Daily Market Highlights (29.04.2020)

Trading activity surges to 1-month high


The MSE Equity Price Index eased by 0.07% to 4,027.608 points as the declines in four equities including RS2 and BOV minimally outweighed the gains in three other companies. Meanwhile, five shares ended unchanged as trading activity climbed to a one-month high of €0.61 million mostly on the back of heightened activity in Tigné Mall and MIA. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Tigné Mall plc closed the day 16.4% higher to regain the €0.85 level on a total of 363,680 shares having a market value of €0.27 million albeit most shares changed hands at the €0.75 level.

HSBC Bank Malta plc advanced by 2% to the €1.00 level across 39,450 shares. Yesterday, HSBC issued an Interim Directors’ Statement explaining that prior to the outbreak of the ‘COVID-19’, the bank had a strong start to 2020 with business volumes ahead of the prior comparable period coupled with reductions in costs as well as growth in the loan book. Although the bank did not experience a material increase in specific credit losses, HSBC decided to take an expected credit loss provision of €7 million reflecting the potential impact of ‘COVID-19’ in general. HSBC’s performance in Q1 2020 was also dented by the negative fair movements on its investment portfolio as a result of which, the bank recorded a loss before tax of €7 million. The bank reiterated that its capital buffers remain exceptionally strong and that its well-established conservative approach to risk places it in a strong position to withstand prevailing challenges.

BMIT Technologies plc added 1.7% to the €0.488 level on two deals totalling 7,000 shares.

Also in the technology segment, RS2 Software plc dropped by 2.9% to the €2.02 level across 10,615 shares. On Monday, RS2 published its 2019 Annual Report and financial statements revealing a net loss of €1.6 million largely reflecting the additional expenditure and investments ahead of upcoming expected new business. In this respect, the CEO noted that two clients in North America are expected to go live in Q2 2020 whilst at least three more clients, one of which is significant, are to go live in Q3 2020.

Bank of Valletta plc moved back to the €1.05 level across 23,140 shares. Yesterday, BOV announced that following the recent resignation of Mr Taddeo Scerri as Chairman of the bank with effect from 15 May, the Government of Malta has nominated Dr Gordon Cordina to be appointed as the new Chairman of BOV. It is expected that subject to regulatory approval, Dr Cordina will be assuming this post with effect from 7 October 2020.

Main Street Complex plc plunged 6.2% to a new low of €0.45 on three deals totalling 24,000 shares.

Within the same segment, Malita Investments plc slipped by 2.3% to the €0.85 level across 16,282 shares.

Meanwhile, Malta Properties Company plc traded flat at the €0.55 level across 10,000 shares.

Malta International Airport plc held on to the €5.00 level on encouraging volumes totalling 31,241 shares.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc opened at a low of €8.00 (-3.6%) before recovering to retain the €8.30 level across 5,119 shares.

Five deals totalling 9,480 shares left the equity of PG plc at the €1.85 level.

International Hotel Investments plc retained the €0.60 level albeit on trivial volumes.

The RF MGS Index trended lower for the first time in four days as it eased by 0.01% to 1,122.430 points. Sentiment across international financial markets continued to improve on hopes of a potential ‘COVID-19’ vaccine in the coming months. On the economic front, a number of indices gauging business, consumer and industrial sentiment in Europe fell by more than expected. Meanwhile US GDP contracted by an annualised rate of 4.8% in Q1 2020 – the worst decline since 2008.