BOV and HSBC up on the week.

This week the Malta Stock Exchange Index closed at 3,341.699 points, at a gain of 0.06% over last week.  Since the beginning of the year the Index has now lost 32.33%.  During the week, seven equities were negotiated, with four equities closing in negative territory, two closing in positive territory and one remaining stable. Shares of Grand Harbour Marina plc lost most territory as they fell by 9.52% to Eur1.90, whilst shares of Bank of Valletta plc gained most during this week with an increase of 1.98% to Eur3.60.

A total of two hundred eighty five deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of over Eur11.7 million.  In the equity market one hundred sixty six transactions were carried out for a total value of Eur881,338.  In the corporate bond market fifty-five transactions for a total value of Eur332,532 were carried out. Whilst in the government bond market thirty-seven transactions were executed for a value over Eur6.3 million.  Twenty six transactions were carried out in the Treasury Bills market for a value of over Eur4.1 million.

In the banking sector both large banks continued to appreciate in value and remained the most active on the Exchange.  As previously noted Bank of Valletta plc saw its share price gain terrain as 80,005 shares changed hands across fifty-seven deals for a total value of Eur287,870.  BOV plc is to hold its Annual General Meeting on the 17th December when shareholders are to approve a final gross dividend of Eur0.0675 per share and a 1 for 5 bonus share issue to shareholders on the Bank’s register on the 12 January 2009.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc gained 0.86% to Eur2.92 as 110,256 shares changed hands across sixty-three deals. This follows last Friday’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting during which the Bank’s CEO reassured shareholders that the Bank is liquid and well capitalised.  In an Interim Directors’ Statement issued on Friday, HSBC Bank Malta plc stated that despite challenging global and local market conditions, core income and profitability levels at the Bank remained satisfactory for the period 1 July 2008 to 30 September 2008.  As at 30 September 2008, both customers’ deposits and customers’ loans increased in line with expectations over the prior September end. During this period there was no deterioration in the quality of the lending portfolio whilst liquidity and capital ratios remained strong and ahead of regulatory requirements.  These trends have been sustained into the fourth quarter of 2008.  Alan Richards, Director and Chief Executive Officer also stated that although the banking system in Malta is in good shape, the consequences of a pronounced world economic slow down is bound to leave its mark on the local economy.

On a different note FIMBank plc was a negative performer as its share price dropped by 3.45% to $1.40 on eighteen deals during which 181,240 shares were negotiated.

On Monday Medserv plc issued an Interim Directors’ Statement where it announced that the increase in its turnover and profits recorded in the first half of the year continued during the third quarter mainly due to the commencement of drilling operations supported by the Malta base and the Misurata base.  During the third quarter the turnover at the Misurata base exceeded the combined revenue of the first and second quarters as drilling operations by a US client started during this period.  At present the Malta base is providing support services to a major drilling operation in offshore Libya and has secured substantial business from a long standing client.

GlobalCapital plc also issued an Interim Directors’ Statement where it was stated that the volatility in global financial markets since the 30th of June continue to affect on the fair valuations of the group’s financial investments and on the demand for its products, resulting in a decrease in the earnings of the Company’s main divisions when compared to the same period of 2007.

On Wednesday Datatrak Holdings plc announced that on the 23 October 2008 it set up Datarak Business Consultancy Limited, a business consultancy subsidiary whereby Datatrak Holdings plc has subscribed for 75% of the share capital.

On Wednesday the share price of Malta International Airport plc dragged the index lower as it dropped by 6.84% to Eur2.329 on a single deal of just 1,000 shares.  This is the lowest price since October 2004.  On Friday a single deal of 1,300 shares left the share price unchanged at Eur2.329.  MIA’s October statistics issued recently showed a decline of 5.9% in passenger departures.  On the other hand departures for the first ten months of the year increased by 6.4%.

During this week MaltaPost plc saw its share price decrease by 5.06% from Eur0.79 to Eur0.75 as 33,822 shares changed hands across eleven transactions.  MaltaPost plc is to hold its Annual General Meeting on the 20th November 2008.  The share price of GO plc remained stable at Eur1.90 as 7,800 shares changed hands across eight deals.

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].