Daily Market Highlights (27.04.2023)

BOV shares climbs to an over two-year high


The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.04% to 3,621.220 points as the gains in APS and BOV were offset by the declines in HSBC and MIA. Meanwhile, GO, MPC and Farsons remained unchanged. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Bank of Valletta plc gained a further 1% to an over two-year high of €1.03 across 11 deals totalling 31,444 shares, making it the most actively traded equity for tenth consecutive session.

Also within the banking sector, APS Bank plc moved 1.6% higher to the €0.62 level across four deals totalling 11,807 shares. Today, APS published a Quarterly Financial Update providing information about its performance in Q1 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022. Net interest income surged by 24.9% to €18.4 million as the increase in absolute terms in gross interest income amid the continued strong growth in the loan book, supported by the higher interest income from treasury assets, outweighed the increase in interest expenses. APS also registered a 2.6% increase in non-interest income to €2.28 million and recognised a net gain on financial assets of €0.67 million, compared to the net loss of €3.62 million in 2022 amid the considerable adverse movements across financial markets which had negatively impacted the performance of the APS Funds SICAV. Overall, APS reported a quarterly profit before tax of €7.91 million compared to €1.85 million in Q1 2022. APS registered a strong growth in its loan book which outweighed the increase in customer deposits, leading to a higher loan-to-deposit ratio of 89% compared to 87% as at the end of 2022. Shareholders’ funds increased by 3.1% to €258.2 million, which translates to a net asset value per share of €0.704 (31 December 2022: €0.683).

Also in the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc declined by 2% to the €1.00 level on two deals totalling 4,476 shares.

Malta International Airport plc shed 0.9% to the €5.55 level on trivial volumes.

GO plc closed unchanged at the €2.94 level on a single deal of 650 shares.

Malta Properties Company plc and Simonds Farsons Cisk plc held the €0.40 and €6.95 levels respectively on muted activity.

Yesterday, Plaza Centres plc published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022, showing an overall improvement over the previous year. Profit for the year attributable to shareholders amounted to €0.77 million which is 48% higher than the €0.52 million figure reported for the 2021 financial year. Shareholders’ funds declined by 0.8% to €26.6 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €1.0443 (31 December 2021: €1.0525). The Directors are recommending the payment of a final net dividend of €0.0137 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 11 May 2023 subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on Wednesday 14 June 2023. Coupled with the net interim dividend of €0.0098 per share paid out in August 2022, the total net dividend for the year amounts to €0.0235 per share, unchanged from the previous year. The total net dividend for 2022 translates into a payout ratio of 78%.

The RF MGS Index eased by 0.32% to 876.758 points. In the Euro Area, the economic sentiment indicator for April 2023 fell below expectations as the drop in the sentiment of manufacturers offset the optimism of consumer, traders and service providers. However, in a speech on Tuesday, a member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Phillip Lane, stated that the Euro Area avoided the forecasted recession during the beginning of 2023, and commented that it is reasonable to believe that the Euro Area will meet its 1% target growth rate by the end of 2023. Elsewhere, US GDP grew by 1.1% annually in Q1 2023 which is a slowdown from the 2.6% in the previous quarter and lower than the 2% forecasted.


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.