Daily Market Highlights (22.08.2016)

The MSE Share Index opened the week slightly in the red as it eased by a minimal 0.04% to 4,423.452 points. Trading was restricted to just six shares. Four closed the day unchanged whilst BOV and Plaza Centres plc moved in opposite directions, with the former retreating by 0.2% whilst the latter regaining its all-time high. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

On the bond market, the RF MGS Index posted its third consecutive daily gain as it advanced by a further 0.02% to a fresh sixteen-month high of 1,166.437 points. The indicative bid prices of the Central Bank of Malta for all Malta Government Stocks having maturities of eight years and over, except for the 3.00% 2040 I issue, reached new record highs again today. The yield spreads of the two largest peripheral countries – i.e. Italy and Spain – over Germany contracted today. In fact, while the yields of the 10-year Italian and Spanish government papers moved slightly lower, the corresponding benchmark Bund moved higher to -0.056% from -0.084% last Friday.

Most of today’s trading activity was centred around Bank of Valletta plc which retreated back to the €2.225 level (-0.2%) on volumes totalling 50,035 shares having a market value of €0.11 million – representing nearly 70% of the total value of equities traded today. Last Thursday, BOV announced that it acquired the 40% shareholding that Insight Investment Management Limited held in Valletta Fund Management Limited (VFM) for a total consideration of €5 million. As a result, BOV is now the sole shareholder of VFM.

Within the same segment, HSBC Bank Malta plc maintained the €1.56 level across 4,982 shares. The recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.071 per share (net: €0.0462) will be paid on 9 September 2016.

Also among the large companies, a single deal of just 1,006 shares left the equity of Malta International Airport plc unchanged at the €4.25 level. Last Wednesday, MIA revealed an upbeat performance for the six-month period ended 30 June 2016. The Directors declared an unchanged gross interim dividend of €0.0462 (net: €0.03) per share. The equity turns ex-dividend tomorrow.

Likewise, RS2 Software plc maintained the €1.85 on two trades totalling 4,200 shares.

MIDI plc also closed flat today at it retained the €0.365 level across 27,400 shares. The Company is due to publish its interim results on 31 August.

Meanwhile, a deal of 18,650 shares pushed the equity of Plaza Centres plc up by 1.9% to its all-time high of €1.10. On Wednesday 24 August, Plaza is expected to publish its Prospectus with respect to its €8.5 million 3.9% unsecured bond issue redeemable in 2026. Plaza had announced that it had received regulatory approval for this new fundraising exercise. The bonds are expected to be listed on 19 September 2016.

The recently issued 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) r was admitted to listing today. Trading is expected to commence as from tomorrow Tuesday 23 August 2016.