MSE Weekly Round-Up Report: 30th July 2007- 3rd August 2007

MSE Weekly Round-Up Report: 30th July 2007- 3rd August 2007

HSBC’s share price increase helps push the MSE Index up

As the end of July approached there was no signal that the Special Registration Scheme 2007 would be extended, however as usual the public left the decision whether to register till the last few days and as the interest increased, the government decided to extend the scheme to the end of August. This is a golden opportunity for the public to register their assets and regularise their position with the tax authorities. Act now!

On Monday, HSBC Bank Malta (HSBC) announced their interim results which helped the Malta Stock Exchange Index (MSE Index) gain 0.44% on the week. HSBC’s share price ended the week in positive territory while  three equities closed in negative territory. None of the six remaining equities registered changes in their price on a week-on-week basis. A total of 260 deals were executed in the equity market for a total turnover Lm764,529, while 63 transactions were placed in local bonds and government stocks for a value over Lm2.93 million.

HSBC shares gained 1.8% to close at Lm1.985. Activity was high with over 182,000 shares changing hands changing hands across 144 transactions. The weekly high and low prices registered were Lm2.025 and Lm1.951 respectively.

Following the closure of Monday’s session, the Bank announced its results in which a total interim gross dividend of 10.6 cents (ordinary interim dividend 6.6 cents plus a special dividend of 4.0 cents per share gross) was declared. HSBC’s profit before tax reached Lm25.3 million for the six months ended 30th June 2007, up Lm4.7 million or 23.1% from the same period last year. Profits attributable to shareholders and net operating income both increased from the same period last year while costs were reduced.

Within the banking sector, Bank of Valletta and FIMBank closed unchanged on a weekly basis. Bank of Valletta had 55,199 shares change hands across fifty-one deals to close at Lm3.60 while FIMBank registered a deal of 50,000 shares at US$1.95.

On the other hand Lombard Bank had 11,248 shares traded over six deals to shed 0.5% and close at Lm4.975. This equity was however also traded at a weekly low price of Lm4.65 before recouping such losses towards the end of the week. During the week, Lombard announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Redbox Limited had on 30th July 2007 entered into an Agreement with the Government of Malta for the acquisition of the 700,000 ordinary shares of Lm1 each, representing 25% of the issued and paid-up share capital of Maltapost plc. The acquisition will raise the shareholding of Redbox Limited to 60% and thus resulting in Maltapost becoming a subsidiary of Lombard Bank. The agreement is subject to cabinet approval.

International Hotel Investments and Plaza Centre were the other equities to close in negative territory. The former equity declined by 1.9% to close at €1.03 as 53,866 shares were transacted across ten deals. The latter equity dropped 1.5% on a single trade of 2,000 shares to close at Lm0.68. The interim results of Plaza were issued Friday afternoon in which it was noted that operating profits and the turnover increased when compared to this same period last year.

Maltacom was also active during the week having over 40,000 shares change hands across twenty-eight deals to close at Lm1.42. The board of directors is scheduled to meet on Thursday 20th September 2007 to discuss the Company’s half-yearly financial statements for the period 1st January to 30th June 2007.

Moreover, Malta International Airport traded 22,550 shares over eleven deals to close at it highest weekly traded price of Lm1.35, while the lowest registered was Lm1.34. In addition, GlobalCapital and Datatrak Holdings both registered two trades each. GlobalCapital traded stable at Lm1.90 while Datatrak Holdings also closed unchanged on a weekly basis at Lm0.23.

Simonds Farsons Cisk shares were also traded however the equity ended at the Lm1.00 level as it had closed in the previous week.

In the local bonds market, thirty deals were executed in corporate bonds for a turnover of Lm92,268 while eleven Malta Government Stocks were active registering a traded value of over Lm2.84 million. The majority of such stock prices kept on rising during the week.

This article which was compiled by Jesmond Mizzi Financial Services Limited (JMFS) does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. JMFS is licensed to conduct investment services by the MFSA. The directors or related parties, including the company, and their clients are likely to have an interest in securities mentioned in this article. For further information please contact JFMS at 67/3 South Street Valletta or on tel:  21224410 or email [email protected]