Daily Market Highlights (20.03.2020)

MIA share price tumbles to over 3-year low


The MSE Equity Price Index trended lower for the twelfth consecutive trading session as it slipped by a further 1.86% to 3,866.570 points – the lowest level since late May 2015. Following today’s decline, local equities have now entered ‘bear’ territory as the index is more than 20% lower 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 extended its recent sharp downturn as the equity fell by a further 10.7% to an over three-year low of €4.02 on continued robust volumes totalling 56,842 shares having a market value of €0.24 million. Over the past three weeks, the share price plunged by an extraordinary 41%, thus resulting in the company’s market value to contract by a staggering €383 million.

The share prices of the two largest banks – Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc – retracted to fresh multi-year lows. BOV lost 3.2% to the €0.92 level across 128,825 shares whilst HSBC moved to the €0.90 level (-1.1%) albeit on light volumes. On Wednesday, BOV published its preliminary financial results for the 2019 financial year. The bank reported a 5.5% decline in adjusted pre-tax profits to just over €138 million reflecting both lower income and higher operating costs. For the first time since the publication of the 2018 interim financial results, the Directors of BOV are recommending the payment of a dividend which amounts to €0.017 per share (net) which is still subject to regulatory approval.

Also among the large companies, RS2 Software plc shed 3.6% to the €1.90 level across 30,500 shares.

A single deal of just 1,492 shares forced the equity of Trident Estates plc to drop by 8.1% to the €1.25 level which is just above the dividend ‘in-kind’ at the time of the spin-off from Simonds Farsons Cisk plc in early 2018.

BMIT Technologies plc extended yesterday’s gain as it added a further 2% to regain the €0.51 level on nine deals totalling 126,975 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on 27 April will be entitled to receive a net dividend of €0.02157 per share.

Mapfre Middlesea plc trended 0.9% higher to close the week at the €2.28 level albeit on trivial volumes. 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.

Following the sharp drops registered earlier this week, the RF MGS Index surged by 2% today to 1,128.629 points as investor sentiment across international financial markets improved on the back of the considerable efforts being shown by the world’s most influential central banks to combat the significant economic and financial fallout from the spread of the coronavirus.