Local bourse closes 1.3% higher in 2007

MSE Yearly Round-Up Report: 2007

Local bourse closes 1.3% higher in 2007

The local bourse advanced 0.4% in the last session of the year following further strong gains in GlobalCapital and Lombard Bank’s share prices. This placed the Malta Stock Exchange Index at 4,937.75 points, just above 1.3% higher than the closing level last year. The yearly top equity performer was Simonds Farsons Cisk while Datatrak Holdings and Middlesea Insurance had a tough year after having suffered the largest share price declines.

During the entire year, a total of 14,621 deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of Lm196,411,149 (€457,514,906). In the equity market, 10,127 deals were executed for a traded value just below Lm27.53 million, 1,425 transactions were performed in local corporate bonds for a value of nearly Lm5.28 million, while the turnover in Malta Government Stocks amounted to Lm139.895 million. In addition, 220 deals were executed in Treasury Bills for a value above Lm23.19 million.

Simonds Farsons Cisk registered the largest gain on a yearly basis after having jumped from the Lm0.80 level to Lm1.10, equivalent to a 37.5% rise. The highest price reached during the year was Lm1.12 while the traded volume amounted to 330,289. Medserv was the second best equity performer having increased by nearly 30% to close at Lm1.76, just 2c below its yearly highest price.

The recent share price gains registered in GlobalCapital shares placed the equity 9.3% higher on a year-on-year basis. In fact the equity touched a yearly low of Lm1.652 to recover above the Lm2 level in the last few weeks of the year and close at Lm2.405. The traded volume in the equity amounted to over 1.3 million with 399 deals being executed throughout the year.

In the banking sector, Lombard Bank was the top equity performer having gained 7.7% to close at Lm6.204, well above its lowest price traded at Lm4.54. HSBC Bank Malta closed the year at the Lm2.00 level, 5.3% higher from last year’s closing price. The traded volume amounted to over 4.2 million shares with 3,614 deals being negotiated. FIMBank closed marginally higher, 0.8% up at US$1.744 with over 4.35 million shares being traded across 427 trades. On the other hand, notwithstanding the positive financial results announced during the year, Bank of Valletta was the only equity in the sector to close in negative territory, having closed the year 5.4% lower at Lm3.50. This was attained over a volume of 1.98 million with 2,637 deals being performed.

GO’s share price dropped 9.4% during a year in which 1.7 million shares changed hands across 1,173 deals to close at Lm1.35. The yearly high and low prices registered were Lm1.50 and Lm1.198 respectively. Middlesea Insurance suffered a steep drop, having lost nearly 17% to close at Lm1.65 and during a year in which the equity touched the Lm2.05 level.

International Hotel Investments and 6PM Holdings were amongst the positive performers having advanced 4% to EUR1.04 and 9% to £0.73 respectively. Grand Harbour Marina also performed well gaining over 7% to close at Lm0.75, with the highest price reached during the year being Lm0.788. Moreover, Malta International Airport closed 1c higher (0.73%) at Lm1.38.

The worst equity performer of the year was Datatrak Holdings having slumped 48% down to close at Lm0.131. This was attained over a volume of 70,807 which were transacted across 40 deals. Plaza Centres shed 4.3% to close the year 3c lower at Lm0.67, while San Tumas Holdings moved 8.7% upwards to close at the Lm1.25 level.

Following the Monetary Policy Advisory Council (MPAC) meeting held on Friday, the Central Bank of Malta reduced the central intervention rate by 25 basis points to 4.00%. The Governor explained that the reduction in the central intervention rate completed the process of convergence of official interest rates in Malta with those of the euro area. He also recalled that under Malta’s existing fixed exchange rate regime, the central intervention rate embodied a premium to compensate investors for exchange rate risk. With the adoption of the euro on 1 January 2008, this risk and the consequent premium on official short-term interest rates will disappear.

JMFS wish all readers a prosperous new year!

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]