Daily Market Highlights (24.04.2020)

MSE Equity Price Index climbs to a 5-week high


The MSE Equity Price Index ended the week at a 5-week high as the index rose by a further 0.39% today to 4,018.188 points. The gains in seven equities (including GO, HSBC and RS2) outweighed the declines in four companies (including MIA and BOV), whilst four other equities remained unchanged. Meanwhile, trading activity continued to improve to €0.55 million from €0.32 million yesterday. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

In the IT Services sector, RS2 Software plc recaptured the €2.00 level as the equity climbed by 3.1% to a 5-week high across 29,399 shares whilst BMIT Technologies plc moved 0.4% higher to the €0.494 level on heightened activity of 146,100 shares.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc added 1.5% as the equity returned to the €1.00 level across 32,039 shares.

Also among the large companies, International Hotel Investments plc partially recovered from yesterday’s decline as the equity rebounded by nearly 1.7% to the €0.60 level across 11,203 shares.

In the property sector, Malita Investments plc rose by 3.7% to the €0.84 level across 29,513 shares whilst Plaza Centres plc jumped 4.3% to the €0.97 level as 7,200 shares changed hands.

GO plc moved 4.1% higher to the €3.92 level albeit across just 550 shares.

Among today’s negatively performing equities, MIDI plc slumped 10.8% as it returned to the €0.396 level across 110,000 shares. Yesterday, MIDI published its 2019 Annual Report and financial statements. MIDI recorded a 47.2% drop in revenues to €27.7 million as the company had much lower residential units of the ‘Q2’ apartments available for sale. However, this amount was substantially higher than the forecasted figure of €16.7 million in its Financial Analysis Summary dated 21 June 2019, which possibly reflects the delivery of more ‘Q2’ apartments to their respective owners than previously anticipated. Overall, MIDI reported a pre-tax profit of €11.2 million which, after accounting for a tax charge of €3.02 million, led to a net profit of €8.21 million. In view of the current uncertainties caused by the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic, and in order to preserve the company’s cash resources, the Board of Directors decided not to recommend the payment of a dividend for the 2019 financial year.

Malta International Airport plc eased by a further 1% to the €5.05 level on high volumes totalling 41,883 shares, making it today’s most actively traded security. During MIA’s extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday, the Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive assessment of the impact that the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic will likely have on the business and operations of MIA going forward. MIA announced that it will withdraw the final dividend for the 2019 financial year and its financial forecasts for the 2020 financial year. MIA stated that despite the extremely challenging situation, it has reason to believe that with the measures taken so far, and others which are planned to be taken should the need arise, it is sufficiently resilient to sustain the current conditions and that it has sufficient resources to meet all of its financial obligations. The company also noted that the AGM is still expected to be held on 29 July 2020.

Elsewhere, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc fell by 2.4% to the €8.15 level across 2,225 shares. Today, Farsons announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Wednesday 27 May 2020 to consider and approve the financial results for the year ended 31 January 2020.

Bank of Valletta plc lost 0.9% to the €1.06 level on 15,805 shares.

In the same sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc remained unchanged at the €2.12 level across 9,501 shares.

A single trade of 2,000 shares in Malta Properties Company plc saw the equity retain the €0.55 level.

PG plc traded flat at the €1.82 level across 13,084 shares whilst MaltaPost plc ended the day unchanged at the €1.20 level across 9,999 shares after recovering from an intraday low of €1.19 (-0.8%)

The RF MGS Index snapped a four-day losing streak as the index rebounded from its five-week low when it rose by 0.22% to 1,118.765 points. The upward movement was due to the narrowing of the spreads between the German 10-year Bund and the 10-year bonds of its European counterparts after news emerged on Thursday evening that the European Union leaders agreed to build an emergency fund of €1 trillion to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic. However, the divisive details of the recovery fund were left until the summer which in the process partially dampened market sentiment.