Index ends week and month in negative territory

MSE Trading Report for week ending August 31, 2018

The MSE Equity Total Return Index erased last week's minimal recovery, having slipped by 0.661%, closing at 8,513.44 points – thus resulting in a drop of 0.725% in August. Activity last week was spread across 20 equities of which 12 lost ground and seven advanced – totalling to a turnover of €1.9 million – up from last week's €1.4 million.


In the banking sector,Lombard Bank Malta plc shares extended the previous week's 4% advance, having increased by 0.8%, as two transactions of 11,850 shares were executed, closing at a 16-month high of €2.42 – registering a 5.2% gain in August.


Bank of Valletta plc shares recouped by 0.7%, after having registered six consecutive weekly declines. The banking equity witnessed the highest turnover of €472,334 and closed at €1.51 – down by 2% in August.


HSBC Bank Malta plc shares slipped by 5% over 11 deals of 55,713 shares, to close at €1.71 – down by 8.6% in August.


GlobalCapital plc shares headed the list of fallers for the week. The insurance and investments services provider registered a 4.7% loss in its share price, as 150 shares were negotiated across one transaction. The equity closed at €0.286 and recorded a 4.7% loss for the month.


In the same sector, Mapfre Middlesea plc shares fell by €0.03 or 1.6%, as four deals of 13,923 shares were concluded, closing at €1.86 – recording a 5.1% loss in August.


On Tuesday, after market close, PG plc published its statements for the financial year ending April 30, 2018, reporting a profit before tax of €11.1 million – a 2.5% increase over the previous year. Turnover for the year was €99.8 million, 8.9% higher than the year ended in 2017.


This revenue growth mainly reflects the increased maturity of the PAMA Shopping Village, as well as the fact that this was the first full year of operations for the said retail mall. As expected, the group also incurred increased direct costs in line with the additional revenues, as well as higher marketing expenses, administrative overheads and employment costs. The group registered an operating profit of €11.7 million, translating to a 2.7% increase on the previous period.


The board of directors has resolved to distribute a net interim dividend of €0.023611 per share, to be paid on September 5, 2018, to all registered shareholders as at August 24, 2018.


The retail and supermarkets owner's shares witnessed 10 deals of 48,500 shares, and closed 0.7% higher at €1.38.


International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) shares partially erased the previous week's 3.9% decline, having advanced by 2.4%. The hoteliers' equity was active on 15 deals of 379,442 shares and closed the month unchanged at €0.63.


On Friday, IHI announced that it has registered a loss before tax of €1.8 million for the first six months of 2018, compared to a loss of €2.3 million in the corresponding period last year. In terms of revenue, the group recorded an increase of €1.6 million over the previous period, to reach €116.9 million. This reflects an overall operational improvement, as well as the effect of the consolidation of the Corinthia Palace Hotel which was acquired in April 2018. No further dividend was declared following the net dividend of €0.02 declared in June 2018.


Malta International Airport plc shares added to the previous week's 0.9% decrease, having slipped by €0.05 or 0.9% across 30 transactions of 69,529 shares, closing at €5.55 – up 2.8% in August and 18.1% as at year-to-date.


MIDI plc shares stayed faithful to their winning streak, having closed in the green for the fourth consecutive week. The property management company's shares appreciated by €0.035 or 6.5% as 307,900 shares changed ownership over 17 deals, closing the month 18.8% higher at €0.57 – rallying by 62.9% as at year-to-date.


This positive performance was reflective of the positive financial results for the first six months of 2018 ending 30 June 2018 that were published last Thursday. MIDI Group registered a profit after tax of €10.5 million, compared to a loss of €1.7 million registered for the same period last year. Revenue for the six months amounted to €35.5 million (2017: €1.9 million) of which €33.6 million (2017: €185k) was generated from sale of property. Operating profit from sale of property amounted to €13.4 million (2017: Loss of €1.4 million). The property management activities of the Group generated revenues amounting to €1.8 million (2017: €1.7 million) and an operating profit of €968k (2017: €673k). As a result, earnings per share was up from negative €0.0078 last year to a positive €0.0492 this year.


