Middlesea Insurance shares up by 17 per cent

MSE Trading Report for week ending May 21, 2010

Middlesea Insurance shares up by 17 per cent

Despite the negative performance experienced by major foreign markets during the past week, local equities were resilient as the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Index ended the week in positive territory. The positive outlook was backed by higher trading volume and positive sentiment surrounding financial equities. In fact nearly all financials closed the week in positive territory. This week’s gain amounted to 0.87 per cent, which reversed last week’s losses as five equities posted losses, three closed flat, while seven ended in the green.  

Transactions across all traded securities decreased to 412 deals on the week, due to lower transactions both in the Corporate and Government Bond markets. In the equity market, 363,179 shares were dealt over 184 deals, up from 175 deals executed the previous week. In the Corporate Bonds market 502,020 nominal was dealt across 67 deals, while in the Government Stocks market 157 transactions of over 4.9m nominal were executed. In the Treasury Bills market four transactions worth Eur5m were traded.

Encouraging first quarter results published by Middlesea Insurance plc on Monday gave the equity’s share price some steam to move to a weekly high of Eur0.891 reached on Wednesday. In addition the equity’s performance year-to-date no longer stands in negative territory due to this week’s hefty gain of over 17 per cent. Fuelled by higher trading volume, this week’s gain strengthens further investors’ outlook towards the equity after the price had tumbled towards the fourth quarter of last year. The insurance firm reported a profit before taxation of Eur2.8m for the first quarter of 2010, which compares favourably to a Eur5.3m loss during the corresponding period of the previous year. Throughout the week nearly 59,000 shares were dealt over 27 deals, as the equity closed the week at Eur0.88.

Positive performances during the opening and closing sessions pushed the share price of Bank of Valletta plc in positive territory for the first time in three weeks. The Bank’s equity posted a 3.37 per cent gain despite lower trading volume as 52,080 shares were dealt across 44 deals. BOV closed the week at the highest price traded of Eur3.37 having traded at a low of Eur3.26. This results in a year-to-date gain of 8.85 per cent.

HSBC Bank Malta plc regained all of last week’s losses to move back to Eur3.06, hence up by 0.82 per cent or Eur0.025 on the week. Trading volume declined for the second week, as 18,601 shares were traded over 17 transactions.

During yesterday’s session, Lombard Bank plc gained 2.46 per cent on low trading volume to move higher on the week by 0.69 per cent, after having shed 1.72 per cent during the mid-week session. Nearly 8,000 shares changed hands over 18 deals, with the equity’s price now standing at Eur2.92.

The only financial equity which failed to register a change was FIMBank plc which closed the week at $1.08, while Global Capital plc plunged by 11.76 per cent or Eur0.20 over an insignificant volume of 2,230 shares.

Similarly, International Hotel Investments plc ended the week in the red after the equity lost 3.53 per cent during Friday’s session over 596 shares, after having closed the opening two sessions of the week at this year’s high of Eur0.85. On Monday Island Hotels Group plc lost 0.99 per cent over two deals, while one deal of 10,000 shares in Plaza Centres plc depreciated the price by 0.55 per cent or Eur0.009 to close at Eur1.63.

MaltaPost plc shares started the week with a 2.27 per cent gain which was maintained through the week. On Monday the equity reached a new yearly high of Eur0.90, the price at which all 13 transactions were executed. Meanwhile, trading volume declined further to 40,745 shares.

Likewise, Malta International Airport plc managed to end the week in positive territory at Eur3.15 after the equity lost Eur0.05 on Tuesday however retracting all the losses to close the week with a 0.32 per cent gain.

GO plc was the most liquid equity of the week as 66,140 shares were traded over 14 deals. The equity’s price barely fluctuated, closing flat for the second week running at Eur2.12. Similarly, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc closed unchanged at Eur1.80 as 18,497 shares were dealt across 12 deals.  

In the IT Sector, RS2 Software plc was the overall best performer as the equity gained 6.88 per cent or 0.033 over two deals of 27,200 shares, to end the week at Eur0.513, while one deal of 500 shares in Crimsonwing plc left the equity’s price unchanged at Eur0.45.

One deal of 5,000 shares in Medserv plc depreciated the price by 0.7 per cent to Eur4.25, the lowest closing price for the month of May.

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].