MSE Index down 2.9% in April
The MSE Equity Total Return Index fully erased March’s 0.162% gain, having declined by 2.945%, to close at 8,421.971 points. Activity was spread across 22 equities of which 16 fell and three gained ground as turnover totalled €5.55 million.
FIMBank plc shares registered a loss for the fourth consecutive month, having declined by 12.4% as 180,965 shares changed ownership across 21 transactions, closing $0.075 lower at $0.53. The trade finance bank announced that during the rights issue, a total of 180,108,494 shares were subscribed for. This means that lapsed rights amounting to 29,578,934 shares, shall now be offered through an Intermediaries offer, at a minimum price of $0.55. Any lapsed rights not subscribed for during the intermediaries offer, will be subject to the underwriting agreement with United Gulf Holding Company B.S.C.
Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) shares extended the previous month’s 1.1% decrease, having slipped by €0.07 or 3.9% over the highest turnover of 1.05 million shares spread across 312 deals, closing at €1.73. Subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), shareholders on the register as at April 10, 2018, had the option to receive their dividend either in cash, or by the issue of new shares at a price of €1.667. The attribution price was calculated by applying a 5% discount on the three-day weighted average share price, based on trading effected between April 9 and April 11, 2018.
Furthermore, BOV announced that subject to regulatory approval, Amalgamated Investments SICAV plc has entered into a preliminary agreement with UniCredit to acquire the latter’s full shareholding of 10 per cent in the bank.
HSBC Bank Malta plc shares added to March’s 4.6% decline, having decreased by €0.13 or 7% as 541,334 shares changed hands over 146 trades, to close at €1.73. In April, at the bank’s AGM all resolutions on the agenda were approved, including the special dividend which was very well received by shareholders and the market. At the meeting, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Andrew Beane gave an overview of the results for 2017 and explained the bank’s strategy to grow the business in Malta, as approved by the Board of Directors in February. Mr. Beane also clarified that the bank is operating on a business as usual basis, despite the recent media report speculation that HSBC Holdings plc is considering exiting the Maltese market. He also reiterated that in line with the bank’s policy, the board does not comment on media speculation.
Lombard Bank Malta shares declined by 1.7% across two deals of 1,654 shares, closing €0.04 lower at €2.36.
shares added to March’s 0.5% loss, having stumbled by 15.3% as 14 trades of 34,545 shares were struck, to close €0.29 lower at €1.61. Meanwhile, Malita Investments plc shares fully recouped the previous month’s 3.6% decline, having appreciated by €0.03 or
Trident Estates plc plc
The investments and insurance services provider GlobalCapital plc registered a 5.7% decline in its share price - after March’s 7.9% loss. The equity witnessed five transactions of 40,086 shares, to close at €0.33. The group announced that it had registered a profit before tax of €4.6 million during 2017, up by 64% from the previous year’s figure of €2.8 million. An important component of this increase was a €2.1 million fair value gain, compared to €1.6 million in 2016. No dividend payment will be recommended at the AGM.
In the same sector, plc shares partially erased the previous month’s 13.5% gain, having decreased by 9.5% as 13 transactions of 55,214 shares were executed, closing €0.20 lower at €1.90. 3.8% as 504,079 shares changed hands over 31 deals, to close at €0.83.
MIDI plc shares extended the previous month’s 1.8% increase, having advanced by 2.3% over 11 deals of 282,050 shares, to close at €0.354. The company reported that the group’s profit after tax for 2017 was €20.8 million, compared to a loss of €2.5 million registered during the previous financial year. However, during 2017, the company recorded an operating loss of €2.8 million, down from a €1.6 million profit recorded in 2016. This difference was the result of a 47% decrease in turnover year-onyear, mainly due to a reduction in sale of properties from €5.6 million to just €0.2 million during the past year. The board of directors resolved to recommend to AGM, a final net dividend of €0.007 per share.
Malta Properties Company plc shares closed in the red for the third consecutive month having edged 0.4% across 21 trades of 198,520 shares, closing at €0.468. The company‘s AGM is scheduled for June 13, 2018.
Tigne Mall plc shares closed unchanged at €0.95 as six transactions of 33,828 shares were negotiated. Meanwhile, Plaza Centres plc shares partially reversed March’s 5% increase, having declined by 1.9% across 11 deals of 118,900 shares, to close at €1.04.
Malta (MIA) International Airport plc
shares oscillated between a monthly high of €4.94 and a low of 4.84, at which they closed. The local airport operator’s shares were active on 55 trades of 112,710 shares and fell by 1.2% - adding to March’s 0.8% loss.
