Daily Market Highlights (22.03.2017)

  • The MSE Share Index extended yesterday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.28% to an eight-day high of 4,731.258 points. Trading activity was spread across eight equities: three posted gains, four closed unchanged whilst only Malta Properties moved lower. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index posted a three-day positive streak as it advanced by a further 0.22% to a four-day high of 1,114.558 points. Euro zone sovereign yields dropped sharply (bond prices went up) amid concerns about the ability of US President Donald Trump to deliver on his promises of easing regulation, especially in the financial services sector, and reducing corporate taxes. The 10-year and 20-year benchmark German Bund yields fell to 0.408% and 0.861% respectively from 0.473% and 0.941% yesterday.
  • The most actively traded equity today was Lombard Bank Malta plc as it climbed 2.1% to a fourteen-month high of €2.45 across 44,202 shares – representing 35% of the total value of equities traded. Shareholders as at close of trading next Friday will be eligible to receive a net dividend of €0.026 per share. During the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to be held on 27 April 2017, shareholders will also be asked to authorise the Board of Directors to disclose information, including price sensitive information, to a prospective bona fide offeror/s and the corresponding bona fide transferor in the disposal of a substantial shareholding in Lombard.
  • Also in the banking sector, eight deals totalling 27,756 shares lifted the equity of HSBC Bank Malta plc 1.4% higher to the €2.08 level whilst FIMBank plc recaptured the USD0.89 level (+0.1%) across 20,704 shares. Shareholders of FIMBank as at close of trading on 7 April 2017 will be eligible to a 1 for 80 bonus share subject to approval from shareholders and regulators.
  • In contrast, Bank of Valletta plc maintained the €2.20 level across 34,800 shares.
  • Three other large companies by market capitalisation also finished the day unchanged. GO plc (5,600 shares) and Malta International Airport plc (4,568 shares) held on to €3.51 and €4.15 respectively. Both equities are still trading with the entitlement to the final dividends.
  • International Hotel Investments plc closed flat at €0.64 albeit on trivial volumes.
  • Meanwhile, Malta Properties Company plc slipped by 1.9% to its 2016 low of €0.51 across 23,951 shares. Yesterday, the Company issued a preliminary statement of its 2016 financial results showing a 37.2% increase in post-tax profits to €2.56 million on the back of significantly reduced finance costs and a €1.7 million uplift in the fair value of its properties as opposed to a €0.9 million increase registered in 2015. The Directors did not recommend the distribution of a dividend.