Daily Market Highlights (31.08.2021)

Interim reporting season draws to a close


The MSE Equity Price Index recouped yesterday’s losses as it rebounded by 0.31% to 3,890.115 points. The gains in MIA and GO outweighed the declines in BMIT whilst BOV, HSBC and MedservRegis traded unchanged. Overall trading activity improved to €0.38 million, largely on the back of the heightened activity in BOV which accounted for just over 70% of today’s total value of equities traded. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

Malta International Airport plc added 2.5% to the €6.15 level as 4,110 shares changed hands.

GO plc recovered from an intraday low of €3.28 (-1.2%) to close 0.6% higher at the €3.34 level on three deals totalling 8,288 shares.

In the retail banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc remained at the €0.90 level across 303,000 shares having a market value of €0.27 million, whilst HSBC Bank Malta plc closed flat at the €0.81 level on a single deal of 12,000 shares.

MedservRegis plc traded unchanged at the €0.725 level across 1,750 shares. Yesterday, MedservRegis plc published its interim results showing that revenues generated by Regis amounted to just over €6 million. The income statement however excluded the revenue of €12.7 million from the operations in the Mediterranean rim countries as well as the Middle East due to the accounting treatment of the merger with Regis. In their commentary, the Directors explained that demand for energy increased in 2021 reflecting the improved economic outlook. However, the expected recovery in demand is dependent on the pandemic being successfully contained. International Energy Companies are beginning to schedule their onshore and offshore drilling programmes. This allows logistics service companies such as MedservRegis to obtain visibility on these projects. Some of the largest energy projects scheduled for the coming five years are in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mediterranean rim countries and the Guyana/Suriname basin. MedservRegis is strategically positioned in these markets to service these projects from a geographical perspective but more importantly from a quality service offering. The Group noted that it is poised for growth and that it is also evaluating its borrowings to optimise its finance costs.

Meanwhile, BMIT Technologies plc lost 2% as it returned to the €0.49 level on 89,800 shares.

Today, International Hotel Investments plc published its interim results for the first six months of 2021. During this period, IHI generated €34.6 million in revenues, representing a drop of 33% over the previous comparable figure of €51.7 million. The growth in turnover from the rental of investment property and hotel management was offset by the contraction in the hotel operations reflecting the full impact of the pandemic following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe in mid-March 2020. Overall, IHI reported a pre-tax loss of €30.2 million compared to a pre-tax loss of €36.7 million in the first half of 2020. In their commentary, the Directors noted that following periods of intermittent lockdowns and disruptions, all the Group’s hotels and businesses have now re-opened, however demand varies from country to country. With respect to its new projects, works are underway on Corinthia Hotel projects on site in Doha, Rome, New York, Bucharest and Moscow, where Group subsidiary companies are involved as development partners, technical services providers and hotel operators, with most of the capital funding for these projects being provided by third parties. In the meantime, the Group has submitted plans for the building of a low-lying, highly landscaped resort for the site formerly known as Hal Ferh in Mellieha, whilst the redevelopment of the Grand Hotel Astoria in Brussels (50% share) is ongoing with the main packages of the construction contract awarded to a renowned Belgian contractor.

Yesterday, MIDI plc published its interim results showing that revenues amounted to €6.6 million reflecting the sale of two out of the three remaining apartments within ‘Q2’ for €5.4 million whilst the remaining €1.2 million emanated from income generated from the ‘Property and Rental Management’ segment. Overall, MIDI reported a pre-tax profit of €1.63 million. In their commentary, the Directors provided an update on its ongoing projects. With respect to the Manoel Island Project, the company noted that although the Environmental Impact Assessment for the reduced Manoel Island Masterplan has been approved by the Environmental and Resources Authority, this decision is being appealed by an NGO and a Planning Authority public hearing for the revised Masterplan is scheduled for this Thursday. Meanwhile, with respect to the ‘Q3’ project, MIDI obtained a full development permit by the Planning Authority in April 2020. Although this permit is currently subject to an appeal, MIDI continued with both the design and procurement processes of the development to be in a position to commence works immediately, should the appeal be decided in the company’s favour.

The RF MGS Index rose for the second day in succession as it rose by 0.07% to 1,096.588 points. Preliminary estimates released today showed that inflation in the euro zone rose again in August to a ten-year high of 3% when compared to the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted number of unemployed people in Germany in August decreased for the fourth consecutive month, albeit at a slower pace, to 2.54 million. As a result, the unemployment rate fell to 5.5% from a downwardly-revised 5.6% in July.