MSE index up 6% as BOV and HSBC rally

Four consecutive days of gains for the Malta Stock Exchange Index resulted in an increase of 6.02 per cent on the week, closing at 3,189.564 points. Gains from Monday to Thursday were of 1.682 per cent, 2.658 per cent, 1.95 per cent, and 0.251 per cent respectively. However, yesterday’s trading session was contradictory to the whole week, as the Index lost 0.623 per cent. This week’s gains were highly characterised by high gains in the most capitalised equities. The Index’s year-to-date performance has now decreased from a negative 6.23 per cent to a negative 0.58 per cent, having also been in positive territory during Thursday’s session. This week 12 equities were traded, as seven closed in positive territory, one remained unchanged, while four closed in negative territory.

A total of 332 deals were registered over the week with a turnover of over EUR 13.08m, with almost half the deals being registered in the equity market, as 157 deals were executed for a total value of EUR 591,272, more than double the value traded last week. In the government bond market 69 transactions were registered for a value traded of over EUR 1.93m, while a total of 94 deals were registered in the corporate bond market for a value of over EUR 1.5m. Trading in the treasury bills market also increased, as a total of 12 transactions were registered for a total value of over EUR 9.05m.

Bank of Valletta plc sustained its upward momentum, having closed the week at EUR 3.36. BOV registered a rise of 8.74 per cent, as 87,625 shares changed hands on 55 deals. The equity traded at a weekly high of EUR 3.45, reached on Thursday, while trading at a low of EUR 3.098. During the week, BOV registered gains of 3.56 per cent, 4.69 per cent, and 4.51 per cent, with losses of 1.46 per cent and 2.6 per cent being registered on Wednesday and Friday respectively, and therefore registering a rise of EUR 0.27 on the week. As at yesterday’s price BOV’s year-to-date positive performance now stands at 16.2 per cent.

The share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc registered a rise of 6.5 per cent this week, as the equity registered the most deals, with 81,792 shares changing hands across 58 transactions, for a total value of EUR 230,515. The closing share price for the week was EUR 2.801, an increase of EUR 0.171. HSBC declined only on Thursday, having increased from Monday to Wednesday by 1.62 per cent, 4.87 per cent, and 3.21 per cent respectively. The equity traded at a low of EUR 2.63 and a high of EUR 2.915.

FIMBank plc recovered some of last week’s losses, registering a marginal rise of USD0.005, closing the week at USD1.20, with 21,000 shares changing hands on four deals.

Lombard Bank plc was the only banking equity to register losses, having declined by 1.57 per cent. Lombard closed the week at EUR 2.50, a loss of EUR 0.04, as 1,910 shares changed hands over four deals.

International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) was the best performing equity this week, with a solid rise of 10 per cent. The equity registered three deals of 2,583 shares, closing the week at EUR 0.88, appreciating by EUR 0.08. With this rise, IHI’s year-to-date performance is now at a negative of only 1.68 per cent.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (SFC) regained its year-to-date positive performance, closing the week with a rise of almost 6.2 per cent, having traded only on Tuesday with a single trade of 840 shares. SFC closed the week at EUR 1.699, a rise of EUR 0.099. On Wednesday afternoon, the Group announced that the Board of Directors approved the group’s financial statements and half yearly report for the six month period ending on July 31, 2009.

The Group saw a decline of 4.3 per cent in its Revenue, from EUR 35.01 million in 2008 to EUR 33.5 million in 2009. The Board stated that “approximately half of the decline in turnover occurred in the beverage importation segment, mainly as a result of the reduction of excise duties on spirits which became effective as of January 1, 2009.” On the other hand, Profit before tax for the period increased from EUR 1.57 million in 2008 to EUR 2.01 million in 2009, a rise of almost 27.8 per cent. While profit for the period after tax and discontinued business increased from EUR 0.98m to EUR 1.81million an increase of 84%. Earnings per share from continuing operations during the period increased from EUR 0.04 to EUR 0.061. The Board of Directors also resolved to distribute, out of tax exempt profits, an interim dividend of EUR 0.01 per share on all ordinary shares. This dividend will be paid on October 23, 2009 to the ordinary shareholders on the Register as at the close of business on October 9, 2009. This will amount to a total interim net dividend of EUR 300,000.

The share price of Malta International Airport plc (MIA) continued to appreciate this week, having closed the week at EUR 2.374, a rise of EUR 0.144. MIA registered three deals of 1,053 shares, thus increasing by almost 6.5 per cent on the week.

MaltaPost plc traded only on Thursday, closing at EUR 0.70, increasing by 1.45 per cent, with 800 shares changing hands on a single transaction.

Medserv plc closed the week unchanged at EUR 3.745, as 750 changed hands on a single deal.

Middlesea Insurance plc declined by 2.44 per cent this week, closing the week at EUR 1.60, depreciating by EUR 0.04, having registered two trades of 1,100 shares.

Plaza Centres plc closed the week at EUR 1.635, having retreated by EUR 0.005, as 1,200 shares changed hands on a single deal.

A marginal decrease of 0.19 per cent in the share price of GO plc occurred during the week as the price fell by EUR 0.001 in three trading sessions. The equity closed the week at EUR 1.577, with 24,400 shares changing hands on 24 transactions.

During the week, Melita Capital plc announced that the EUR 20 million Bond maturing between 2014 and 2016, with an over allocation option of EUR 5 million, was over-subscribed.

This article, which was compiled by Jesmond Mizzi, Managing Director of 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].