Daily Market Highlights (23.08.2021)

Interim reporting season continues


The MSE Equity Price Index drifted lower for the fourth consecutive session as it fell by a further 0.40% to 3,850.756 points. The declines in MIDI, GO and Lombard outweighed the gains in BOV and MPC. Meanwhile, HSBC closed unchanged as overall trading activity amounted to just under €0.1 million as the interim reporting season continued. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

GO plc lost 1.8% as it returned to the €3.34 level across 19,158 shares.

Today’s worst performing equity, MIDI plc, plunged by 15.5% to the €0.354 level on two deals totalling 19,960 shares. Today, MIDI announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Monday 30 August 2021 to consider and approve the interim financial statements for the six-month period ended 30 June 2021.

In the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc inched 0.6% higher to the €0.90 level after touching an intraday high of €0.91 (+1.7%) as 10,724 shares changed hands. Elsewhere, Lombard Bank Malta plc eased by 1.1% to the €1.85 level across trivial volumes whilst HSBC Bank Malta plc traded flat at the €0.79 level on 3,853 shares.

Meanwhile, Malta Properties Company plc advanced by 3.8% to regain the €0.55 level as 23,910 shares changed hands.

Today, Grand Harbour Marina plc published its interim results whereby the company reported a net loss of €0.3 million compared to the net loss of €0.2 million registered in the same period during 2020. The Directors noted that the results for the first six months have been impacted by an uncertain economic situation caused by the prolonged pandemic. This has led to a lower demand in some areas of the business and a weakening of the Turkish lira. In particular, due to the weakening of the Turkish Lira, a loss on the operation of the Cesme Marina (€0.7 million loss) was recorded. Looking ahead, the Directors explained that although 2021 is proving to be another challenging year, it reaffirm that the Group is well positioned to honour its financial obligations as they fall due with particular reference to the interest payable on the listed bonds, as well as bank borrowings and other related obligations.

Malita Investments plc also published its interim results whereby operating profit excluding any fair value movements for the period rose by 7.7% to €4.1 million. The company continued receiving lease income in respect of the Open Air Theatre and Parliament Building in Valletta as well as ground rent from the MIA and VCP properties. Meanwhile, with respect to the Affordable Housing project, the company noted that developments are proceeding well, with excavation of all 16 property sites now at an advanced completion stage, apart from the Luqa site, whose excavations works are due to start soon. To date, the capitalised cost of this development amounts to €24.6 million.

The RF MGS Index commenced the week 0.10% lower as it closed at a 3-week low at 1,103.891 points. Today, the Central Bank of Malta issued its monthly economic update whereby it revealed that in July, business conditions were again positive, reflecting the fact that most macroeconomic variables continued to improve from the very low levels observed in 2020. However, the level of economic activity in general still remains below pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) stood at 0.2% in June, unchanged from May. On the other hand, inflation based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) rose to 1.5% in June from 1.3% a month earlier. Elsewhere, a preliminary estimate showed that the IHS Markit Eurozone Composite PMI was down to 59.5 in August 2021, from July’s 15-year high of 60.2. The latest reading pointed towards a continued solid expansion in the bloc’s business activity, with service sector growth exceeding that of manufacturing for the first time since the pandemic.