Daily Market Highlights (21.05.2021)

HSBC report Q1 pre-tax profit of €9.9 million


The MSE Equity Price Index rebounded by 0.3% to 4,023.132 points as the gains in HSBC, IHI, Lombard and MPC outweighed the declines in BOV, GO and MIA. Meanwhile, BMIT and Trident closed flat as overall trading activity improved to €0.16 million from €0.06 million yesterday. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

HSBC Bank Malta plc closed at a near 1-month high as it rose by just over 3% to the €0.84 level across high volumes of 56,174 shares. Today, HSBC published a Quarterly Update providing information about its performance in Q1 2021. In this respect, the bank explained that total revenues increased by €12 million mainly driven by positive market movements in the insurance business. On the other hand, operating expenses increased by €0.6 million as the additional amount in operational cost savings were offset by higher deposit compensation scheme charges. Expected credit losses remained largely unchanged from the levels as at the end of 2020 but were lower when compared to the level reported in Q1 2020. Overall, HSBC reported a pre-tax profit of €9.9 million in the first three months of the year compared to the loss of €6.9 million in the same period last year.

Also in the banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc surged by 11% as it regained the €2.22 level across 1,750 shares whilst Bank of Valletta plc shed 1.1% to the €0.89 level as 9,355 shares changed hands.

Meanwhile, Malta Properties Company plc added 1.8% as it closed at the €0.555 level across 9,287 shares.

International Hotel Investments plc advanced by 6.6% as it returned to the €0.65 level across 22,722 shares.

Also among the large equities by market cap, Malta International Airport plc eased off its 14-month high as it retraced by 1.5% to the €6.40 level across heightened activity of 11,000 shares.

GO plc lost 4.9% as it closed at the €3.50 level (a 2-week low) across 412 shares.

GO’s data centre subsidiary, BMIT Technologies plc traded flat at the €0.50 level as 20,000 shares changed hands.

Similarly, a single trade of 2,060 shares kept Trident Estates plc unchanged at the €1.51 level.

The RF MGS Index rose by 0.17% to 1,101.588 points as the IHS Markit Eurozone Composite PMI advanced for the fourth consecutive month, with Germany and France in particular reporting strong growth in their respective services sectors during the month of May. Meanwhile, yesterday the European Parliament and EU member states reached a deal for a certificate that will facilitate safe travel within Europe by giving travellers a digital health pass with their vaccination status and COVID-19 test results.

Yesterday, Medserv plc issued a Shareholder Circular in relation to the proposed acquisition of the core businesses of Regis Holdings Limited which will be part of the agenda for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 11 June 2021. The Shareholder Circular lists the main risk factors and benefits of the transaction and also provides further information about the conditional agreements between the two major shareholders of Medserv plc and Docob Limited. The document also provides the anticipated financial information for 2021 and 2022. In this regard, during 2021, MedservRegis is expected to generate €10.7 million in EBITDA and to incur a net loss of €4.2 million, whilst in 2022 the company is projecting EBITDA to improve to €18.3 million which will in turn lead to a net profit of €2.2 million.