Daily Review 02.05.2024

APS climbs to 4-month high


The MSE Equity Price Index extended Tuesday’s gains as it advanced by a further 0.31% to 3,778.150 points. The gains in APS, HSBC, IHI, and MaltaPost outweighed the declines in BOV and Lombard. Meanwhile, two other equities closed unchanged as today’s trading activity in local equities amounted to €0.12 million. Download today’s Equity Market Summary.

APS Bank plc advanced by 1.8% to the €0.58 level, the highest level since the start of the year. A total of 59,705 shares changed hands.

Also in the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta plc moved 0.7% higher to a one-month high of €1.42 across three deals totalling 4,330 shares. On Tuesday, HSBC published a quarterly update providing information about its performance in Q1 2024 when compared to the same period in 2023. Total revenue increased by 29% (or €14.6 million) as the Bank was able to earn higher interest on its excess liquidity. Furthermore, the Group registered higher business volumes which resulted in increases in net fee income, foreign exchange, and insurance income. The healthier credit quality of the bank’s loan books resulted in a release of expected credit losses of €1.8 million, which however was less than the release of €3.7 million in Q1 2023. HSBC noted that costs were maintained at the same level despite the impacts of inflation. The Bank explained customer loans remained broadly in line with the levels reported as at the end of 2023, but customer deposits decreased marginally due to a drop in operational corporate deposits. Overall, HSBC reported a profit before tax of €39.3 million compared to €26.5 million reported in Q1 2023 and €33.1 million in Q4 2023.

International Hotel Investments plc rebounded by 4.4% to the €0.47 level, albeit on a single trade of 1,000 shares. On Tuesday, IHI published its 2023 results. Revenue surged by 20.8% to a record €287.8 million while EBITDA increased by 16.7% to €60.3 million. The operating profit climbed to €36.5 million compared to €14.3 million in the previous year. However, net finance costs excluding exchange rate differences rose by 35.2% to €37.5 million. Overall, IHI reported a pre-tax loss of €4.12 million and the net loss for the year attributable to shareholders amounted to €10.4 million compared to the loss of €5.44 million posted in 2022. Shareholders’ funds grew by 1.1% to €613.3 million which translates into a net asset value per share of €0.9961.

MaltaPost plc gained 0.9% to the €0.454 level on trivial volumes.

In contrast, Lombard Bank Malta plc shed 0.6% to the €0.79 level across two deals totalling 3,710 shares. The Directors of Lombard are recommending a final net dividend per share of €0.0106 to all shareholders as at the close of trading on 24 May 2024, subject to regulatory approval as well as shareholders’ approval during the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 27 June 2024.

Bank of Valletta plc closed 0.7% lower at the €1.4 level after partially recovering from an intraday low of €1.37 (-2.8%) across three deals totalling 52,600 shares.

Main Street Complex plc (15,000 shares) and Malita Investments plc (834 shares) held the €0.33 and €0.49 levels respectively.

The RF MGS Index eased by 0.08% to 889.564 points as the eurozone yields held their recent highs with the German 10-year bund yield holding above the 2.5% level. Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve held its interest rates unchanged and also hinted that there will not be any imminent rate changes. Meanwhile, the Fed also announced that it will slow the pace of its balance sheet reduction, which will translate in a less restrictive monetary stance.


This report contains public information only and is not to be construed as investment advice or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Information contained herein is based on data obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but no representations or guarantees are made with regard to the accuracy of the data. Stock markets are volatile and subject to fluctuations which cannot be reasonably foreseen. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Rizzo, Farrugia & Co. (Stockbrokers) Limited is a company licensed to undertake investment services in Malta by the MFSA under the Investment Services Act, Cap—370 of the Laws of Malta and a member of the Malta Stock Exchange.