Daily Market Highlights (18.08.2016)

The MSE Share Index erased some of yesterday’s losses as it closed 0.13% higher at 4,420.371 points. Activity was spread across eleven equities, with four of them registering gains, another four finished unchanged whilst three shares suffered declines. Although trading was spread across a relatively good number of shares, overall volumes remained subdued as merely €0.13 million worth of shares changed hands today. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index jumped by 0.19% to a new sixteen-month high of 1,164.902 points. The indicative bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta for twelve different Malta Government Stocks (including the longer-dated stock issued last February – the 2.5% MGS 2036 I) reached fresh record highs again today. Furthermore, the yield of the 10-year MGS slipped below the 1.0% mark for the first time ever. Euro zone sovereign yields moved lower today in reaction to the publication of the minutes of the latest US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting which showed contrasting views over whether to hike interest rates in September or otherwise. In fact, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield headed to the -0.077% level from -0.037% yesterday. Likewise, the corresponding yields of the Italian and Spanish government bonds also drifted lower.

After revealing upbeat interim results yesterday afternoon, the share price of Malta International Airport plc edged up by 0.2% to regain the €4.25 level across 10,175 shares. During the first six months of the year, MIA reported an 11.9% growth in net profits to €8.2 million (H1 2015: €7.3 million) on the back of a 9.8% increase in passenger movements to nearly 2.2 million and improved non-aviation revenues. The Directors declared an unchanged gross interim dividend of €0.0462 (net: €0.03) per share. Shareholders as at the close of trading on Monday 22 August will be entitled to this dividend which will be paid by not later than Friday 16 September 2016.

Also among the large companies, a single deal of 7,114 shares lifted the equity of International Hotel Investments plc 1.3% higher to the €0.62 level. IHI still needs to announce the date of the publication of its half-year results.

In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc (10,100 shares) and Plaza Centres plc (9,000 shares) both registered gains today. MPC advanced by 4.9% to €0.535. Meanwhile, Plaza edged 0.9% higher to €1.08. This morning, MPC announced that its Directors are due to meet on 25th August to discuss the interim financial statements for the six-month period ended 30 June 2016.

In contrast, Tigne’ Mall plc and Malita Investments plc finished lower today. In fact, Tigne’ Mall eased by 1.0% to the €1.04 level on 10,000 shares whilst a deal of 9,000 shares pulled Malita Investments back to its 2016 low of €0.851 (-0.5%). The equity of Tigne’ Mall turns ex-dividend as from tomorrow.

The other negative performing equity today was Medserv plc which shed 2.9% to a fresh twelve-week low of €1.70 on volumes totalling 8,000 shares. The oil and gas logistics specialist is due to publish its interim results on 26 August.

Meanwhile, four of the index heavyweights closed the day unchanged today. In the retail-banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc (4,261 shares) and HSBC Bank Malta plc (2,222 shares) held on to the €2.219 and €1.56 levels respectively. This morning, BOV announced that it has acquired the 40% shareholding that Insight Investment Management Limited held in Valletta Fund Management Limited (VFM) for a total consideration of €5 million. As a result, BOV is now the sole shareholder of VFM. As at end of July 2016, VFM’s value of gross assets amounted to €3.2 million, whilst profits attributable to the assets which are the subject of the transaction amounted to €1.7 million.

RS2 Software plc maintained the €1.85 level across 8,156 shares. Last Thursday, RS2 published its interim results showing a 46.8% reduction in post-tax profits attributable to shareholders of €2.5 million. The results were particularly impacted by adverse foreign exchange movements and a surge in the cost base in support of the planned international growth. RS2 explained that the Company’s business continues to be on a strong growth trajectory with a good pipeline of opportunities across all markets and business lines.

GO plc retained its twelve-week high of €2.95 on shallow volumes. Yesterday, the quad-play telecoms operator issued two announcements advising that, within the framework of its sales process to TT ML Limited, and further to the restructuring process in respect of the shares held in Forthnet S.A., GO is now the direct owner of a total of 24,887,737 shares in Forthnet (equivalent to a total direct shareholding in Forthnet of 22.605%). As a result, all the conditions in respect of the voluntary bid made by TT ML Limited to acquire shares in GO have now been satisfied.

Santumas Shareholdings plc published its full-year results covering the financial year ended 30 April 2016. The Company reported a net profit of €2.14 million – which is significantly higher than the corresponding figure last year – largely reflecting unrealised gains in the fair value of the Company’s investment properties (€1.36 million) and financial assets (€0.71 million). Santumas will be holding its Annual General Meeting on 14 October 2016.

This morning, the Treasury announced that refunds of all unallocated monies pertaining to applications for the recently issued 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) r will be effected tomorrow. The date of commencement of trading has not been announced as yet.

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