MaltaPost registers profits of â

This week the Malta Stock Exchange Index closed at 4,258.862 points, a loss of 2.28% over last week.  Since the beginning of the year the Index decreased by 13.75%.  During the week, thirteen equities were negotiated, with three equities closing in positive territory, six in negative territory and four remaining stable.   Middlesea Insurance plc was the best performer whilst Malta International Airport plc lost most territory.

A total of two hundred forty three deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of over Eur6.87 million.  In the equity market one hundred seventy eight transactions were carried out for a total value of Eur656,148.  In the corporate bond market twenty-three transactions for a total value of Eur196,050 were executed.  In the government bond market twenty six transactions were executed for a value over Eur2 million.  Sixteen transactions were carried out in Treasury Bills for a value of almost Eur4 million.

On Friday 16 May HSBC Bank Malta plc issued an Interim Directors’ Statement in which the Directors noted that although the period under review was characterised by a general slowdown in business activity, primarily due to the currency transition to the euro and the general elections, the Group recorded satisfactory progress. Profit before tax was lower than that of the same period last year. Interest income was below expectations because of tighter margins and heightened competition, while non-interest income was lower mostly due to significantly reduced foreign exchange dealing income as a result of Malta’s adoption of the euro.  At the same time operating expenses have been kept under tight control. HSBC confirmed that the quality of the overall loan book remains good. The Balance Sheet continued to grow at a steady pace with strong growth in customers’ deposits and a further increase in loans and advances to customers. There was no deterioration in the quality of credit lending while liquidity and solvency indicators remain sound and above regulatory levels.

The interim directors’ statement seems to have had a negative impact on the share price of HSBC which during the week lost 3.55% closing at Eur3.80, on a turnover of just under forty five thousand shares traded. The share price of Bank of Valletta plc fell by 2.00% from Eur4.95 to Eur4.851 as 22,282 shares changed hands over thirty-eight transactions.  Lombard Bank Malta plc suffered the greatest drop among equities within the banking sector as its share price fell by 4.06% from Eur3.127 to Eur3.00.  On Friday Lombard Bank Malta plc issued an Interim Directors’ Statement where it was stated that during the first quarter of 2008 the Bank’s performance was in line with expectations with satisfactory results across most of the traditional income streams despite competition within the banking sector, the transition to the euro and the general elections.  The Directors also said that they remain satisfied with the quality of the Bank’s assets and are cautiously optimistic that further growth and progress can continue during 2008.  The share price of FIMBank plc remained stable at $1.88 despite twenty deals being executed for a total volume of 175,984 shares.

During this week the share price of MaltaPost plc appreciated by 1.33% to Eur0.76 as 24,996 shares changed hands across nineteen deals. On Thursday MaltaPost plc issued its Interim Results for the six-month period ended 31 March 2008 during which period the Company registered a profit before tax of Eur2.6 million, an increase of 157% over the same period last year.  Earnings per share increased to Eur0.060 from Eur0.023 in 2007. Turnover increased by 13.41%from Euro 9.66 million to Euro 10.96 million, whilst cost-to-income ratio improved to 76.64% from 89.65% for the same period last year.  The share price of Middlesea Insurance plc appreciated by 0.59% to Eur3.43 as 444 shares changed hands across three transactions.  Simonds Farsons Cisk plc was another positive performer with a gain of 0.37% to Eur2.71 as 14,978 shares changed hands across twelve deals.

The share price of Go plc fell by 3.45% from Eur2.90 to Eur2.80 as eight transactions were executed for a total volume of 9,360 shares.  The share price of GlobalCapital plc fell by 1.67% on a single deal of just 401 shares. In a company announcement on Monday, the Company issued the Interim Directors’ Report which amongst other information declared that the disruption of the global financial markets has continued to have an adverse effect on the Group’s portfolio of financial assets. It added that the poor investment climate has also resulted in a decrease in the operating performance of the Company’s main divisions when compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, the agency and brokerage segments have shown positive trends when compared to previous years. On Monday, Malta International Airport plc issued an Interim Directors’ Statement whereby it was explained that the traffic for the first four months of 2008 increased at a higher rate than anticipated and confirmed that the prospects for the rest of the year look good. As a result, financial results for the first six months to 30 June 2008 are expected to be better than estimated and better than the same period of 2007.  Despite all this during this week the share price of Malta International Airport plc dropped by 7.13% to Eur3.111.

The share price of Grand Harbour Marina plc remained stable at Eur2.05 as 2,420 shares changed hands across two deals.  On Thursday the Company issued an Interim Directors’ Statement whereby it was stated that during the first quarter of 2008, the Company concluded the sale of a 30-metre super-yacht berth. Consequently the Company’s financial performance exceeds that achieved during the first quarter of 2007. The share price of International Hotel Investments plc remained stable at Eur1.085 as three deals were executed for a total volume of 5,000 shares.  Crimsonwing plc remained stable as 29,846 shares changing hands across seven deals.

On Tuesday RS2 Software plc, a global provider of card payment solutions, IT consultancy and related services to international and domestic banks, service providers, retailers and other financial organisations, issued a Combined Offering of 12,500,000 shares of a nominal value of Eur0.20 each at a price of Eur0.80 per share. This represents approximately 33.3% of the issued share capital of the Company.

As from Monday 26 May two Malta Government Stock issues will be available for subscription. The Treasury announced that it will be issuing fungible issues of the 5.1% MGS 2014 (III) and the 5.0% MGS 2021.  The 5.1% MGS 2014 (III) is priced at 101.25, with a yield to maturity of 4.86% per annum and the 5.0% MGS 2021 (I) is priced at 98.99, with a yield to maturity of 5.10% per annum.

This article which was complied 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 JMFS at 67/3, South Street, Valletta or on Tel: 21224410 or email [email protected].