Nine weeks of decline for MSE index

MSE Trading Report for week ending April 23, 2010

Nine weeks of decline for MSE index

The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Index slipped lower for the ninth week in succession, with this week’s loss amounting to a negligible 0.04 per cent to end the week at 3,491.182 points. Throughout the week trading volume returned to January levels as a total of 562,230 shares were traded, over half of which attributable to MaltaPost plc shares which volume outpaced all listed equities in recent weeks. Having ended the initial two sessions in decline, the Index seemed to be heading for a positive end on the week however yesterday’s session propelled the Index back in decline.

A total of 310 transactions worth almost Eur8.5m were executed across all traded securities during the week. In the equity market, 144 transactions were traded as trading value increased to Eur840,953. In the Corporate Bonds market 80 deals were executed for 663,363 nominal. In the Government Stocks market trading volume declined heavily as nearly 3.5m nominal was traded across 82 deals, while in the Treasury Bill market four transactions worth Eur3.1m were recorded.

In the midst of mixed sentiment across most active equities, MaltaPost plc seems to have become an investors’ preference as trading volume reached overwhelming levels in the first months of the year. On Friday’s session, the equity reached the yearly high of Eur0.82. For the third consecutive week the postal operator was the best performing equity, with this week’s gain amounting to 2.5 per cent or Eur0.02. Trading volume soared to 392,471 shares as 33 deals were executed as the price fluctuated between a low of Eur0.799 and a weekly high of Eur0.82. On the year the equity’s performance stands at 17.14 per cent in positive territory.

Outlook in the financial sector remained bleak as three out of the four active equities lost further ground, Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) was this week’s only gainer and the most traded equity as 43 deals of 40,434 shares were executed. On the week, the Bank gained 0.94 per cent or Eur0.031 as it closed yesterday’s session at Eur3.33. BOV only lost some ground in the initial trading day, closing up on three of the remaining sessions.

Conversely, HSBC Bank Malta plc posted another weekly loss despite having closed two sessions up. The equity’s price fluctuated between a low of Eur3.01 and a high of Eur3.09 reached on Thursday and Friday, however slipped back to Eur3.05 during yesterday’s session to end the week 0.97 per cent down. Trading volume declined to 22,500 shares dealt over 30 transactions.

Similarly, Lombard Bank plc edged 0.68 per cent in decline as the equity closed the week at Eur2.93 after having traded at a low of Eur2.86 on Tuesday. A total of 2,300 shares were traded over five deals. On Friday the Bank announced that at the Annual General Meeting, the Board approved all five ordinary resolutions on the Agenda, including a gross dividend of Eur0.10 per share.

Meanwhile, Middlesea Insurance plc posted a loss of 0.71 per cent after the equity tumbled by 6 per cent last week. Trading volume almost doubled on the week as 21,600 shares were dealt over nine deals, with the insurance firm’s share price reaching Eur0.70.  

Malta International Airport plc regained some of last week’s losses as the equity closed 0.97 per cent or Eur0.03 up on the week. The equity’s price reached a low of Eur3.10 and a high Eur3.15 as over 9,000 shares were negotiated over nine transactions. This week’s gain adds further strength to the equity’s year-to-date performance which stands at a healthy 30.42 per cent.

Likewise, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc closed up after closing flat the previous week. Only three deals of 2,526 shares were executed as the equity gained 0.58 per cent or Eur0.01 to close the week at Eur1.73. Since the beginning of the year the equity gained 1.76 per cent or Eur0.03.

International Hotel Investments plc recouped all of last week’s losses as the equity closed the week at Eur0.801, registering a minimal gain of 0.13 per cent. Trading volume declined from 10,072 shares traded last week to 4,473 shares on just two transactions. Meanwhile, Medserv plc closed the week unchanged at Eur4.30 as 61,400 shares were traded across six deals.

From the IT sector both active equities closed in the red. Loqus Holdings plc was the worst performer having lost Eur0.12 or 37.5% across three deals of over 4,300 shares. On the other hand, RS2 Software plc edged slightly lower on the week as the share price fell by 0.21 per cent on one deal of 1,000 shares with the equity closing the week at Eur0.479. On Tuesday, the Company announced a drop in the Group’s  pre-tax profits to Eur431,247 from Eur654,234 the previous year. A net dividend of Eur0.022 per share will be recommended to the AGM to be paid out to shareholders who appear on the shareholders’ list as at close of trading on May 7, 2010.

Meanwhile, 6pm Holdings plc announced an increase in profitability to £150,265 (£55,842 in 2008)  mainly due to the cost saving measures adopted by the company, which were enough to make up for the fall in revenue. The Board of Directors does not recommend the payment of a dividend.

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].