Daily Market Highlights (25.03.2021)

Mapfre Middlesea resumes dividend payments


The MSE Equity Price Index rebounded by 0.59% to 3,804.981 points as the gains in Mapfre and Farsons outweighed the declines in BMIT and RS2. Meanwhile, HSBC and MIA both closed unchanged as overall trading activity remained subdued. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Mapfre Middlesea plc surged by 11.2% to the €2.38 level as 1,850 shares changed hands. Today, Mapfre published its audited financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2020 whereby it revealed that Group profit after tax amounted to €9.1 million compared to €9.6 million in FY2019. The Board noted that the outlook for 2021 is one of cautious optimism as the pandemic continues to weigh heavy on economic activity in the country. The Board expects the local economy to start heading towards growth as the vaccine rollout continues to gain momentum and the pandemic’s spread becomes restrained. As a result, the Board expects general business to grow at a lower rate than that experienced in recent years, while that for the protection of savings and investments products in life to remain strong. The Board of Directors are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.034782 per share for approval during the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) on Friday 30 April 2021. The final net dividend, if approved at the AGM, will be paid on Tuesday 25 May 2021 to shareholders as at close of trading on Monday 10 May 2021.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc recaptured the €8.00 level (+1.9%) across 762 shares.

Elsewhere, BMIT Technologies plc fell by 1.9% to the €0.52 level across a single trade of 7,150 shares. BMIT shares are still trade with the entitlement to the final net dividend of €0.02922 per share.

In the same sector, RS2 Software plc eased by 0.6% to €1.79 across trivial volumes.

Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc traded unchanged at the €0.80 level as 39,047 shares changed hands, whilst Malta International Airport plc retained the €5.85 level across 2,000 shares.

Today, Bank of Valletta plc announced that it carried out a €20 million capital injection in favour of its insurance associate company Mapfre MSV Life plc (“MMSV”) to acquire shares in the company as part of its recapitalisation exercise. BOV explained that it is supportive of MMSV which has been profitable over the years and does not wish to dilute its shareholding and influence in the company. The shareholding in MMSV is held jointly between BOV (50%) and MAPFRE Middlesea plc (50%). Moreover, BOV is a major shareholder in MAPFRE Middlesea plc with an equity stake of just over 31%. BOV added that MAPFRE Middlesea plc will also be making a €20 million capital injection into MMSV.

The RF MGS Index advanced for the fourth consecutive session as it climbed by a further 0.07% to 1,121.819 points. The EU and the UK have started to attempt to broker a vaccine supply deal after the EU officials announced stricter rules on exports of shots produced within the bloc. At the heart of the recent dispute is the fact that the EU has received significantly fewer vaccines than expected from AstraZeneca. So far, the EU has received only 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which is substantially lower than the downwardly revised 30 million target set by AstraZeneca for the end of Q1 2021. Elsewhere in the US, yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that the US economy has recovered quicker than expected, largely due to stimulus and vaccines. Chairman Powell added that this would allow the central bank at some point to roll back some of its accommodative policies. However, Chairman Powell also reiterated that monetary policy will remain loose until there is “maximum employment” and inflation is averaging around 2%.