Daily Market Highlights (24.10.16)

The MSE Share Index closed lower for the first time in the last five trading sessions as it slipped by a minimal 0.09% to 4,541.675 points. Trading activity was spread across twelve equities. Eight equities closed the day unchanged, GlobalCapital and Farsons moved lower while GO and MIA posted gains. The total value of equities traded amounted to just over €0.3 million – the highest in the last two weeks. Download a copy of today’s Equity Market Summary.

The RF MGS Index moved higher for the fourth consecutive day as it gained a further 0.10% to yet another all-time high of 1,182.272. The indicative bid prices quoted by the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) for all MGS’s with maturities of twelve years and over (except for the 2.50% MGS 2036 I issued last February) reached new record highs again today. Following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policy meeting last Thursday, international financial news agencies today quoted the Governor of the Bank of Estonia Mr Ardo Hansson as saying that it was too early to discuss a possible extension of the ECB’s bond-buying programme as the ECB will decide on the future shape and duration of its quantitative easing programme in December when it publishes new inflation and growth forecasts. Meanwhile, other reports quoted Germany’s central bank as saying that at the end of 2016 Germany’s inflation rate could exceed the 1% mark for the first time in over two and a half years, potentially giving it extra leverage to push for a reduction in the ECB’s stimulus programme.

The most actively traded equity was HSBC Bank Malta plc which maintained its seventeen-month high of €1.90 across 59,386 shares having a market value of €0.11 million (representing 37% of the total activity in equities today).

Also in the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc (23,470 shares) and Lombard Bank Malta plc (2,000 shares) retained the €2.29 and €2.18 levels respectively. BOV’s 2015/16 full-year financial statements will be published on Friday 28 October.

Amongst the large companies, International Hotel Investments plc traded flat at €0.66 across 8,000 shares whilst RS2 Software plc maintained its 2016 low of €1.50 after touching an intra-day high of €1.53 (+2.0%). A total of 44,400 RS2 shares changed hands today.

A single deal of just 2,800 shares left the equity of Medserv plc at its 2016 low of €1.50.

Malta Properties Company plc opened at its near eleven-month high of €0.64 before easing back to close unchanged at €0.62. A total of 27,300 shares traded today.

Mapfre Middlesea plc held on to its fifteen-month low of €2.00 across 1,721 shares. Last Thursday, Mapfre Middlesea revealed that, based on the review of the consolidated results as at 30 September 2016 (i.e. the first nine months of the financial year ending 31 December 2016), it is envisaging that the 2016 net profits attributable to shareholders will be lower when compared to that achieved in 2015 of €6.82 million. This is mainly because there will not be a repetition of the reinsurance cost saving adjustment carried in the financial statements of MSV Life plc in 2015. Furthermore, the technical performance of the motor class of business of Mapfre Middlesea deteriorated in 2016. Nonetheless, the Company reiterated that its solvency position remains well above regulatory requirements.

Also in the insurance segment, GlobalCapital plc slid 4.3% to the €0.45 level on shallow volumes.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc moved below the €7.00 level for the first time in a month. The equity lost 3.6% to the €6.75 level across 980 shares.

In contrast, Malta International Airport plc erased last Friday’s decline as it recaptured the €4.179 level (+0.7%) on volumes totalling 5,389 shares. In an article published on the local financial media last Thursday, it was stated that Ryanair is anticipating carrying two million passengers to and from Malta in 2016 – representing 40% of the market share if MIA meets its revised 2016 target of 4.97 million passengers. The market share of Ryanair was 34% in the first half of 2016, followed by Air Malta with 32%. Ryanair is expected to increase its share further following the introduction of additional routes this winter.

GO plc gained 0.6% to the €3.22 level across 2,000 shares.