MIA reported that it had registered a 22.5% increase in traffic during March when compared to the same month of the previous year. This means that the winter season has been concluded with a total upturn in passengers of 17%. A total of 1.8 million passengers were hosted at the airport during the period stretching from November 2017 and March 2018. Although summer remains the busiest season, this increase in winter traffic was the result of collaborative efforts to promote Malta as a year-round destination. Passenger movement growth was registered in parallel with an 18.1% improvement in seat capacity and an increase of 16.6% in aircraft movements, as a result of five new winter routes and increased frequencies on existing ones. The United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium remain the company’s top markets, accounting for over 1.3 million passenger movements of the airport’s total traffic for winter.
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shares stayed faithful to their ongoing losing streak, having registered a decrease for the sixth consecutive month. The food and beverage supplier’s shares slipped by 3.6% and were active on 20 transactions of 24,058 shares, closing €0.25 lower at €6.70. The board of directors will be meeting on May 16, 2018 to consider and approve the financial statements for year ended January 31, 2018 and to also consider the declaration of a final dividend, if any. The company’s AGM shall be held on June 25, 2018.
RS2 Software plc shares fully erased March’s 10.9% gain, having declined by 11.2% as 183,827 shares changed ownership over 51 deals, to close €0.16 lower at €1.27. The group’s profit after tax for 2017 was €614,796, up by 35.7% from 2016. Operating profit for the year increased by 92% to over €1.6 million. A major drag on the net profit was the fact that finance costs more than tripled throughout the year, to €466,616. Earnings per share were up to €0.005, from €0.003 in 2016. The board has resolved to recommend for approval at the AGM the payment of a final net dividend of €0.0146 per share to all shareholders on the register as at close of business of May 18, 2018.
In the same sector, Loqus Holdings plc shares headed the list of fallers having stumbled by 25.9% - adding to March’s 28.2% drop. The equity witnessed two transactions of 50,900 shares, closing €0.035 lower at €0.10.
Grand Harbour Marina plc shares increased by 2.7% as one trade of 53,000 shares was concluded, to close at €0.75.
MaltaPost plc shares extended March’s 4.6% decline, having slipped by 3.2% across eight deals of 6,195 shares, closing €0.06 lower at €1.80. The board of directors of the postal services operator is scheduled to meet on May 16, 2018, to consider and approve the interim financial statements for the six months ended March 31, 2018.
The supermarkets and retail owner fully erased March’s minimal 0.7% increase, having registered a 4.4% decrease in its share price. Activity was spread across 21 transactions of 147,235 shares, to close €0.06 or 4.4% lower at €1.30.
GO plc shares fell by €0.06 or 1.7%. The telecommunications services provider’s shares witnessed 24 trades of 74,634 shares, closing at €3.44.
International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) shares closed unchanged at €0.62,
despite having reached a monthly low of €0.58. The hoteliers’ equity was active on 35 deals of 328,438 shares. The company has completed the acquisition of the Corinthia Palace Hotel located in Attard. The 50-year old hotel is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment process on its 150 rooms, back of house areas and the spa and gym facilities. No further details on the acquisition prices were announced by the company.
During the month, the hotel owner issued an update on the announcement issued in March regarding the management agreement by Corinthia Hotels Limited for the operation of a luxury property in Bucharest. IHI reported that QP Management Limited, another wholly owned subsidiary of IHI, has also been engaged by the owners of the project to manage development in all technical respects, including project and cost management services. The target completion date for the project has been set at December 2019.
IHI also published its financial statements for the year 2017, which show a net profit after tax of €14.9 million, up from a loss of €7.7 million in 2016. This profit figure is the highest in the company’s 18-year history. The positive results were backed by improved performances across all the operating hotels, translating to an increase in EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of 16% over the previous year. Earnings per share stood at €0.02 per share, compared to the previous year’s figure of €0.01.
As announced during the year, the company is also expanding its operations through various projects, such as the acquisitions of the Corinthia Palace Hotel, the operations agreement in the Grand Hotel du Boulevard in Bucharest, and the management of the Corinthia Hotel in Dubai. No dividends were declared for 2017. However, during an interview, company Chairman, Mr Alfred Pisani said the company board was discussing the possibility of shareholders getting an interim dividend later this year, once the process of rationalising the parent company’s balance sheet made it possible.
The oil and gas logistics services provider Medserv plc registered no change in its €1.10 share price as 10 trades of 43,257 shares were executed.
In the corporate bond market 50 issues were active of which 22 gained ground and 19 fell. Turnover totalled to €5.1 million. The 4% IHI Unsecured € 2026 was the best performer having appreciated by 2.5%, to close at €104, while the 5% Dizz Finance plc Unsecured € 2026 headed the list of fallers having declined by 3.6%, closing at €105.
In the sovereign debt market turnover amounted to €9.7 million spread across 28 issues of which 20 declined and seven advanced. The 2.3% MGS 2029 (II) was the most liquid issue, having witnessed a turnover of €1.4 million, to close 0.1% higher at €109.70.