HSBC, MIA and GO drag MSE Equity Price Index lower
The MSE Equity Price Index declined for the second day in succession as it fell by 0.69% to 4,022.918 points. The declines in GO, HSBC and MIA outweighed the gains in BOV and BMIT whilst Plaza closed unchanged. Meanwhile, overall trading activity improved to €0.13 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.
Malta International Airport plc returned to the €6.20 level as it shed 0.8% across heightened activity of 13,510 shares.
HSBC Bank Malta plc lost 4.2% to drop back to the €0.805 level across 14,500 shares.
A single trade 1,000 shares forced GO plc 6.5% lower to the €3.48 level.
GO’s data centre subsidiary – BMIT Technologies plc – advanced by 1% to the €0.505 level as 6,000 shares changed hands.
Elsewhere, Bank of Valletta plc edged 2.2% higher to the €0.91 level across 26,048 shares.
Meanwhile, Plaza Centres plc remained at the €0.88 level across a single trade of 4,000 shares. On Wednesday, Plaza Centres plc published its 2020 Annual Report whereby it generated a net profit of €0.47 million (2019: €1.4 million) which translates into a return on average equity of 1.6% (2019: 4.6%). In their commentary, the Directors explained that they are cautiously optimistic that as the vaccine roll-out programme gathers further momentum, restrictive measures will be lifted and the hardest hit sectors will start to recover in a more meaningful manner. The Directors also added that they are confident that with Plaza’s strong financial fundamentals together with its prudent and timely measures, it will continue to withstand the prevailing uncertain times and be in a position to continue creating value for its stakeholders. The Directors are recommending a 38.5% increase in the final net dividend to €0.0157 per share (2019: €0.0113 per share). Shareholders as at the close of trading on Thursday 20 May 2021 will be eligible to receive the dividend on Wednesday 30 June subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held virtually on Wednesday 23 June 2021.
The RF MGS Index dropped 0.22% lower to a near 7½ month low of 1,108.346 points. Economic data released today showed that the Euro Area economy entered into a double-dip recession in Q1 2021 as it shrank by a further 0.6%. Among the bloc’s biggest economies, Germany, Italy and Spain fell back into contraction territory, while France’s economy returned to growth as the government delayed the imposition of lockdown measures. On the contrary, similar data published in the US yesterday showed that its economy grew by 1.6% in the first quarter of this year, representing an annualised growth rate of 6.4% following the substantial fiscal stimulus, a quicker inoculation programme and the subsequent easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Yesterday, RS2 Software plc published its 2020 Annual Report whereby it reported a 21.3% increase in revenues to nearly €27 million as the Group experienced growth in all its segments and principal markets. On the other hand, the financial performance of the Group was dented by higher operating costs as RS2 continued to invest in its business and global outreach which, in turn, led the Group to report a net loss of €3.78 million. Commenting on the outlook, RS2’s CEO explained that the Group will continue building on the success of its strategy by expanding its outsourcing business and growing together with its existing and new customers. Meanwhile, RS2 is particularly committed to investing further in North America so as to achieve deeper market penetration and client outreach amid the growing demand for one-stop-shop global services. This will also involve the further strengthening of RS2’s platform with a view of digitalising the entire customer’s journey whilst placing consumers and businesses onto one single ecosystem. Meanwhile, today a total amount of 8,989,600 preference shares (for a total value of €15,731,800) were admitted to the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange.