Daily Market Highlights (23.03.2023)

 MSE Equity Price Index posts strong rebound


The MSE Equity Price Index rose 1.69% to 3,586.666 points as the gains in five equities outweighed the decline in BMIT. Meanwhile, PG and Loqus remained unchanged as total trading amounted to €0.13 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

HSBC Bank Malta plc was today’s most actively traded equity as it moved 2% higher to the €1.02 level across seven trades totalling 54,877 shares.

Also within the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc climbed 0.6% higher to the €0.905 level after retracting from an intraday high of €0.91 (+1.1%) across five deals totalling 15,186 shares. Today, BOV announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 30 March 2023 to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2022.

Also amongst the large companies by market value, Malta International Airport plc regained the €5.60 level (+0.9%) as 7,125 shares changed hands.

International Hotel Investments plc rebounded by 10.7% to the €0.57 level across two deals totalling 8,270 shares, after falling to a 2-year low yesterday.

Mapfre Middlesea plc surged 14.9% to a six-month high of €1.70, albeit most of the volume traded was at the €1.51 level. Yesterday, Mapfre published their financial results for 2022. The Group’s total income from insurance activities declined marginally to €23.3 million compared to €24.3 million in 2021, however profitability for 2022 was higher due to the non-recurrence of the €1.5 million revaluation loss on property that the Group suffered in the previous year. Overall, the Group registered pre-tax profits of €22.2 million (2021: €20.4 million). After accounting for tax expenses and non-controlling interests, net profits attributable to Mapfre shareholders amounted to €8.79 million compared to €7.64 million in 2021. The Chairman’s statement highlighted that while the results seem excellent, they do not reflect the complex effects brought about by the markets, principally with respect to the Group’s life insurance subsidiary MSV Life plc. At the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled for 28 April 2023, the Directors are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.038043 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 8 May 2023. The dividend is 46% higher than last year’s payout.

On the other hand, BMIT Technologies plc eased by 0.4% to the €0.468 level on a single deal of 5,000 shares.

PG plc traded flat at the €1.99 level on two trades totalling 2,500 shares.

Loqus Holdings plc closed unchanged at the €0.218 level on lacklustre volumes.

Today, Lombard Bank Malta plc announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 27 April 2023 to approve the financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2022. The Directors will also consider the declaration of a final dividend to be recommended at the upcoming Annual General Meeting subject to regulatory guidelines and approvals.

Yesterday, FIMBank plc published the financial results for 2022 showing higher net interest income, but the financial performance was dented by trading losses and higher impairment losses. Overall, FIMBank reported a pre-tax loss of USD24.7 million which is significantly higher than the loss of USD1.29 million reported in 2021. After accounting for taxation minority interests, the net loss for the year attributable to shareholders of FIMBank amounted to USD26.6 million. Shareholders’ funds contracted by 12.5% to USD195.5 million which translates into a net asset value per share of USD0.374 (31 December 2021: USD0.428). In their commentary, the Directors of FIMBank explained that the balance sheet is now more resilient due to lower legacy exposures and is positioned favourably for an increasing interest rate scenario. Furthermore, reduction in capital requirements enables further growth in asset portfolios and creates opportunities to increase revenue streams.

The RF MGS Index moved higher for the first time in three sessions as it advanced by 0.43% to 885.261 points. Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve increased interest rates by a further 25 basis points, the ninth consecutive rate-hike since March 2022. The Federal Funds Rate now stands at the 4.75%-5% range. The Fed is likely to hike interest rates just one more time in 2023, based on its median terminal rate forecast whilst rates are projected to fall to around 4.3% in 2024. The PCE inflation is now forecasted to be around 3.3% in 2023 whilst it is projected to ease to around 2.1% range in 2025. Elsewhere, today the Swiss National Bank raised rates by 50 basis points to 1.5% in line with expectations, after its unexpected rise in year-on-year inflation in February of 3.4% while the Bank of England hiked rates by 25 basis points.



This report contains public information only and is not to be construed as investment advice or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but no representations or guarantees are made with regard to the accuracy of the data. Stock markets are volatile and subject to fluctuations which cannot be reasonably foreseen. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Rizzo, Farrugia & Co. (Stockbrokers) Limited is a company licensed to undertake investment services in Malta by the MFSA under the Investment Services Act, Cap. 370 of the Laws of Malta and a member of the Malta Stock Exchange.