Daily Market Highlights (26.03.2020)

MIA share price surges 14% to regain the €5.00 level


The MSE Equity Price Index extended yesterday’s rebound as it added a further 1.6% to 3,806.129 points. The gain took place amid the strong share price increases in MIA and RS2 which outweighed the declines in five other companies. Meanwhile, GO, HSBC and IHI closed the day unchanged as the total value of shares traded remained above the €0.4 million mark. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Malta International Airport plc moved higher for the third consecutive day as it rallied by a further 14.2% to regain the €5.00 level across 34,666 shares. MIA’s share price has surged by 42.8% from Monday’s multi-year low of €3.50.

Also among the large companies, RS2 Software plc surged almost 6% to the €1.85 level across 32,200 shares. Last week, RS2 noted that all of its business lines – namely, licensing, processing and merchant services – around the globe are operating at normal services levels. Furthermore, the company expressed its confidence that with its healthy pipeline of business, leading technology and competent team, it will be able to meet the challenges that the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic may present.

In contrast, Bank of Valletta plc eased by a further 1.1% to the €0.86 level after partially recovering from its lowest since early June 2009 of €0.84. A total of 99,982 shares changed hands.

Within the same sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc slipped 1% to a two-year low of €2.00 on two deals totalling 10,400 shares. On Monday, Lombard published its 2019 financial results. The bank registered a 10.4% increase in net profits to a record of €9.87 million on the back of a solid core operating performance. Lombard is also recommending the payment of a net dividend of €0.0455 per share, representing a 40% increase over the dividend paid out for the 2018 financial year.

Lombard’s postal subsidiary – MaltaPost plc – eased 0.9% to an over two year low of €1.12 across 16,000 shares.

Seven deals totalling 15,000 shares forced the equity of PG plc to drop by 0.6% to a near eight-month low of €1.60. Last week, PG explained that it is cautiously optimistic that the essential nature of its supermarket business, and the low gearing that it maintains, will serve to contain the overall impact of the ‘COVID-19’ outbreak on its financial performance.

Malita Investments plc lost 2.5% to €0.78 – the lowest since late December 2017 – on a total of 49,500 shares. Shareholders as at close of trading on Thursday 2 April will receive a net dividend of €0.01853 per share which will be paid on 12 May.

Meanwhile, GO plc traded flat at the €3.94 level across 5,000 shares.

HSBC Bank Malta plc and International Hotel Investments plc also closed unchanged at €0.90 and €0.52 respectively albeit on insignificant volumes.

The RF MGS Index trended higher for the first time in three days as it rebounded by 0.13% to 1,123.566 points. Most prices of Malta Government Stocks posted gains amid improved investor sentiment across international financial markets following the agreement among US legislators to enact a USD2.2 trillion economic stimulus plan. Meanwhile, fresh data in the US showed that a record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, by far surpassing the prior record of 695,000 set in 1982.