Index down as positive sentiment fades

MSE Trading Report for week ending August 6, 2010

Index down as positive sentiment fades

The four week positive streak enjoyed by the local Index came to an end this week due to hefty losses recorded on Friday by nearly all traded equities. In fact the losses registered yesterday clawed down the gains witnessed in another two trading sessions to push the Malta Stock Exchange Index 1.31 per cent lower on the week. Investors’ mixed sentiment pushed the Index from positive to negative territory as gains were registered on Monday and Wednesday. However these gains were eroded by losses recorded in the closing two sessions as the Index lost over 2 per cent on Friday. Over the week out of the 12 active equities three gained, four ended lower, while five closed flat.

The total amount of deals recorded across all traded securities amounted to 385 transactions with turnover reaching Eur4.3m.  In the equity market 151 deals of 372,082 shares were executed for a total value of Eur654,546. In the Government Stocks market over 2.1m nominal was traded over 115 transactions totalling over Eur2.2m, while in the Corporate Bonds market turnover reached more than Eur1.1m. One deal in Treasury Bills was traded across one deal of Eur249,731. The recent high volumes registered in  corporate and government bonds on the secondary market was halted as both retail and institutional investors focus their attention to the government stock issue. In fact, the total applications submitted amounted to a whopping Eur267.5million.

Plaza Centres plc was this week’s top performer having moved 7.52 per cent higher to finish the week at Eur1.63. The equity was active on Wednesday, a week after the publication of the company’s interim financial statements, which showed an increase in turnover of 2.26 per cent. However, this gain was only backed by 1,837 shares dealt across one deal.

Negative sentiment surrounded financial equities, nevertheless Bank of Valletta plc managed to hold onto the gains recorded early in the week despite losing nearly two per cent in the closing two sessions. Hence this week’s gain amounted to 0.77 per cent as the equity closed yesterday’s session at Eur3.28. Trading volume declined to 43,460 shares dealt across 46 transactions.

HSBC Bank Malta plc shares failed to live up to the upbeat enjoyed in the opening session when investors pushed the equity’s price up by two per cent following last Friday’s positive half yearly results. However, during yesterday’s session the equity returned to its opening price of Eur3.00. Trading volume remained in last week’s territory, while trading value declined slightly to Eur154,677.

Middlesea Insurance plc shares were the week’s worst performers having lost a hefty 8.3 per cent over a meagre six deals of over 5,000 shares. The equity lost nearly four per cent on Tuesday over a thin trade of 495 shares, losing a further 4.55 per cent during yesterday’s session on four deals of 1,300 shares to close the week at Eur1.05.

International Hotel Investments plc was a main contributor to this week’s decline given its high capitalisation on the local stock exchange. Following two positive trading weeks, the hotel operator lost 6.67 per cent or Eur0.06 over six transactions of 14,101 shares. The equity was only active during the opening and closing sessions as it closed yesterday’s session at Eur0.84.

Likewise, Lombard Bank plc closed the week on the negative side having posted a 1.06 per cent loss. On the week liquidity increased significantly as 27,640 shares were traded across eight deals. Once again FIMBank plc closed the week in the red after one deal of 150,000 shares depreciated the equity’s price by two per cent to end the week at $0.98. On Thursday, the Bank published its interim financial statements reporting a 16.4 per cent increase in net profit.

Meanwhile, Medserv plc posted a 1.9 per cent or Eur0.08 gain. The equity was active across three trading days as a total of 7,000 shares were dealt across four deals with traded value reaching nearly Eur30,000.

MaltaPost plc shares failed to register a change in price as on Tuesday the equity managed to recoup all losses recorded in the opening session. In fact on Monday the equity lost all of the previous week’s gains, however it managed to regain the Eur0.90 level in the following session. A significant decline in trading value was recorded as nearly Eur5,000 was traded across 5,645 shares.

Malta International Airport plc also closed the week under review unchanged as all five trading days closed at Eur1.62. The equity’s price barely fluctuated as all 13 deals were executed between a low of Eur1.599 and a high of Eur1.62. Trading volume declined from over 66,000 shares traded last week to 44,200 shares. On Tuesday the company announced that passenger movements for the month of July increased by 15.8 per cent.

Despite the price volatility experienced by GO plc shares throughout the week, the equity closed flat at Eur1.90. Activity increased to nearly 21,000 shares. Meanwhile, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shares traded flat at Eur1.80 as one deal of 861 shares was executed.

This article, which was compiled by Jesmond Mizzi, Joint Managing Director of Atlas JMFS Investment Services Limited, does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. Atlas JMFS is licensed to conduct investment services by the MFSA and is a member firm of the Malta Stock Exchange. 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 Atlas JMFS at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on Tel: 21224410, or email [email protected].