Positive week for MSE Index

MSE Trading Report for week ending April 30, 2010

Positive week for MSE Index

The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Index closed the week in positive territory after nine consecutive negative trading weeks. An upward move of 0.42 per cent was recorded in the Index attributed to a positive performance by the vast majority of traded equities, despite a hefty decline in trading volume. Outlook in the financial sector improved slightly, as none of the active equities closed in the red, although the gains registered remain rigid. Thirteen equities were traded over the week as only two closed in decline, while seven gained and another two ended the week flat.

A total of 334 transactions worth over Eur7.2m were executed across all traded securities during the week. In the equity market, 184 transactions were dealt as trading value declined to Eur596,848. In the Corporate Bond market 44 deals were executed for 319,920 nominal. In the Government Stocks market activity increased as over 3.8m nominal was traded across 105 transactions, while in the Treasury Bill market one single transaction worth Eur2.2m was executed.

Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) closed the week up when yesterday the share price gained 1.97 per cent having traded in both positive and negative territory during the week. Liquidity increased on the week, as investors awaited the company’s results with 88,156 shares dealt over 77 deals. The equity closed the week 1.05 per cent up at Eur3.365, after having tumbled to a low of Eur3.29 following the reported negative financial results of Middlesea Insurance plc for the year ended December 31, 2009, in which BOV is a major shareholder. After close of trading yesterday, BOV announced its interim financial statements for the six month period ending March 31, 2010. A profit before tax of Eur47.5m was reported, which compares favourably to Eur6.3m earned in the first six months of the previous financial year. The Bank also declared an interim dividend of Eur0.075 gross per share which will be paid on May 28, 2010 to members on the Register as at close of business on May 12, 2010.

As is usually the case the two largest banks tend to move in similar fashion, however, in recent weeks HSBC Bank Malta plc (HSBC) share price failed to keep up to the trend. The share price seemed to be heading to a weekly gain, however the last two trading sessions depreciated the price to its initial position of Eur3.05. Meanwhile, trading volume more than doubled as over 55,000 shares were traded over 52 deals.

Similarly, FIMBank plc traded unchanged at $1.08 as just three deals of 6,885 shares were executed. Lombard Bank plc was this week’s other financial equity to gain ground as the equity closed the week 0.51 per cent up to a closing price of Eur2.945. Trading volume remained low when compared to its larger peers as 6,400 shares were dealt across five deals.

Middlesea Insurance plc traded unchanged at last week’s closing price of Eur0.70 as trading volume declined heavily to just over 5,000 shares from 21,600 shares traded last week. On Tuesday the insurance firm announced that the Group registered a loss of Eur55.2m for the year ending December 31, 2009 compared to Eur20.6m the previous year. This loss is stated after accounting for the full impairment of the investment of its Italian subsidiary, Progress Assicurazioni S.p.A of Eur63.1m. For the second time in twenty-five years the firm is not declaring the payment of a dividend.

On lower trading volume, MaltaPost plc maintained its run of positive results as the postal operator gained a further 3.41 per cent to end the week at Eur0.848. On Tuesday, the equity reached a two-year high of Eur0.85 after having lost some ground in the opening session. Trading volume declined heavily to 18,801 shares from 392,471 shares active last week.

Likewise, Malta International Airport plc gained 2.24 per cent or Eur0.07 on a mere 600 shares on the second trading day of the week, while closing flat mid-week as 2,100 shares were traded. Conversely, GO plc edged 0.09 per cent lower to end the week at Eur2.168 as nearly 13,000 shares were traded throughout the initial two sessions.

A single trade of 2,000 shares dragged down the share price of Medserv plc by 1.4 per cent to Eur4.24 after the equity spent the last four weeks at the Eur4.30 mark.

International Hotel Investment plc closed up for the second consecutive week as another minimal gain was recorded. In fact on Friday the hotels operator posted a 0.12 per cent gain to close the week at Eur0.802. Similarly, during the closing session Grand Harbour Marina plc (GHM) jumped almost 6 per cent to a 17-month high of Eur1.98. It was reported in the media that, GHM together with Camper & Nicholson’s Marinas International, have submitted a tender for a 50-year concession for the operation of a marina in Rhodes.

From the IT sector two equities were active as Loqus Holdings plc closed unchanged at Eur0.20 on higher trading volume than usual, as 9,576 shares were active across seven transactions. On the other hand, RS2 Software plc recovered the loss recorded last week as the equity edged minimally up to end the week at Eur0.48 as 11,500 shares were negotiated.

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].