MSE Trading Report for week ending 13th March 2009

Good results for FIMBank and Lombard Bank

The Malta Stock Exchange Index ended the trading week at 2702.287 points, therefore falling by 2.66%, notwithstanding a slight up tick in the last session of the week. Accumulating this week’s losses, therefore, the MSE index has shed 15.77% since the start of this year. During the week, 10 equities were negotiated, with eight closing in negative territory and two ending the week unchanged. The best performers of this week were GO plc and Plaza plc, both remaining stable. MIA plc was the worst performer, declining by 7.17% and closing at EUR 2.20.

The past week saw 294 deals being registered on the stock exchange with a turnover of over EUR11.8m. In the Equity Market 167 transactions for a total value of EUR 630,044 were executed. While in the Corporate Bond Market 38 transactions were carried out for a total value of EUR 284,599. The Government Bond Market saw 39 deals changing hands for a total value of over EUR 1.68m while 50 transactions were carried out in the Treasury Bills Market for a total value of over EUR 9.25m

Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) posted a loss of 5% this week as 93,644 shares traded in this equity across 61 deals. The week for BOV was fairly mixed, trading unchanged on Monday and Tuesday, dropping the following two days by 4.55% and 4.67% respectively, and thereafter reversing some of these declines on the last day of trading, climbing 4.40%. This said, however the falls intra-week were backed by heavy volume with 62,606 shares changing hands, whilst Friday’s gain was backed by unconvincingly low volume with a mere 3,800 shares changing hands over 3 deals.

The highest number of trades was registered in HSBC Bank Malta plc (HSBC) where a total volume of 152,050 shares exchange hands across 78 trades. The week started off negatively, as significant traded volume resulted in a fall of over 3.6% on Monday, as the equity price plunged to EUR 2.13. This was somewhat counteracted in the following two days as the share price recovered to EUR 2.18 by Wednesday. Although the heaviest volume of the week occurred on Thursday no change in the equity price was recorded on this day. Friday saw 18 trades lowering the price of this stock down to EUR 2.15. The closing price is therefore slightly higher than that recording in the first day of the week, but 2.71% lower on the week.

During the week the share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc (Lombard) depreciated by 0.04% and closed at EUR 2.52 as four deals were executed for a total volume of 8,500 shares. Lombard this week issued their preliminary statement of annual results for the financial year ended 31 December 2008 with profit before tax rising by 32.9% to Eur14.14M. One major contribution to these improved results was the increase in ‘Postal sales and other revenues’ which rose from Eur1.214M to Eur19.516M. Cash flow however fell from Eur136.059M to Eur64.77M. The Directors resolved to recommend the payment, to be approved at the company’s AGM on 23 April 2009, of a final ordinary gross dividend of Eur0.10 per share. This will be paid on 28.04.09 to shareholders on the Company’s Register as at 20.03.09.

The share price of Go plc (Go) remained stable at EUR 1.50, yet this equity saw its major trading on Monday where 27,125 shares changed hands lowering the price slightly to EUR 1.49. This fall in price was reversed later in the week yet on much lower volumes.

A single trade on Monday lowered the price of International Hotels Investments plc (IHI) by EUR 0.03 resulting in a closing price of EUR 0.80, a fall of 3.50% from the previous week closing price. Two further trades during the week kept the price stationary at this level. 

On Wednesday, one single trade of 8,960 shares in Plaza Centres plc maintained its share price at EUR1.70. In a Company Announcement, the Board of Directors approved the Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2008 reporting an increase of 7.2% in the company’s profit after tax when compared to 2007. The profit after tax figure reached EUR 783,566 for 2008. The Board is recommending the payment of a final net dividend of EUR0.0791 per share to all shareholders on the Register as at 1 April 2009, to be approved at the company’s AGM due to be held on 22 April 2009.

Fimbank plcs this week announced their results for the year ended 31 December 2008, with profits after tax reaching USD 24.8 million in 2008 compared to USD 10.5 million in 2007 as basic earnings rose by 88% to 18.6c per share. These results were positively impacted by the disposal of shares in Global Trade Finance Ltd announced earlier last year. Cash and cash equivalents increased from USD 10.8 million to a remarkable USD 90.5 million. The Board announced a dividend applicable to shareholders on the Register as at close of trading on 24 March 2009 of US2.251215c per share. Furthermore the Board approved a Bond Issue which is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2009. Notwithstanding this announcement the equity traded only once on Friday on a mere 2,000 shares at USD1.485 which lead to a drop in its share price of 0.34%.

The board of directors of Malta International Airport plc approved the financial statements of the Company for the year ended 31 December 2008. While passenger movement increased by 4.7% to a record 3.11 million, profit before tax fell by almost 3% to Eur13.68M. Operating costs increased by Eur765,000 to Eur24.801M while revenue increased by Eur749,493 to Eur45.106M. In its outlook, the Company stated that for 2009 it is projecting a decrease in passenger numbers of 5-6% over 2008 figures. Statistics from its website confirm that passenger numbers fell 11.8% in January and 10.5% in February. It was resolved to propose a further gross dividend of Eur0.08769 per share to be paid to shareholders on the Register as at close of business on the 8 May 2009. Added to the interim dividend already paid, this proposed dividend brings the total and final gross dividend for the year ended 31.12.08 to Eur0.18. The AGM of the Company has been scheduled to take place on 30 April 2009.

Such announcement caused this company’s share price to suffer the hardest hit, this week, following a drop in share price of EUR 0.17 resulting in a closing price of EUR 2.20. This occurred on 3 deals over minor volume of 2,800 shares. 

Maltapost plc and RS2 plc saw their equity prices deteriorate by 0.67% and 1.33% respectively. Both prices moved following single trades of 1000 shares.

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 contact JMFS at 67/3, South Street, Valletta or on Tel: 21224410 or email [email protected].