Daily Market Highlights (21.02.2020)

Broad activity across local equity market


The MSE Equity Price Index ended the week strongly as the index rose by a further 0.53% to 4,666.105 points. The gains in seven equities outweighed the declines HSBC, Medserv and Plaza as five other equities ended the day unchanged. Meanwhile, trading activity improved to €0.25 million from just under €0.1 million yesterday. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

In the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc rose by 1% to close at the €1.05 level across 10,757 shares after reaching an intra-day high of €1.07 (+2.9%). Meanwhile, Lombard Bank Malta plc climbed by 2.9% to the €2.16 level across a single trade of 644 shares.

Also among the large companies, GO plc recaptured the €4.20 level as the equity inched 0.5% higher across 8,442 shares, whilst International Hotel Investments plc surged by 3.9% to regain the €0.80 level across 10,000 shares.

Malta International Airport plc recovered by 1.5% to the €6.90 level across 3,225 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.

In the property segment, Malta Properties Company plc rose by 2.3% to the €0.665 level as 4,980 shares changed hands. On Wednesday, 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.

BMIT Technologies plc moved 1% higher to the €0.525 level across 27,000 shares.

Meanwhile, Harvest Technology plc returned to the €1.50 level as the equity gained 1.4% across a single trade of 6,655 shares.

Among today’s negative performing equities, HSBC Bank Malta plc slipped by 2.7% to the €1.07 level across 67,810 shares after failing to hold onto an intra-day high of €1.11 (+0.9%).

Medserv plc slumped to a near 9-month low as the equity fell by 5.5% to the €1.03 level across a single trade of 1,000 shares.

Similarly, Plaza Centres plc retraced back to the €1.03 level as the equity dropped by 1.9% across 1,000 shares.  

RS2 Software plc closed unchanged at the €2.52 level across 16,527 shares after touching a new all-time high of €2.56 (+1.6%).

Elsewhere, PG plc closed flat at the €2.00 level across 5,000 shares. A single trade of 5,000 shares left the equity of MIDI plc unchanged at the €0.49 level.

Similarly, within the same sector, Malita Investments plc closed flat at the €0.89 level on volumes of 11,200 shares.

Mapfre Middlesea plc ended the day flat at the €2.28 level across insignificant volumes.

The RF MGS Index rose by 0.35% to 1,156.515 points as euro bond yields declined. Earlier today flash estimates showed that the IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI for Germany rose to 47.8 in February 2020 from 45.3 in the previous month, surpassing market forecasts of 44.8. Although this was the highest reading in 13 months, the estimate still pointed to a contraction in factory activity, which has been falling since January 2019. The estimates were shortly followed by Euro Area Manufacturing PMI’s which rose to 49.1 in February 2020 from 47.9 in January 2020, beating market expectations of 47.5. During this period output shrank at the softest pace in eight months and new orders dropped at their slowest rate in 15 months despite the outbreak of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, EU leaders entered into the second day of crunch talks on the bloc’s seven-year budget (2021-2027). Member states are said to be split over rebate and spending restrains in the first EU budget since Brexit. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has subsequently led to a €60-75 billion hole in the forthcoming budget.