Banks drag index lower

The MSE Equity Total Return Index extended last week's 1.428% decline, having slipped by 0.487%, to close at 8,563.338 points. Turnover amounted to €2 million and was spread across 16 equities of which six fell and four gained ground.


FIMBank plc shares headed the list of fallers, having dropped by 5.5% as 47,484 shares changed ownership across five deals, closing $0.03 lower at $0.515. On Tuesday, the board of the trade finance bankmet in London and approved the interim financial results for the first six months of 2018. During the period, the group posted a net profit of $6.1 million, translating to a substantial 47% increase on the previous year’s $4.1 million.


Net operating income increased by 18%, driven by increases in all segments of income, including net interest income, net fee and commission income, and dividend income. This was the result of higher gross yields and lower cost on funding sources, as the group was more selective in its funding sources.  A net gain from foreign currency operations of $0.9 million was also registered, compared to a $2 million loss during the same period last year.


Operating expenses for the period were down by 13% to $18.5 million, reflecting the deconsolidation of Latamfactors and the non-recurrence of regulatory costs booked in the prior period. This, coupled with the increase in operating income, translated in a threefold increase in net operating income, to $9.8 million.


With regards to the financial position, the group’s Capital Adequacy Ratio stood at 17.3%. The board of directors has decided that it will not be recommending the payment of an interim dividend.


HSBC Bank Malta plc shares followed suit, having decreased by €0.09 or 4.8%, as 15 transactions of 68,127 shares were negotiated, closing at an 11-week low of €1.80. On Tuesday was the cut-off date for the €0.026 net interim dividend eligibility. The interim dividend will be paid on September 18, 2018 to shareholders who are on the bank’s register as at August 17, 2018.


Bank of Valletta plc shares extended their losing streak, having closed in negative territory for the fifth consecutive week. The banking equity slipped by 1.3% as 695,522 shares changed ownership over 138 deals, to close at €1.52 after touching a weekly low of €1.50 and a high of €1.54.


Lombard Bank Malta plc shares closed unchanged at €2.30, despite having reached a weekly low of €2.28. The equity was negotiated across 10 trades of 22,276 shares.


The insurance and investments services provider Mapfre Middlesea plc extended the previous week's 2% loss in its share price – having slipped by 3.6%, as two trades of 635 shares were negotiated, closing €0.07 lower at €1.89 – a 23-week low.


International Hotel Investments plcshares recorded the best performance for the week, having advanced by €0.04 or 6.7% – partially recouping the previous week's 7.7% loss. The hoteliers’ equity witnessed four deals of 15,000 shares, closing at €0.64.


The telecommunications provider GO plc registered a 0.6% increase in its share price, as 12 transactions of 42,657 shares were executed. The equity oscillated between a weekly low of €3.32 and a high of €3.40 – at which it closed.


Malta Properties Company plc shares registered a 1.9% loss, after three weekly gains. The property management company's shares were active on seven trades of 65,985 shares, and closed at €0.51.


In the same sector, MIDI plc shares added to the previous week's 2.9% increase, having appreciated by 5.3% over 12 transactions of 428,378 shares, to close at an all-time high of €0.52.


Malita Investments plc shares closed unchanged at €0.87, despite having reached a weekly low of €0.85. The property management company's shares witnessed 10 deals of 276,007 shares. Meanwhile, Trident Estates plc shares closed unchanged at €1.33, as four trades of 6,385 shares were executed.


PG plc shares closed in the green for the third consecutive week, having increased by 0.7% as 25,735 shares changed hands over three deals, closing at €1.37. The retail and supermarkets ownerannounced that its board of directors shall be meeting on August 28, 2018, in order to consider and approve the financial statements for the year ended April 30, 2018, and the distribution of an interim dividend.


Malta International Airport plc shares traded unchanged at €5.65 across four transactions of 2,530 shares.


The shopping mall owner Plaza Centres plc registered a 2% decline in its share price – extending the previous week's 1.9% loss. The equity was active on seven trades of 46,775 shares, and closed at €1.


MaltaPost plc shares traded flat at €1.65 on one deal of 2,000 shares.


RS2 Software plc shares closed unchanged at €1.19, despite having reached a weekly low of €1.17. The I.T. equity was negotiated across three transactions of 19,146 shares.


Santumas Shareholding plc’s board meeting is due to be held on August 23, 2018 to consider and approve the company’s audited financial statements for the financial year ended April 30, 2018. The equity was not active during the week.


In the corporate bond market, 35 issues were active of which gainers and losers tallied to 13. Turnover fell to €1.4 million from the previous week's €2.1 million.


The 4% International Hotel Investments plc Unsecured € 2026 headed the list of gainers having appreciated by 1.3% over three deals worth €15,600, to close at €104. Meanwhile, the 5.5% Pendergardens Developments plc Secured € 2020 Series I was the worst performer, having sagged by 3.8%, as three trades worth €14,738 were negotiated, closing at €101.80.


The 6% MeDirect Bank plc Subordinated Unsecured € 2019-2024 was the most liquid issue, having witnessed a turnover of €181,532. The bond closed 2.1% lower at €102.51.


In the sovereign debt market turnover fell from €2.8 million to €1.3 million. Activity was spread across 23 issues of which 20 fell and three advanced. The 4.45% MGS 2032 (II) was the best performer having increased by 0.5% on four transactions worth €191,187, to close at €133.41.


The 2.2% MGS 2035 (I) headed the list of fallers, having stumbled by 1.5% on one trade worth €4,150, closing at €103.75. Meanwhile, the 2.3% MGS 2029 (II) was the most active issue, having witnessed a turnover of €238,488 and closed at €107.60. This issue fell by 0.3%, after having advanced by 0.8% in the previous week.




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