FIMBank profits increase; shares 2.5% higher

Weekly Round-Up — 3rd — 7th March 2008

FIMBank profits increase; shares 2.5% higher

The local bourse gained 0.4% to close at 4,670.37 points during a week which was dominated by trading in FIMBank shares following its publication of financial results. Six of the twelve active equities closed in positive territory whilst only three closed in the red on a week-on-week basis.

A total of 376 deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover above EUR4.76 million. In the equity market 279 deals were executed for a traded value of EUR1.75 million, while 90 transactions were performed in local corporate bonds and government stocks for a turnover just above EUR2.28 million. In addition, 7 deals were executed in Treasury Bills for EUR728,398.

FIMBank gained 2.5% to close at US$2.05 having also traded at weekly highs and lows of US$2.055 and US$1.999 respectively. This was attained on a volume of 535,844 shares which were transacted across 101 deals. On Monday, the Board of Directors met to approve the Audited Financial Statements for the financial year ended 31st December 2007 in which was noted that FIMBank Group posted an after-tax profit of US$10.5 million in 2007 in contrast to the US$7.6 million registered in the previous year. The Bank managed to increase its net interest income by 19% over the previous year, even though the interest income and expense increased in absolute terms, in line with the Bank’s activity through availability of more bank lines, customer and bank deposits and longer term funding sources.

The Board will also be recommending the payment of a scrip dividend of US$3.8023 per ordinary share, and a one for five bonus shares issue for shareholders on the Register of the Malta Stock Exchange as at close of trading on 13th March 2008.

International Hotel Investments was also highly active having traded 201,921 shares across sixteen deals. The equity gained 3.40% on the week to close at EUR1.035. Simonds Farsons Cisk saw its share price rise by 3.2% to the EUR2.45 level, even though this was attained on two minor deals. GO added 0.3% on a volume of 41,125 shares which swapped hands across twenty deals to close at EUR3.14.

Malta International Airport was also amongst the positive performers on the week having added 2.2% to close at EUR3.29. This was attained on a volume of 15,641 shares which changed hands over thirteen transactions. Friday morning, the directors of MIA presented their report together with the audited financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2007. The profit for the year after taxation amounted to over Lm3.83 million compared to nearly Lm3.12 million attained in the prior financial period.

It was also reported that the number of passengers making use of the airport facilities increased from 2.69 million for the full year 2006 to 2.97 million for 2007, an increase of 10.4%. The revenue of the Company increased from Lm14,053,331 to Lm19,042,398, most of which related to additional regulated fees received as a result of the increase in passenger traffic. Moreover, operating costs were slightly higher than the equivalent previous twelve month period.

With regard to the net interim dividend, the board of directors is recommending the payment of a final net dividend of Lm0.0249 per share (gross Lm0.038308) on all shares settled as at close of business on 5th May 1007. The dividend shall then be paid not later than the 26th May 2008.

In the banking sector, HSBC Bank Malta edged 0.02% higher to close at EUR4.401 as 58,170 shares changed hands across fifty-four deals. Bank of Valletta on the other hand suffered a 1.4% drop to end the week at EUR5.75 on a volume of 53,553 shares. Lombard Bank had two deals registered at the stable price of EUR13.00 to close unchanged.

The worst equity performer of the week was Crimsonwing which saw its share price drop nearly 8% to EUR0.539. This was attained on a volume of 25,896 shares which were spread across eight deals. 6PM was also amongst the equities to close in the red having dropped a marginal 0.14% to £0.729 on a single transaction.

In addition, Maltapost and Middlesea Insurance were amongst the active equities however both closed unchanged. The former equity traded 81,278 shares across fifteen deals at EUR0.70, whilst the latter had one minor deal of 50 shares executed at EUR3.60.

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]