Daily Market Highlights (19.02.2020)

MSE Equity Price Index plunges to near 2-month low


Following the gains in the previous four days, the MSE Equity Price Index lost 1.69% to a near two-month low of 4,620.583 points. Several equites trended significantly lower including HSBC, IHI, MIA and BOV. On the other hand, three companies posted gains whilst a further three shares closed the day unchanged. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

HSBC Bank Malta plc shed 4.5% back to the €1.05 level across 45,534 shares. Yesterday, the bank reported an improvement in adjusted pre-tax profits largely reflecting the positive impact of cost reductions as well as lower expected credit losses. The Board of Directors are recommending a final net dividend of €0.014 per share. Coupled with the interim dividend paid in September 2019 of €0.011 per share, the total dividend for the 2019 financial year amounts to €0.025 per share. The final dividend will be paid on 15 April 2020 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 5 March 2020.

Within the same sector, Bank of Valletta plc lost 1% to an eight-week low of €1.04 on twelve deals totalling 100,475 shares.

Also among the large companies, Malta International Airport plc slipped almost 3% to the €6.80 level on heightened activity amounting to 21,487 shares. The company is due to publish its 2019 full-year financial results on 26 February. The Directors will also consider the payment of a final dividend.

GO plc moved back to the €4.18 level (-0.5%) across 29,768 shares whilst eight deals totalling 92,550 shares forced the equity of International Hotel Investments plc 4.3% lower to the €0.77 level.

Lombard Bank Malta plc was the worst performing equity today as it plummeted 7.1% to a nineteen-month low of €2.10 across 73,030 shares.

BMIT Technologies plc continued to trade within a tight range as the equity fell 1% to the €0.52 level across 25,200 shares.

Mapfre Middlesea plc dropped 3.4% to the €2.28 level albeit on trivial volumes.

In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc trended 5.1% lower to the €0.65 level on a single deal of 28,331 shares. Today, MPC published its 2019 full-year results. The company’s revenues increased by 3.5% to €3.43 million, largely reflecting the new income from the Birkirkara exchange as well as higher rental rates in line with inflation. Overall, MPC recorded a net profit of €2.7 million which is significantly lower than the previous comparable period due to one-off items which took place in 2018. The Board of Directors is recommending the payment of an unchanged net dividend of €0.01 per share which is payable on 1 June to all shareholders as at close of trading on 24 April. in his commentary, MPC Chairman and CEO Mr Deepak Padmanabhan noted that the company remains in a strong position to invest further to grow its portfolio of properties.

In contrast, Plaza Centres plc surged 4% to the €1.05 level – the highest since mid-July 2018 – across 28,000 shares.

Both Trident Estates plc and Grand Harbour Marina plc added 1.8% to €1.68 and €0.462 respectively albeit on insignificant volumes.

Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc stayed at its all-time high of €2.52 across 2,760 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc retained the €11.00 level across 2,081 shares.

A single trade of 14,129 shares left the equity of Tigné Mall plc at the €0.88 level.

The RF MGS Index moved notably lower as it dropped by 0.25% to 1,150.315 points. Prices of Malta Government Stocks trended in negative territory as international bond yields gained amid hopes that China will unleash fresh stimulus measures as well as signs of a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.