MSE index turns positive as banks shares surge

MSE Trading Report for week ending July 31, 2009

MSE index turns positive as banks shares surge

The Malta Stock Exchange Index returned to positive territory this week as it gained 3.93%, closing at 3,235.154 points. The index which is now up 0.84% only registered losses on Thursday as bank shares surged during the week.

Trading in the equity market continued to increase this week, as shares traded increased by 66%. A total of 236 deals were registered, as 346,226 shares changed hands, for a total value of EUR 832,657. Over sixty per cent of the volume traded took place in HSBC Bank Malta plc (HSBC) and Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) shares with each trading over 109,000 shares.

A total of 386 deals were registered over the week with a turnover of over EUR 12.17m. In the corporate bond market 88 transactions were registered for a value traded of over EUR 1.23m, while a total of 47 transactions were registered in the government bond market for a value of over EUR 3.8m. In the treasury bills market a total of 11 transactions were registered for a total value of EUR 6.27m.

For the second consecutive week, all banking equities registered gains on the week. Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) was the best performing equity this week, as it registered a staggering increase of 11.03% after the interim directors’ statement was issued on Monday. BOV closed the week at EUR 2.999, an increase of EUR 0.298. The equity traded at a high of EUR 3.00 and a low of EUR 2.75.

The directors reported that during the three months from April to June, there were no material events that had an impact on the financial position of the Bank or the Group. They added that after the financial turmoil prevailing in the first six months of BOV’s financial year, there is a sense of cautious optimism is emerging in the international markets. As a result of improved capital market conditions, the third quarter saw a write-back of a proportion of the markdowns incurred on the Financial Markets and Investments book during the first six months. This effected BOV’s profitability, which was significantly higher than that reported for the half year. The directors also reported a sustained and encouraging growth in deposits of the Bank despite the issuance of new bond.

FIMBank plc continued its upward trend from last week, as it increased by USD 0.09. The closing price for the week was USD 1.29, a rise of 7.5%, as 29,071 shares changed hands across 13 transactions.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc was up again week-on-week for the fourth consecutive week. HSBC registered a rise of EUR 0.13, closing at EUR 2.98, thus registering an increase of 4.56%. HSBC traded at a high of EUR 3.00 and a low of EUR 2.85.

Yesterday HSBC Bank Malta plc announced the results for the six months ended June 30, 2009. Profit before tax for the period declined by EUR 11.8m to EUR 34.8m a drop of 25.3%. The Board declared an interim dividend of 7.7 euro cents per share (5.0euro cents net of tax).

Lombard Bank plc registered an increase of 1.96%, after last week’s marginal rise of EUR 0.001. Lombard closed the week at EUR 2.60, a rise of EUR 0.05, as 16,000 shares changed hands on 11 deals.

Malta International Airport plc (MIA) also registered an increase in its share price as it appreciated by EUR 0.12 yesterday, having traded 9,335 shares on eight deals. The closing share price for the week was EUR 2.35, a rise of almost 5.4%.

MIA issued its half yearly results yesterday reporting a drop in profit before tax from EUR 5.1m as at June 2008 to EUR 4.7 as at June 2009. In a statement accompanying the financial results the company explained that the drop in profits reflects the loss of revenues due to a downturn in passenger numbers and an increase in operating costs and depreciation charges. The company declared a net interim dividend of EUR 0.06 per share.

MaltaPost plc was the other equity to register a rise in its share price as it gained a marginal 0.14% on the week, closing the week at EUR 0.70, after trading 8,500 shares on seven transactions.

Crimsonwing plc, International Hotel Investments (IHI) and Medserv plc closed the week unchanged at EUR 0.39 (15,000 shares), EUR 0.899 (6,000 shares) and EUR 3.50 (12,000 shares) respectively.

In their Annual Financial Statements for year ended March 31, 2009 issued this week, Crimsonwing plc reported that revenue increased by 26.44% during the year, from EUR 9.55m to EUR 12.07m. However, the Company made a Net Loss after tax of EUR 499,932, compared to a Profit after tax of EUR 823,752 in 2008. The Earnings per share decreased from EUR 0.04 to a negative EUR 0.02. The Board of Directors did not recommend the payment of a final dividend.

RS2 Software plc, Go plc and Middlesea Insurance plc (MSI) all registered declines during the week.  RS2 fell by 4.27% to EUR 0.65, Go fell a minimal 0.06% to EUR 1.75 and MSI declined by 4.86% to close the week at EUR 1.76.

During the week, Plaza Centres plc announced their financial results for the six months ending June 30, 2009. The Company registered a Profit before tax of EUR 654,024, compared to EUR 596,459 in 2008, a rise of 9.65%.  Revenue rose from EUR 874,849 in 2008, EUR 979,378 in 2009, an increase of almost 12% mainly due to the new extension that was completed in 2008. The Board of Directors did not recommend the payment of an interim dividend.

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].