Daily Market Highlights (30.03.2021)

BOV reports profit before tax of €15.2 million


The MSE Equity Price Index dropped 0.19% to 3,789.383 points as the declines in BOV and Harvest outweighed the gains in GO, MIA, PG, RS2 and MaltaPost. Meanwhile, BMIT and Medserv traded unchanged whilst overall trading activity amounted to €0.16 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Bank of Valletta plc plunged by 5.2% to the €0.872 level as 22,366 shares changed hands. Today, BOV published its annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2020 whereby it reported a profit before tax of €15.2 million (FY2019: €89.2 million) as it was impacted by €38.1 million in credit provisions with charges predominantly attributed to COVID-19, €39.8 million in impairment charges for long outstanding non-performing loans and a €15.8 million investment in the bank’s transformation programme. In line with the regulators’ recommendation, BOV’s Board of Directors decided not to declare the distribution of dividends for the 2020 financial year.

Following yesterday’s strong upturn, the share price of Harvest Technology plc lost 5.7% as it traded ex-dividend. A total of 15,262 shares with the share price retreating to the €1.48 level. Last Friday, Harvest published its annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2020 whereby it revealed that total revenues increased by nearly 20% to a record €19.2 million largely driven by the considerable growth registered by the ‘Consulting Services & Development’ and the ‘Payment Gateway Services’ segments. Moreover, Harvest’s net profit improved by just under €1 million of €3.04 million.

Also in the IT Services sector, BMIT Technologies plc traded unchanged at the €0.53 level as 109,000 shares changed hands. BMIT shares are trading with the entitlement to a final net dividend of €0.02922 per share until Thursday 22 April 2021. The final net dividend will be paid out on Friday 28 May 2021.

Meanwhile, RS2 Software plc climbed 2.3% as it regained the €1.80 level across a single deal of 500 shares. Last Friday, RS2 announced that its Managed Services subsidiary RS2 Smart Processing Ltd concluded a major processing outsourcing agreement with its Business Partner Alpha Fintech to provide acquiring services to Bank of New Zealand in New Zealand. The agreement runs for an initial term of 3 years with the option to extend yearly. Through this same agreement, RS2 has also signed on another two clients, a large fintech company in Singapore and a financial institution in Indonesia. The projected revenue from the aforementioned clients has been taken into consideration and is reflected in the projections contained in the prospectus dated 19 February 2021 relating to the issue of preference shares.

PG plc rose by 2% as it recaptured the €2.04 level across 5,000 shares whilst GO plc edged 0.6% higher to the €3.64 level as 6,440 shares changed hands.

Malta International Airport plc rose by a further 1.7% to a 3-week high at the €6.00 level as 3,991 shares changed hands.

A single trade of 4,222 shares lifted MaltaPost plc 1.7% higher to the €1.18 level.

Elsewhere, Medserv plc traded flat at the €0.63 level across trivial volumes.

The RF MGS Index posted its sharpest daily decline in over 4½ months as it slipped by 0.43% to 1,115.835 points. Today, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo outlined Malta’s recovery plan for its tourism sector. Minister Bartolo said the plan is for vaccinated tourists to be able to visit Malta free of restrictions by presenting a digital ‘green passport’. While non-vaccinated tourists will still be able to submit a negative COVID-19 test, taken a few hours before travelling. It was also noted that 18 airlines, including Air Malta, are expected to fly to Malta this summer, making up around 70% of the routes the island had back in 2019. Four of these airlines are new, while tourism authorities are also in “advanced talks” with a further four airlines who are interested in opening up routes to Malta. Moreover, in the coming weeks, the government will also be launching €20 million worth of aid and incentive packages with the aim of targeting specific touristic sectors ahead of the summer months.