Low activity in local shares.

This week the Malta Stock Exchange Index closed at 3,336.314 points, at a loss of 0.16% over last week.  Since the beginning of the year the Index has now lost 32.44%.  During the week, nine equities were negotiated, with three equities closing in negative territory, one closing in positive territory and five remaining stable. Shares of Grand Harbour Marina plc lost most territory as its share price dropped by 5.26% whilst Datatrak Holdings plc was the only positive equity gaining 3.33%.

A total of one hundred eighty one deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of over Eur3.7 million.  In the equity market seventy four transactions were carried out for a total value of Eur245,875.  In the corporate bond market sixty transactions for a total value of Eur586,327 were carried out. Whilst in the government bond market twenty-nine transactions were executed for a value Eur860,126.  The prices of Malta Government Stocks continue to rise in line with declining European yields.  Eighteen transactions were carried out in the Treasury Bills market for a value of over Eur2 million. 

In the banking sector which remained the most active during the week all equities remained stable in relation to the price of last week.  The share price of Bank of Valletta plc remained at Eur3.60 as 24,910 shares changed hands across thirty deals.  HSBC Bank Malta plc remained at Eur2.92 as 36,822 shares changed hands across twenty nine transactions.  Lombard Bank Malta plc also remained stable at Eur2.948 as 1,673 shares were negotiated across two deals.  FIMBank plc closed at $1.40 when six transactions were executed for a total volume of Eur22,500.

On Monday Malta International Airport plc announced that following the publication of the unaudited financial statements for the six months ended 30th June 2008, no material events and /or transactions have taken place that would have an impact on the financial position of the Company.

The Interim Directors’ Statements outlined that during the period under review, the financial position of the Company has remained sound. For the second half of the year passenger traffic has been less than anticipated. For the period July to October 2008 passenger traffic was down by 1.1 percent  over the same period last year and they anticipate this downturn will continue throughout winter 2008/09. Having said that, the Company still expects the passenger throughput for 2008 to exceed 3,100,000 passengers, which is approximately 5 percent more than last year.

In the meantime, the Company has continued with its ambitious programme due to be completed by June 2009 of the enhancement of the Air Terminal building as well as to improve the facilities for passengers and visitors. During this week the share price of Malta International Airport plc lost 3.39% as it closed at Eur2.25 on a single deal of 800 shares.

On Tuesday Grand Harbour Marina plc dragged the index lower on a single deal of 1,000 shares as its share price dropped by 2.70%. The equity closed the week at Euro 1.80 as 7,000 shares changed hands. 

On Wednesday the Board of Directors of Datatrak Holdings Plc issued an Interim Directors’ Statement whereby they said that as announced by the Company during the last AGM, the Group is now structured having distinct business units, each addressing a particular market offering and clearly delineating the core business activities of the Group. During the second half of the year, the Group introduced three business units covering the following areas: (i) International ICT Projects (ii) ICT Solutions and (iii) Business and IT Consultancy. With regards to the latter, a subsidiary company (Datatrak Business Consultancy Limited) was established in October 2008 with Datatrak Holdings plc owning 75% of the business. As the three business units are in start-up mode, it is not envisaged that significant revenues will be registered in 2008.  Internationally, the Group’s strategy of geographical market diversification came into being in the third quarter of 2008, with conclusion of the first non-UK based contracts. Such diversification should allow the group to minimise exchange rate risk and possibly dilute as much as possible, effects of the international economic slow-down.

In the third quarter, other local revenues generated from projects and services (such as the Vessel Monitoring System) other than those generated from vehicle tracking services, were in line with the sales forecasts.  Overall, the operational performance of the Group (January to October 2008) compared to the same period in 2007 saw an improvement in turnover, notwithstanding the incurred GBP-EURO exchange rate loss. Costs registered a slight increase due to an increase in the Group’s human resource complement. All other items are in line with the January to October 2007 costs.

On Thursday Go plc, in which trading activity has been rather low over the past weeks, dragged the index slightly lower on a single deal of 100 shares.  Its share price closed at Eur1.899. 

The share price of RS2 Software plc remained stable at Eur0.75 on a single deal of 4,800 shares.

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].