Nine equities gain ground lifting index higher

MSE Trading Report for week ending September 20, 2018

The MSE Equity Total Return Index closed the four-day trading week 0.375% higher at 8,683.062 points – fully erasing last week's 0.126% loss. Turnover amounted to €1.6 million and was spread across 17 equities, of which four fell and nine gained ground.

Malta International Airport plc shares oscillated between a weekly low of €5.85 and an all-time high of €5.95, at which it closed – registering a 0.9% increase. The local airport operator's shares were active on 26 transactions of 57,162 shares. The equity has appreciated by 26.6% as at year-to-date.

FIMBank plc shares headed the list of gainers for the week, having advanced by 4.3%, as two trades of 71,000 shares were negotiated, closing at a six-month high of $0.605 – but still recording a 12.3% loss as at year-to-date.

HSBC Bank Malta plc shares fell by €0.05 or 2.8% across nine deals of 18,125 shares, and closed at €1.75. Last Tuesday, the bankdistributed an interim dividend of €0.026 to shareholders who were on the bank’s register as at August 17, 2018.

Bank of Valletta plc shares closed unchanged at €1.48, despite having reached a weekly high of €1.495 and a low of €1.47. The banking equity witnessed 36 transactions of 157,080 shares.

Lombard Bank Malta plc shares traded flat at €2.42 on one trade of 22,300 shares.

Mapfre Middlesea plc, recorded a 0.5% loss in its share price – partially erasing last week's 1.7% gain. The investments and insurance services equity witnessed two deals of 1,152 shares, and closed at €1.84.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (SFC) shares recouped from their intra-week low of €7, having closed the week 2.1% higher at €7.35. The food and beverage supplier's shares were executed over six transactions of 5,720 shares. SFC shares are down 13.7% as at year-to-date.

Last Wednesday, SFC published the group’s unaudited financial statements for the six-month period ended July 31, 2018. The group registered a 4.1% increase in turnover over the corresponding period last year, as turnover reached €51.2 million. This translated to a 5.4% growth in operating profit, which stood at €7.2 million.

One of the main drivers for this positive performance was an upturn of 2.8% in the beer and branded beverages segment, which represents over half of the group’s performance. The beverage and food importation companies also improved their contribution to profit, as revenues were up by 5.5%. Similarly, the operation of franchised food retailing establishments maintained the steady growth, with an increase in turnover of 3.5% and an increase of 5% in the segment’s result. This growth was registered across the 14 restaurants operated by Food Chain Ltd. Profit before tax from continuing operations was registered at €6.6 million, 8% higher than the previous year.

This was the first reporting period following the Trident Estates plc spin-off, representing a reduction in profit from discontinued operation of €62,000 compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, earnings per share increased by 5.7% to €0.204 for the six-month period, compared to the €0.193 in the same period last year.

The board of directors has resolved to distribute an interim dividend, out of tax exempt profits, of €0.0333 per share on October 10, to all shareholders on the register as at the close of business of September 26, 2018.

Trident Estates plc shares closed unchanged at €1.34, as 26,331 shares changed ownership over eight trades.

Malta Properties Company plc shares increased by 1%, as three deals of 36,000 shares were concluded, to close at €0.51.

MIDI plc shares partially recouped from last week's 3.5% loss, having advanced by 2.7%. The property management equity was active on five trades of 12,800 shares and closed at €0.565 – registering a significant 61.4% rally as at year-to-date.

In the same sector, Malita Investments plc shares closed unchanged at €0.87 for the second consecutive week. The equity was executed across two transactions of 34,799 shares.

The telecommunications services provider GO plc recorded a 1.7% gain in its share price. The equity was negotiated across 22 deals of 169,407 shares, and closed €0.06 higher at €3.60 – a 24-week high.

MaltaPost plc shares extended last week's 2.5% increase, having appreciated by 2.4%. The postal services operator's shares were executed over two trades of 5,744 shares, closing €0.04 higher at €1.69 – a 13-week high. The equity has lost 20.3% as at year-to-date.

PG plc registered a €0.05 or 3.7% increase in its share price. The retail and supermarkets owner's shares witnessed 12 transactions of 73,888 shares and closed at €1.40 – a seven-month high.

Main Street Complex plc shares fell by 1.5% on one deal of 5,000 shares, closing at €0.645. Meanwhile, Tigne’ Mall plc shares slipped by 1% across four trades of 40,030 shares, to close at €0.99.

RS2 Software plc shares advanced by 1.7%, as nine transactions of 49,673 shares were negotiated, closing at €1.20.

In the corporate bond market, 38 issues were active, of which 15 advanced and 11 declined. Turnover increased minimally to €1.8 million, from last week's €1.5 million.

The 5.75% International Hotel Investments plc Unsecured € 2025 was the best performer, having appreciated by 4.2%, as four deals worth €52,307 were struck, closing at €110.39. Meanwhile, the 4% International Hotel Investments plc Unsecured € 2026, headed the list of fallers, having slipped by 1.3%, as seven trades worth €44,302 were negotiated, to close at €102.80.

The 3.5% Bank of Valletta plc € Notes 2030 S1 T1 was the most liquid issue, having witnessed a €248,210 turnover, closing unchanged at €101.

In the sovereign debt market, turnover amounted to €5.2 million and was spread across 18 issues, of which three advanced and 15 lost ground. The 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) headed the list of gainers, having extended last week's 0.3% gain by 0.2%. The long-dated issue was active on three trades worth €57,725, and closed at €105.

Meanwhile, the 1.5% MGS 2027 (I) registered the worst performance, having declined by 0.9%, as three trades worth €1 million where executed, to close at €101.59. The 4.8% MGS 2028 (I) was the most active issue, having witnessed a turnover of €1.8 million, closing 0.3% lower at €130.18.