Daily Market Highlights (20.06.2016)

The MSE Share Index opened the week on a positive note as it edged up by 0.19% to its highest level this month of 4,468.534 points. Activity was spread across ten equities with three share prices registering gains, another three closing lower while four shares remained unchanged. Trading activity continued to be subdued as merely €0.13 million worth of shares changed hands today – the lowest level in the last seven trading sessions. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index trended higher for the first time in the last six days as it rebounded by 0.24% to 1,150.931 points. Last week’s flight to safety came to halt today after fears of a Brexit decreased notably following the results of the most recent polls. Accordingly, the 10-year benchmark German Bund yield surged to a high of 0.071% today from a low of -0.009% last Friday. In parallel, the spreads of the corresponding Italian and Spanish papers over the 10-year Bund tightened. On the economic front, the central bank of Germany, the Bundesbank, said that it is expecting Europe’s largest economy to slow down significantly in the middle part of year after recording a 0.7% expansion in the first quarter of the year. However, the central bank is expecting economic activity to pick up in the latter half of the year.

In the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc both registered gains today. BOV advanced to the €2.235 level (+0.9%) on volumes totalling 3,250 shares whilst HSBC gained 0.3% to the €1.605 level across 5,196 shares. HSBC is due to reveal its interim results on 3 August. The Board of Directors will also be considering the declaration of an interim dividend.

Also amongst the large companies, GO plc advanced by 1.4% to capture the €2.89 level across 10,900 shares. Last week, Tunisie Télécom published an Offer Document in connection with its Conditional Voluntary Public Offer in a bid to acquire GO at €2.87 per share. Shareholders have until 22 July to respond to the offer.

In contrast, RS2 Software plc slipped by 1.4% to close at its thirteen-week low of €3.451 across 6,200 shares. RS2 will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 23 June during which shareholders will be asked to approve a number of resolutions including those related to the dividend payment, bonus share issue and share split. The shares of RS2 will continue to trade with the entitlement to the share split until 30 June whilst the shares are already trading ex-dividend and ex-bonus.

Malta International Airport plc also closed lower today as the equity retreated by 0.2% to a fresh five-month low of €4.25 across 2,927 shares.

Two deals totalling 15,000 shares pulled the share price of Malta Properties Company plc 0.8% lower to the €0.506 level.

Within the same segment, MIDI plc and Plaza Centres plc traded unchanged at the €0.38 and 1.07 levels respectively on negligible volumes. Last Friday, MIDI confirmed its intention to redeem the 7% bonds denominated in both euro and Sterling on the first early redemption date of 15 December 2016. The announcement also confirmed that the Company plans to issue a new €50 million euro denominated bond maturing in 2026 subject to regulatory approval. The intention of the Company is to grant holders of the Maturing Bond the opportunity to exchange their existing bond for an equivalent amount in the new bond. Additionally, the Company also intends to reserve a specific amount of the new bonds to holders of the Maturing Bond (wishing to apply for more) as well as shareholders of the Company as at close of trading on 22 June.

International Hotel Investments plc briefly touched its highest level in nearly twelve weeks of €0.659 before closing unchanged at the €0.65 level. A total of 33,923 shares changed hands today.

FIMBank plc maintained its six-year high of USD0.91 across 25,000 shares. Recently, the trade finance specialist published an Interim Directors’ Statement revealing an upbeat performance during the first five months of 2016.