MSE Trading Report for week ending 20th March 2009

The Malta Stock Exchange Index closed the week at 2,689.487 points, with a slight loss of 0.47% over the previous week. During the week, six equities were negotiated with two closing in positive territory while the remaining four closed in negative territory. Bank of Valletta plc equities recorded the highest gains, while Fimbank plc lost most ground.

During the week 231 deals were registered on the stock exchange for a turnover of over EUR 2.8 m. In the equity market 162 transactions were carried out for a total value of EUR 418,681. In the corporate bond market only 19 transactions for a total value of EUR 97,793 were executed. The government bond market saw 41 transactions being executed for a value of slightly over EUR 1.4m. Nine transactions were carried out in the Treasury Bills market for a value of slightly below EUR 1m.

BOV was the best performer during this week registering a gain of 5.26% as 60,838 shares changed hands across 49 deals. Trading for this equity started at Eur2.098 at which price 17,000 shares were dealt. The following days saw significant increase in volume traded upping the price to EUR 2.22 by mid-week. The last day of the week saw few trades moderating the weekly gains and reduced the price slightly to close the week at EUR 2.20.

Once again, the highest number of shares traded in a single equity was registered in HSBC Bank Malta plc (HSBC) with a total volume of 98,965 shares trading across 43 trades. The bulk of these trades occurred in the first three days of the week with the equity price climbing slowly towards EUR 2.18. This winning streak was snapped on Friday with the shares retreating to EUR 2.16 on moderate volume of nearly 24,000 shares traded over 13 deals. In a company announcement on Wednesday, HSBC presented its Agenda for the Annual General Meeting to be held on 1 April 2009. Items listed include the approval of audited accounts for the year ended 31 December 2008 and the declaration of the payment of a final gross dividend of Eur0.096 per share.

On Monday Fimbank plc (FIMB) announced the publication of a Prospectus in respect of an issue of 7% Subordinated Bonds 2012-2019 for an aggregate of Eur15 million subject to an Over-allotment Option not exceeding Eur15 million in any one or a combination of EUR Bonds and USD Bonds. Indeed FIMB was among the most traded local equities during this week. Deals struck for this equity amounted to 53 for a total volume of 30,166. The higher-than-normal volume appears to be related to the entitlement of ‘preferred applicant’ status for Fimbank’s forthcoming bond offer, Wednesday being the last day for eligibility. Preferred applicants will be entitled to a discount upon subscribing to the mentioned bonds. Nevertheless, selling pressure outweighed any increase in demand for this equity, resulting in an adverse impact on the share price which plunged down to EUR1.30, or 12.46% lower than last week’s closing price.  

Maltapost plc (MTP) edged 1.5% lower during the week, with 22,000 shares changing hands across three deals. The share price closed the week at EUR0.729.

The share price of Go plc (GO) fell by 6.7% on Wednesday with minimal trading on Friday sustaining this downward shift in the price, thus ending the week at EUR 1.40.  GO announced the approval of its annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2008.

The Group announced that turnover for the year amounted to €130.3m (2007: €131.9m), a decrease of 1.2% over 2007 as revenue from core services remained strong. However, the Group recorded a loss before taxation amounting to €1.3m as compared to profit of €27.6m in 2007. Earnings per share decreased from €0.165 to negative €0.03. The Group registered an operating profit of €11.8m (2007:€28.6m). However, results include various one-off transactions, namely a charge for pensions of €12.9m (2007: nil), voluntary retirement costs of €2.0m (2007: €4.3m) and income from refundable VAT claim of €9.6m in 2007. If these transactions were excluded, the Group’s operational performance would have improved by 14.6% from €23.3 million in 2007 to €26.7 million in 2008. This performance is the result of the Group’s revenue performance, the cessation of the loss-making international call centre business, tighter control over costs and a leaner organisation.

The Board of Directors further resolved to recommend that the Annual General Meeting approves the payment of a final net dividend of €0.12 net of taxation per share.

Malta International Airport (MIA) fell by nearly 1% on Monday and closed at EUR2.18 on a single trade of just 50 shares.

Grand Harbour Marina announced that its Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on 24 March 2009 to approve the Company’s Final Audited Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2008 and to consider whether to propose the payment of a dividend.

Crimsonwing plc stated in an announcement the closure of its North American subsidiary following the conclusion that the return to shareholders would be greater by concentrating efforts back into the UK and Dutch marketplaces.

RS2 Software plc announced that at a meeting of the Board of Directors, the final audited financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 08 were approved. Although gross profit margin reduced slightly from 45% in 2007 to 44%, the Company managed to increase profit after tax by a staggering 24.47% to Eur2,548,536 (Eur2,047,421 in 2007).

The Board of Directors resolved to recommend for the approval of the AGM the payment of a final net dividend of Eur0.022 per share which will be paid on 19 May 2009 to shareholders on the Company’s Register as at close of business on 15 April 2009.

Global Capital plc announced that a meeting of the board of directors has been scheduled to be held on 27 March 2009 to approve the Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2008.

On Friday, the Treasury announced an issue of €60m, 3.6 per cent Malta Government Stock 2013 (IV) Fungibility Issue, subject to an over-allotment option of €20m). Applications open on Friday, March 27, 2009 and close Wednesday, April 1, 2009, or earlier at the discretion of the Accountant General and on Friday April 3, 2009 for sealed bids. The price of the bond will be issued on Tuesday March 24, 2009.

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].