurozone employment levels when compared to the same period last year, exceeding expectations of a contraction of 2.1%. Meanwhile in the US, US retail trade was 1.1% lower in July when compared to the previous month, leading to concerns about the momentum of the economic recovery.

Today, the Central Bank of Malta revised upwards its economic projections for the Maltese economy. The Central Bank is now forecasting GDP growth of 5.1% in 2021, 5.9% in 2022 and 4.7% in 2023. The bank explained that the upward revision in 2021 is driven primarily by stronger than previously expected private consumption and non-tourism exports, reflecting respectively improved consumer sentiment due to the higher vaccination rate, and higher foreign demand. On the other hand, weaker tourism exports are envisaged when compared to the expectations in the June 2021 projections. Meanwhile, the Central Bank announced that the government deficit is set to narrow slightly to 9.9% of GDP in 2021 and will continue to reduce to 4.1% of GDP in 2023 as COVID-19 measures unwind and macroeconomic conditions improve further. The government debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to rise to 63.8% by 2023.