Daily Market Highlights (18.03.2020)

Local equities approach ‘bear’ territory


The MSE Equity Price Index slipped by a further 2.25% to end the day at 3,939.966 points – the lowest level since early June 2015. As a result of today’s decline, the local equity benchmark is now only marginally 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 a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

Malta International Airport plc was again the most actively traded equity today as it plunged 8.2% to the €4.50 level (the lowest since early October 2017) on a total of 31,795 shares having a market value of €0.15 million. Shareholders as at close of trading on 7 April will be entitled to receive a final net dividend of €0.10 per share.

Both HSBC Bank Malta plc (27,177 shares) and Bank of Valletta plc (32,915 shares) fell around 5% to fresh multi-year lows of €0.91 and €0.95 respectively. Today, HSBC announced that given the prevailing uncertainties related to the coronavirus, it is postponing its AGM to a later date. The bank also noted that it will proceed with the payment of the final net dividend of €0.014 per share which will be made on 15 April to all shareholders as at close of trading on 5 March. Elsewhere, the Directors of BOV were scheduled to meet today to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019.

Within the same sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc retracted by 0.9% to the €2.10 level across 6,986 shares.

RS2 Software plc retreated by a further 1.5% to the €1.97 level on nine deals totalling 34,250 shares.

Mapfre Middlesea plc slipped by 1.7% to the €2.26 level across 17,157 shares. 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.

Malta Properties Company plc and Santumas Shareholdings plc also performed negatively today albeit on light trading volumes. MPC shed 4.8% to a seventeen-month low of €0.50 whilst Santumas tumbled 9.3% to the €1.36 level.

Meanwhile, BMIT Technologies plc partly erased yesterday’s sharp decline as it rebounded by 1.6% to regain the €0.50 level across 232,300 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on 27 April will be entitled to receive a net dividend of €0.02157 per share.

Prices of Malta Government Stocks dropped sharply for the fourth consecutive day. As a result, the RF MGS Index fell by a further 1.06% to a twelve-month low of 1,105.772 points, largely driven by the continued surge in the yields of medium and long-term MGS. Movements across financial markets also remained highly volatile, reflecting concerns over the significant negative effects of the coronavirus on the health of the world economy.