Maltapost shares advance 6%

Weekly Round-Up — 25th -29th February 2008


Maltapost shares advance 6%

The Malta Stock Exchange Index declined by 1.5% to 4,650.36 points during a week in which major share price gains were recorded in Maltapost, GO and Datatrak, while the worst equity performer was HSBC Bank Malta (HSBC), notwithstanding its record annual profits announced in the previous week.

A total of 327 deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover above EUR15.9 million. In the equity market 198 deals were executed for a traded value of EUR1.15 million, while 116 transactions were performed in local corporate bonds and government stocks for a turnover just below EUR11.9 million. In addition, 12 deals were executed in Treasury Bills for EUR2.84 million.

Maltapost shares advanced a further 6% on the week to close at their weekly high price of EUR0.70, thus closing 40% higher from when first issued last January. This weekly gain was attained on high activity; the volume traded amounting to over 231,000 shares which were negotiated across fifty-one deals. The Board of Directors will be meeting on 22nd May 2008 to consider and approve the financial statements for the half-year ended 31st March 2008.

GO gained 1.6% on a weekly basis to close at EUR3.136 during the week in which its Board of Directors approved the Financial Results for the year ended 31st December 2007. It was noted that the Group recorded a profit before taxation amounting to Lm11.9 million, slightly less than the previous year (2006: Lm12.0 million). This represents a return of 14.1% (2006: 14.4%) of the average shareholders’ funds, and 10.4% of the average total assets employed (2006: 10.8%). The Board also resolved to recommend the payment of a final net dividend of €0.11c65 (Lm0.05c) net of taxation per share, this being equal to the dividend paid out in 2006. The final dividend will be paid on 16th April 2008, to all shareholders on the register as at 14th March 2008.

One may also note in the financial statements that net operating costs (excluding voluntary retirement costs and VAT claim refundable) amounted to Lm46.4 million when compared to the Lm40.7 million figure in 2006, while the tax expense for the year amounted to Lm4.7 million, also higher than 2006, which stood at Lm3.9 million.

Datatrak Holdings was the second best equity performer of the week rising by 5.2% to EUR0.305, even though this was attained on a single transaction of 2,424 shares. Moreover, International Hotel Investments (IHI) and Malta International Airport (MIA) were amongst the positive performers. IHI shares edged 0.1% higher to EUR1.001 on a volume of 70,890 shares, while MIA traded 63,369 shares over twenty-one deals to add 0.6% and close at EUR3.22.

In the banking sector, following last week’s announcement of positive financial results, HSBC declined by 4.4% or EUR0.20 to close at its weekly lowest traded price of EUR4.40. This was attained on a volume of 36,824 shares which swapped hands over thirty-one transactions. Bank of Valletta shares also closed in negative territory having shed 0.3% to end the week at EUR5.834 on a volume just above 21,000 shares.


Lombard Bank Malta had two mere deals recorded at the stable price of EUR13.00. During the week Lombard announced that Marfin Popular Bank Public Company Ltd of Cyprus was granted regulatory approval for the acquisition of 43% of its (Lombard) share capital. In addition, FIMBank was highly active having 255,535 shares change hands across twenty-three transactions to close unchanged at the US$2.00 level.

Furthermore, Middlesea Insurance declined by 1.4% on a low volume of 945 shares to close at EUR3.60, while Crimsonwing had 7,000 shares transacted over two deals to shed 0.9% and close at EUR0.585. Plaza Centres’ edged less than 0.1% lower to close at EUR1.699 on a single minor deal, while San Tumas Shareholdings’ shares were also active with the equity price closing unchanged at EUR2.562.

In the local bond sector, activity was strong in Malta Government Stocks with sixteen issues being traded for a total turnover over EUR11.12 million. The majority of such stocks however suffered price decreases, with the most active issues being the 7.2% MGS 2008, 7.2% MGS 2008 (II) and the 5.4% MGS 2010 (IV) which closed at EUR100.66, EUR101.35 and EUR102.76 respectively.

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]