MSE In­dex down 2.9% in April

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Mapfre Mid­dle­sea

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.

PG plc

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.

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