Daily Market Highlights (31.07.2020)

BOV post 75% decline in profit before tax


The MSE Equity Price Index inched 0.09% higher today to 3,909.434 points as the gains in HSBC, MIA and Farsons slightly outweighed the declines in BOV, FIMBank and Lombard. Meanwhile, RS2 ended the day flat with overall trading activity remained subdued. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

The main highlight of the day was the publication of the interim financial statements of Bank of Valletta plc. BOV reported a 75% decline in profit before tax, primarily due to the impact of COVID-19. The performance was also negatively impacted by increased depreciation from new IT investments, higher staff costs due to strengthening of risk and compliance resources and a reduction in foreign exchange and commission income. The share price declined by 0.4% today to the €0.98 level across 5,264 shares

Meanwhile, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc surged nearly 6% as it recaptured the €8.00 level across a single trade of 2,038 shares.

Malta International Airport plc moved 1.9% higher as it regained the €5.40 level after recovering from an intraday low of €5.20 (-1.9%) across 3,518 shares.

Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc added 1.1% to the €0.93 level after recovering from an intraday low of €0.91 (-1.1%) as 3,600 shares changed hands. HSBC will be publishing its interim financial results on Monday.

Also in the banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc shed nearly 1% to the €2.04 level across 2,086 shares and FIMBank plc plunged by 9.5% to USD0.38 (a seven-week low) on volumes totalling 42,500 shares.

RS2 Software plc closed unchanged at the €2.36 level across 6,200 shares.

The RF MGS Index trended higher for the fourth consecutive day with a further uplift of 0.2% to an eleven-week high of 1,110.433 points. Following four consecutive weekly gains, the Index climbed by nearly 1% for the month of July, thus snapping a four-month decline during which it tumbled by 4.75%.  On the economic front, data published across the eurozone continued to be mixed with relatively more positive indications emerging from France and Italy when compared to previous estimates, whilst in Spain, GDP contracted by much more than expected. Overall, economic output in the euro area fell by 12.1% (the sharpest drop since records began in 1995) in Q2 2020 when compared to the previous three months, and by 15% when compared to the same period in 2019.