Positive week for Bank of Vallettaâ

This week the Malta Stock Exchange Index closed at 3,339.813 points, at a loss of 0.65% over last week.  Since the beginning of the year the Index has now lost 32.37%.  During the week, thirteen equities were negotiated, with nine equities closing in negative territory, three closing in positive territory and one remaining stable. Shares of FIMBank plc lost most territory as they dropped by 8.23% to $1.45 whilst shares of Bank of Valletta plc gained most during this week with an increase of 3.82% to Eur3.53.

A total of two hundred seventy eight deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of over Eur5.8 million.  In the equity market one hundred sixty seven transactions were carried out for a total value of Eur636,525.  In the corporate bond market fifty-eight transactions for a total value of Eur553,214 were carried out. Whilst in the government bond market thirty-six transactions were executed for a value over Eur2.2 million.  Sixteen transactions were carried out in the Treasury Bills market for a value of over Eur2.4 million.

In the banking sector, seventy-three deals were carried out in Bank of Valletta plc shares.  A total value of Eur255,244 was negotiated in the equity which was the best performer during this week.  Shareholders on the register of Bank of Valletta plc as at the 5th November will be entitled to the final gross dividend of Eur0.0675 per share.  They will also be entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting due to be held on the 17th December 2008.  The final dividend should be paid on the 18th December 2008 if approved by the shareholders. Moreover those on the Bank’s books as at the 12 January 2009 will be entitled to the 1 for 5 bonus share issue.

On Thursday Moody’s Investors Service changed the long-term and short-term Local and Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings of Bank of Valletta (Malta) (BOV) to Baa1/Prime-2 from A3/Prime-1. The rating agency has also downgraded the senior unsecured debt ratings of the Bank to Baa1 from A3. BOV’s Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR) was affirmed at D+. All ratings have a stable outlook. Moody’s rating action has been prompted after the announcement of the financial statements for the year ended 30th September 2008, and in particular after the material valuation adjustments taken by Bank of Valletta on its securities portfolio. Not withstanding this report and the drop in profits announced last week, the share price was up this week having traded at a low of Euro 3.20 on Monday.

HSBC Bank Malta plc dropped by 0.17% to Eur2.895 as 97,873 shares changed hands across forty-nine deals for a total value of Eur280,065.  On the contrary Lombard Bank Malta plc appreciated by 0.03% to Eur2.948 as 3,927 shares changed hands across five deals for a total value of Eur11,576.

On Tuesday 5,000 MaltaPost plc shares were traded after ten consecutive inactive sessions.  This led to a drop of 3.4% to Eur0.79 ahead of the Company’s Annual General Meeting due to be held on the 20th November 2008.

The share price of Malta International Airport plc lost 1.96% to Eur2.50 as 8,400 shares changed hands across nine deals.  On Wednesday MIA published the October traffic results which showed a decline of 5.9% in passenger departures during October.  During the first ten months of this year, passenger departures rose by 6.35%. 

The share price of International Hotel Investments plc dropped by 3.19% to Eur0.91 as 10,600 shares changed hands across three deals.  Plaza Centres plc saw its share price drop by 1.14% to Eur1.73 on two deals for a total volume of 3,000 shares.  Middlesea Insurance plc lost 0.11% in its share price which closed at Eur2.697 after 2,000 shares changed hands across three deals. On Wednesday, the Company issued an Interim Directors’ Statement in which it announced that during the financial period 1st July 2008 to date, no material events and/or transactions have taken place that would have an impact on the financial position of the Company. The Board of Directors stated that the volatility of the international and local capital markets continue to represent a challenge to the Group and unless there is a material changed in the market sentiment, it is expected that the Group’s positive technical performance will be outweighed by the negative investments result for the current financial year. Crimsonwing plc was another loser this week as its share price dropped by 0.2% to Eur0.497 on a single deal of just 600 shares.  RS2 Software plc remained stable at Eur0.75 on eight deals for a total volume of 19,000 shares.

On Friday GO plc issued an Interim Directors’ Statement whereby it stated that the financial performance up to the 30th September 2008 was characterised by stable revenues, better EBIDTA and a healthy cash generation. However, this performance was dampened by the provision of Eur11.8 million for pensions in respect of the 7th July 2008 judgement by the Court of Appeal.  The Group continues to experience growth in its client base despite the continued disconnections from fixed line telephony.  GO also announced that Forgendo Ltd increased its shareholding in Forthnet through the acquisition of a further 872,210 shares for a total consideration of Eur0.9 million which is the equivalent to Eur1.04 per share.  Following this Forgendo’s equity stake in Forthnet increased to 34.6%.

On Friday, after being inactive for two months, Datatrak Holdings plc was the best performer as a single deal of 4,500 shares led to an increase of 3.45% to Eur0.30 in its share price.

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].