Daily Market Highlights (26.08.2021)

PG share price rises to 14-week high


The MSE Equity Price Index advanced for the third consecutive session as it added a further 0.11% to 3,901.890 points. The gains in BMIT, MIA, PG and Plaza outweighed the declines in GO and Farsons. Meanwhile, BOV, Lombard and Trident closed unchanged as overall trading activity improved markedly to just over €0.2 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

PG plc rose by a further 0.9% to a 14-week high at the €2.34 level across 11,200 shares. Yesterday, the company published the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ended 30 April 2021 whereby it revealed that revenues increased by 7.9% to a record €129.4 million as the growth emanating from the ‘Supermarkets & Associated Retail Operations’ outweighed the decline in revenues within the ‘Franchise Operations’ which came about due to the adverse impact of the pandemic. Overall, net profit amounted to €10.6 million representing a growth of 9.4% which translates into a return on average equity of just under 23%. In their commentary, the Directors of PG noted that turnover within all the Group’s operations during the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year (between May and July 2021) registered encouraging growth when compared to the same period last year.

BMIT Technologies plc erased yesterday’s losses as it rebound by 0.8% to return to the €0.496 level across two deals totalling 30,000 shares.

Plaza Centres plc continued to trade positively as it headed 0.6% higher to a 2-week high at the €0.90 level on 9,487 shares.

Meanwhile, Malta International Airport plc climbed by 1.6% as it recaptured the €6.30 level on 4,900 shares.

Today’s most actively traded equity, Bank of Valletta plc, closed flat at the €0.90 level as 105,322 shares changed hands.

Also in the retail banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc traded unchanged at the €1.85 level on low volumes. Today, Lombard published its interim financial statements covering the six-month period ended 30 June 2021. Net interest income increased by 8% to just under €10 million (H1 2020: €9.25 million) as the growth in gross interest income outweighed the higher level of interest expense which amounted to €2.96 million. Similarly, non-interest income surged by 15.6% to €22.7 million mostly due to the much higher contribution from the Bank’s postal subsidiary – MaltaPost plc. Overall, Lombard posted a 7.8% increase in pre-tax profits to €5.43 million compared to €5.04 million in the first half of 2020. In their commentary, the Directors of Lombard explained that the bank continued implementing its strategy of prudent growth by investing in its physical presence, technology, and human resources. Supported by a strong financial position, Lombard recorded further growth in relationships and market share both in its commercial and home loan lending portfolios, as well as deposits.

Trident Estates plc held onto the €1.48 level as 5,015 shares changed hands.

Elsewhere, GO plc slipped by a further 1.2% as it returned to the €3.30 level across 6,501 shares whilst Simonds Farsons Cisk plc also declined by 1.2% to the €8.40 level albeit on just 400 shares.

The RF MGS Index continued to head lower at it plunged by 0.46% to a 14-month low of 1,095.860 points. Investors remain on edge ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s annual symposium tomorrow, when Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech is likely to offer hints on plans to taper the central bank’s stimulus programme. Elsewhere, gross domestic product in the US increased at a 6.6% annualised pace in the second quarter, reflecting an economy growing through the pandemic, despite concerns over sharply rising cases of the Covid-19 delta variant. Meanwhile, on the jobs front, weekly claims held around the best levels seen since March 2020, though they remain well above pre-pandemic levels.