Daily Market Highlights (24.01.17)

  • Following the gains registered in the previous three trading sessions, the MSE Share Index eased by a minimal 0.06% to 4,687.208 points as the declines in the share prices of BOV (-0.7%) and Malta Properties (-1.8%) outweighed the gains in MIA (+0.7%) and Plaza Centres (+8.5%). Meanwhile, six other equities closed the day flat. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.
  • On the bond market, the RF MGS Index recovered most of yesterday’s decline as it rebounded by 0.32% to 1,134.962 points. Euro zone sovereign yields fell this morning (bond prices went up) possibly in reaction to international financial media reports which quoted the credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s as voicing its belief that the European Central Bank (ECB) will extend its quantitative easing programme (which matures in December 2017) into 2018 on the basis that core inflation and credit growth are still weak. Meanwhile, the results of fresh surveys showed that the level of confidence in Germany and across the euro zone private sector manufacturing and services sectors expanded by less-than-expected in the month of January. Moreover, in the UK, the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May needs to seek approval from Parliament in order to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the formal process of withdrawing the country from the EU.
  • The most actively traded equity was Bank of Valletta plc which shed 0.7% to the €2.17 level after hitting an intra-day high of €2.19 (+0.2%). A total of 54,101 shares changed hands – representing nearly 37% of the total value of equities traded today.
  • Four deals totalling 26,955 shares pulled the equity of Malta Properties Company plc 1.8% lower to a fresh four-month low of €0.54.
  • In contrast, Plaza Centres plc surged by 8.5% to recapture its all-time high of €1.15 albeit on a single deal of just 2,300 shares.
  • Malta International Airport plc erased some of yesterday’s decline as it rebounded by 0.7% to the €4.08 level across 10,870 shares. The airport operator is expected to publish its 2016 financial results on 22 February 2017. The Board of Directors will also consider the declaration of a final dividend.
  • Among the large companies, GO plc, HSBC Bank Malta plc and RS2 Software plc all finished the day unchanged. GO and HSBC held on to their recent highs of €3.35 and €1.98 across 10,650 and 9,173 shares respectively. HSBC is expected to reveal its 2016 annual results on 21 February 2017. The Directors will also consider the declaration of a final dividend to be recommended during the Annual General Meeting to be held on 13 April 2017.
  • RS2 Software plc maintained the €1.80 level on volumes totalling 35,950 shares. Last Friday, RS2 revealed that it has concluded three major agreements for its managed services arm – RS2 Smart Processing Ltd. In Europe, one contract was signed with a global leader and one of the largest acquirers in payment processing and technology. Furthermore, RS2 signed another two contracts – one with a Latin American company and another with a Canadian company. The announcement noted that the benefits of these three agreements will materialize in the latter part of 2017.
  • In the property segment, MIDI plc, Malita Investments plc and Tigne’ Mall plc traded unchanged on subdued activity. The three equities closed at €0.33, €0.858 and €1.12 respectively.