MSE Equity Price Index at 6-week high
The MSE Equity Price Index trended in positive territory for the sixth consecutive session with a further minimal increase to reach a fresh 6-week high of 4,030.568 points as RS2, PG, Malita and Farsons all trended higher. On the other hand, BOV, MIA and BMIT eased lower whilst a further two equities ended the day unchanged. Trading activity improved during today’s session as almost €0.4 million worth of shares changed hands. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
RS2 Software plc rebounded from an intra-day low of €1.98 to end today’s session almost 1% higher at yet another 6-week high of €2.08 across eight deals totalling 20,500 shares. Yesterday evening, RS2 Software plc published its 2019 financial statements revealing a net loss of €1.6 million largely reflecting the additional expenditure, especially in human resources, ahead of new business and as clients go live in the coming months. In this respect, the CEO noted that two clients in North America are expected to go live in the second quarter of 2020 and at least three more clients, one of which is significant, will go live in quarter three of 2020.
Malita Investments plc advanced by 2.4% to the €0.87 level for the first time since mid-March on shallow volumes of 7,500 shares.
PG plc also trended higher today with a 0.5% increase to €1.85 on volumes of 10,950 shares.
Similarly, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc moved 2.5% higher to regain the €8.30 level on a single trade of 143 shares.
On the other hand, Bank of Valletta plc shed 0.5% back to the €1.06 level across three deals totalling 17,814 shares.
Likewise, Malta International Airport plc drifted 1% lower back to the €5.00 level on heightened volumes totalling 52,018 shares.
BMIT Technologies plc also trended in negative territory today as it slipped by 3.2% to the €0.48 level on weak volumes of 6,621 shares as the equity turned ex-dividend.
HSBC Bank Malta plc maintained the €1.00 level after failing to hold on to an intra-day high of €1.03 across seven trades totalling 28,500 shares. This afternoon, the Bank published an update on its financial performance during the first three months of the year. During this period, the Bank reported improved business activity, continued cost containment, a €7 million expected credit loss provision reflecting the challenges across the local economy amid the coronavirus outbreak as well as significant negative fair value movements on the portfolio of its life subsidiary which led to an overall loss before tax of €7 million. HSBC Malta’s CEO noted that the Bank’s well-established conservative approach to risk places it in a strong position to withstand the challenges prevailing in the circumstances.
Lombard Bank Malta plc also closed today’s session unchanged at the €2.10 level on a single deal of 9,000 shares.
Yesterday evening, Plaza Centres plc also published its 2019 financial statements revealing a 24% improvement in net profits to €1.36 million largely reflecting the higher occupancies achieved through the year across both properties owned by the company. Nonetheless, the Directors recommended a lower dividend of €0.32 million (2018: €0.83 million) in order to preserve cash in the prevailing challenging circumstances. Nonetheless, the Directors noted that although the performance will be materially negatively impacted, Plaza Centres plc is adequately capitalised and sufficiently liquid to meet its financial obligations. The equity remained inactive today.
Similarly, Grand Harbour Marina plc published its 2019 financial statements yesterday evening revealing a 46.8% drop in net profits to €0.22 million largely reflecting a 12.9% drop in revenue from the marina in Malta on the back of lower occupancy. This was only partially offset by lower operating expenses and a marginally improved performance of the IC Cesme Marina in Turkey. The equity was also inactive today.
The RF MGS Index trended in positive territory for the third consecutive session with a further 0.05% increase to 1,122.572 points as eurozone yields eased marginally lower despite the numerous government stock issues scheduled for this week across the single currency bloc. Furthermore, data published by the European Central Bank (ECB) revealed that demand for corporate lending increased sharply in the first quarter and is expected to intensify further in the current quarter as European businesses seek to satisfy emergency liquidity needs.