Daily Market Highlights (24.03.2021)

MSE Equity Price Index resumes negative trend

 

The MSE Equity Price Index retraced by 0.58% to 3,782.503 points as the declines in BMIT, HSBC, Malita and Mapfre outweighed the gains in GO and Harvest. Meanwhile, five other equities closed unchanged as overall trading activity amount to €0.14 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

BMIT Technologies plc eased by 0.9% as it returned to the €0.53 level across 67,000 shares.

Malita Investments plc lost 0.6% to the €0.895 level across a single trade of 32,604 shares. Malita’s Board of Directors is recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.0142 per share to all shareholders as at the close of trading on Wednesday 7 April 2021. The final dividend will be paid on Tuesday 18 May 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

HSBC Bank Malta plc plunged by 4.8% to the €0.80 level as 14,500 shares changed hands.

In the same sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc traded unchanged at the €1.90 level across a single trade of trivial volumes. Lombard’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 22 April 2021 to approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020. The Directors will also consider the declaration of a final dividend to be recommended to the Annual General Meeting, subject to regulatory guidelines and approvals.

Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc retained the €0.90 level across 22,511 shares. BOV’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday 30 March 2021 to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.

BOV’s insurance subsidiary – Mapfre Middlesea plc – shed 4.5% to a near 2-month low of €2.14 across 1,920 shares. Mapfre’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 25 March 2021 to consider and approve the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020. The Directors will also consider the recommendation of a dividend.

Malta Properties Company plc closed flat at the €0.54 level as 13,376 shares changed hands. The Board of Directors of MPC is recommending the payment of a net dividend of €0.012 per share (2019: €0.01 per share). Shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 14 June 2021 will be entitled to receive this dividend on Wednesday 21 July 2021 subject to shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held remotely on Thursday 15 July 2021.

Malta International Airport plc remained rooted to the €5.85 level as 2,450 shares changed hands.

Similarly, Medserv plc traded flat at the €0.58 level across 11,300 shares.

Elsewhere, GO plc inched 0.6% higher to the €3.62 level across a single trade of insignificant volumes whilst Harvest Technology plc advanced by 1.4% to recapture the €1.48 level across 3,348 shares. Harvest’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Friday 26 March 2021 to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020. The Board of Directors will also be considering the recommendation of a final dividend.

The RF MGS Index rose to its highest point is over 5-weeks as it added a further 0.23% to 1,120.991 points. Today, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana announced that the Maltese government is extending a series of measures for businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tax deferrals scheme will once again be introduced and will be in place until the end of the year. Other measures which will be extended include the moratorium period under the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme (“CGS”), which is being extended from 12 to 18 months; the CGS will be extended until September 30; and the definition of ‘working capital’ will be widened to include the financial costs related to the servicing of bank loans of businesses. Elsewhere, market sentiment in Europe remained subdued despite unexpected growth in the Eurozone’s IHS Markit’s composite PMI (purchasing managers’ index) during the month of March as the increase in new COVID-19 cases due to highly contagious variants continue to spread and threatened to derail the European Union’s economic recovery.

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