In the same sector, Malita Investments plc shares increased by 2.3%, as 31,400 shares changed hands over five trades, to close at €0.89 – up by 2.3% for the month. The companyis scheduled to distribute a net interim dividend of €0.00858 per share, on Friday, to all registered shareholders as at August 23, 2018.


Malta Properties Company plc shares declined by 4.3% across two deals of 2,288 shares, closing at €0.488 – registering a 2.4% loss in August.


Medserv plc shares extended the previous week's 1.8% decrease, having slipped by €0.04 or 3.7%, as 7,900 shares were executed over two transactions.The oil and gas logistics services provider's shares closed at €1.05, recording a 5.4% loss in August.


On Monday, Medserv published its half-yearly report, showing a loss before tax of €2.7 million, translating to a loss reduction of 20.3%.  Turnover for the first half of 2018 amounted to €18.1 million, 33.2% higher than the €13.6 million registered in the corresponding period last year. The increase in revenue is partly a result of increased oil and gas exploration activities, and engineering services in Malta and Cyprus.


Results were impacted by costs incurred to set up the facilities necessary for the three-year contract secured in Egypt, and the contract related to exploration activities taking place offshore Cyprus. These contracts are expected to generate positive earnings over the coming months. The company’s outlook is optimistic, as the board is confident that EBITDA will be improved in the coming months and years, as current works in progress should start to generate positive cash flows. The board has decided not to recommend an interim dividend.


Tigne Mall plc shares slipped by 2.1% over five deals of 40,000 shares, to close at €0.95. Shareholders on the shopping mall owner’s register as at August 17, 2018 were distributed a net dividend payment of €0.0128 per share last Friday.


OnWednesday will be Main Street Complex plc's dividend cut-off date. Eligible shareholders will receive a net dividend of €0.00628 on September 14, 2018. The equity was not active last week.


Plaza Centres plc shares added to the previous week's 2% increase, having advanced by a further 2% across eight transactions of 34,600 shares, closing at €1.04.


The telecommunications services provider GO plc registered a 1.2% loss in its share price after two consecutive weekly gains. The equity was active on seven trades of 11,500 shares and closed €0.04 lower at €3.40 – recording a marginal 0.6% loss in August.


RS2 Software plc shares closed the week unchanged at €1.19, despite having reached a weekly low of €1.12 and a weekly high of €1.20 – registering a 1.6% loss in August. The I.T. equity was negotiated over 24 trades of 93,259 shares. During the first half of 2018, the group registered total revenues of €15.6 million, compared to the €10.6 million recorded in the same period last year.


This significant increase in revenue was brought about by the implementation of IFRS15, the new revenue recognition Standard. After eliminating the effect of such adjustments, the group revenue figure would read €9.0 million, a reduction of 15% year-on-year. Gross profit for the first six months of the year stands at €9.3 million, compared with the €4.9million in the previous year. After eliminating the effects of the adjustments brought about by the implementation of IFRS15, gross profit would read €2.7million. Due to further substantial investment in infrastructure and business development, the Board is not declaring an interim dividend.


Loqus Holdings plcshares declined by 2.2% on one deal of 4,500 shares, to close at €0.09 – up €0.03 in August.


MaltaPost plc shares fell by €0.04 or 2.4%, as 3,370 shares were executed over three transactions, closing at €1.61 – recording a 2.4% loss for the month.


The food and beverage supplier Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (SFC) registered a 2% decrease in its share price, as five deals of 27,193 shares were concluded, to close €0.15 lower at €7.35 – up 0.7% in August.


SFC's spin-off Trident Estates plc's shares fell by 0.8%, as two trades of 7,843 shares were negotiated, closing at €1.32.


In the corporate bond market,41 issues were active, of which16 advanced and 12 declined. Turnover fell to €2 million, from €3.6 million.


Investors shied away from the sovereign debt market as all of the 20 traded issues closed in negative territory.Turnover totalled to €2.4 million – up from last week's €1.8 million.