Daily Market Highlights (30.07.2020)

MIA share price drops to 2-month low


The MSE Equity Price Index extended yesterday’s decline as it slipped by a further 0.67% to a two-month low of 3,906.037 points. The drop was mostly due to the sharp downturns in the share prices of MIA and Mapfre Middlesea which coupled with the negative performances of BOV and BMIT outweighed the uplifts in RS2, MPC and MaltaPost. Meanwhile, HSBC, IHI and PG ended the day unchanged as overall trading activity remained muted with only €0.08 million worth of shares changing hands. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Malta International Airport plc shed 3.6% to a two-month low of €5.30 on activity totalling 2,830 shares. Yesterday, the airport operator published its interim financial results showing a €2 million loss following the sharp drop in passenger numbers as a result of the imposition of travel bans for the majority of the first six months of the year. Despite the adverse operating conditions, MIA highlighted that it is sufficiently resilient to be able to sustain itself and meet all its financial obligations. In fact, the airport operator increased its cash reserves by €6.3 million to €39.5 million compared to the cash balances of €33.2 million as at 31 December 2019.

Also among the large companies, Bank of Valletta plc eased a further 0.6% to the €0.984 level across 6,013 shares. Tomorrow, BOV will be publishing its interim financial results.

BOV’s life insurance associate – Mapfre Middlesea plc – slumped by 6.5% to the €2.02 level albeit on just 2,840 shares.

Low trading activity also took place in the equity of BMIT Technologies plc which retracted back to the €0.48 level (-0.8%) on volumes of 10,420 shares. During the AGM which was held last Monday, BMIT’s CEO explained that the company will soon take a view on its planned investment in a new state-of-the-art data centre facility in Zejtun. BMIT will publish its interim results on Friday 7 August.

Also within the technology segment, RS2 Software plc added 0.9% to regain the €2.36 level across 11,722 shares. During the AGM which was held today, the company unveiled more information about its potential business pipeline which could translate into recurring revenues of more than €90 million mainly from processing activities over the next three years.

A single deal of 4,202 shares lifted the equity of MaltaPost plc 0.8% higher to the €1.19 level.

The other positive performing equity today was Malta Properties Company plc which surged by 4.7% to recapture the €0.56 level on trivial volumes. During the AGM which was held yesterday, the company explained how its operations and financial performance was virtually not impacted by ‘COVID-19’. MPC also added that the acquisition of the HSBC Swatar Contact Centre is now expected to be concluded in the coming months.

Meanwhile, International Hotel Investments plc (4,234 shares) and PG plc (2,551 shares) traded flat at €0.53 and €1.96 respectively.

HSBC Bank Malta plc also closed the day unchanged at the €0.92 level across 10,580 shares. The bank will publish its interim financial statements on Monday 3 August.

Yesterday, Main Street Complex plc held its AGM during which shareholders approved all items placed on the agenda including the payment of a final net dividend of €0.00831 per share for the 2019 financial year. During the meeting, the company explained that its performance during the first two months of the year was considerably superior to that of the comparable period in 2019. However, the developments related to ‘COVID-19’ left a significant negative impact on its business. Despite the encouraging numbers since re-opening its doors to business in early May, the company has revised its projections for the year. These indicate that revenues and pre-tax profits will fall by 40% and 60% to around €0.5 million and €0.2 million respectively over those of 2019. Nonetheless, Main Street Complex still expects to generate positive cash flows and to distribute a dividend for the 2020 financial year.

The RF MGS Index trended higher for the third consecutive day with a further uplift of 0.04% to 1,108.202 points. Sovereign bond yields trended lower amid concerns that the economic recovery across the world is stalling. Fresh data showed that the US economy contracted at its fastest quarterly rate on record in Q2 2020 as output fell by 9.5%. Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve warned that the country’s economic outlook depends on the course of the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic as Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that “the pace of recovery looks like it has slowed” since infections started rising again in June. The central bank also pledged to keep interest rates near zero and maintain its emergency economic support.