Daily Market Highlights (24.08.2023)

Hili Properties reports strong growth in income and profitability


The MSE Equity Price Index remained virtually unchanged at 3,750.863 points as the declines in HSBC and Lombard were largely offset by the gain in BOV. Meanwhile, three other equities closed unchanged. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Today, Hili Properties plc published its interim financial statements covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2023. Revenues surged by 50% to a record (at interim stage) of €7.60 million largely reflecting the contribution from the properties that were acquired last year. Meanwhile, operating expenses (net of other income) dropped by 5% to €1.95 million driven by lower administrative expenses. As a result, operating profit increased by 87% to €5.65 million compared to the €3.03 million figure reported in the first half of 2022. Likewise, the operating profit margin improved to 74% from 60% in the same period last year. The financial performance of Hili Properties was also positively impacted by the absence of any investment losses in contrast to the net investment loss of €0.46 million recorded in the first half of 2022. However, net finance costs increased by 54% to €2.92 million. After accounting for a tax charge of €0.47 million and profits attributable to non-controlling interests of €0.28 million, the net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of Hili Properties amounted to €1.98 million compared to €0.41 million posted in the first half of 2022. When compared to the financial position as at 31 December 2022, shareholders’ funds increased by 1.7% (or €2.0 million) to €127.2 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €0.295.

Yesterday, Main Street Complex plc also published its interim results. Revenues increased by 7.2% to €0.39 million which is just 1.2% below the record turnover figure of €0.40 million recorded in the first six months of 2019. The net profit for the period amounted to €0.17 million (H1 2022: €0.15 million). When compared to the financial position as at 31 December 2022, the company’s equity base contracted marginally to €10.9 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €0.561.

Lombard Bank Malta plc slumped by 3.4% to an over two-month low of €0.85 level on a single trade of 30,000 shares. Lombard is expected to publish its interim results on 29 August 2023.

Also in the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc shed 0.8% to a one-month low of €1.20 level after failing to hold to an intraday high of €1.23 (+1.6%) across volumes totalling 18,496 shares.

In contrast, Bank of Valletta plc gained 0.8% to the €1.26 level across six trades totalling 62,107 shares.

Malta International Airport plc held the €5.75 level on a single deal of 625 shares.

A single trade of 965 shares left the share price of International Hotel Investments plc unchanged at the €0.53 level. IHI is set to publish its interim results later today.

GO plc remained at the €2.94 level on a single deal of 1,890 shares.

The RF MGS Index advanced by 0.71% to an eight-week high of 847.609 points. Yesterday, data was released showing August brought about a larger than expected contraction in business activity for the Euro Area which is casting uncertainty with regard to whether the ECB will raise rates in its next monetary policy meeting in September. In fact, JP Morgan stated that the 25-basis point hike which it previously expected in September is more likely to be postponed to October. Furthermore, according to Reuters polls, the market is pricing in a 40% chance of a rate hike in September as opposed to the probability of over 50% registered at the start of the week.

Today, the Central Bank of Malta published its latest forecasts for the local economy up to 2025. Malta’s economy is expected to grow by 3.7% this year and a further 3.6% in each of the following two years. The figures are marginally lower than those published earlier this year, in which the central bank had projected real GDP growth of 4% for 2023. Meanwhile, inflation expectations were revised higher and expected at 5.9% in 2023, 3.1% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025.


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.