MSE Index lower amid low volumes

MSE Daily Trading Report, 29 July 2020

The MSE Equity Total Return Index changed course to negative as it lost 0.392%, reaching 8,089.655 points. Nine equities were active, of which two headed north while another five closed in the opposite direction. A total turnover of €37,835 was generated across 15 transactions.

Malta International Airport plc announced that the board approved the group’s interim financial statements for the six months ended June 30, 2020. A total of 1,017,850 passengers were welcomed during the first half of 2020, translating into a 68.7% drop when compared to the previous year. The year began on a positive note until the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe as stringent travel restrictions led to a 46.6% decline in aircraft movements and 48.1% drop in seat capacity. Traffic to and from Malta remained at an almost complete standstill until June, with just 822 take-offs and landings registered in the second quarter – of which 49% of the flights were humanitarian and repatriation operations. Meanwhile, the remaining were cargo flights, which registered a 3.7% increase in quarter two when compared to the same period of the previous year. Seat load factor declined to 67.7% versus the 79.9% recorded for the first half of 2019.

During the period under review, total revenue declined by 67%, from €44.6 million to €14.9 million, reflecting the significant downturn in traffic. Revenue from the airport segment dropped by 73% to €8.4 million while revenue generated from the retail and property segment lost 51% as it stood at €6.5 million. Notwithstanding, EBITDA of the group decreased by 90.5% over the previous year to a net loss of €2 million.

Having evaluated the overall position of the company in light of the current situation, the group re-considered the recommendation for the payment of a final net dividend to shareholders of €0.10 per share, announced on February 26, 2020. The board believes that, with a view to manage the company’s cash reserves in a moment of significant curtailment of cash inflows and in effort to preserve the company’s organisational set-up and structures, it is not prudent to recommend the payment of an interim dividend to shareholders and this so as to preserve the sustainability of the business and its operations.

The airport re-opened to commercial operations on July 1, 2020, with a limited flight schedule. Since the afore-mentioned date, the airport’s summer schedule has been updated regularly in order to reflect the most recent developments and, currently, offers direct connections to more than 70 airports. The airport remains committed to working with government and partner airlines to gradually restore the island’s connectivity.

Nevertheless, having re-assessed the current situation and its adverse effects on the group’s revenue generation, as well as taken into account the uncertainty that still prevails, the company announced that it does not have sufficiently reliable data to be able to provide dependable forecasts that can give accurate guidance to the market on the same basis as that given in January 2020.

In the light of the gradual resumption of operations at the airport, the board has reassessed some of the mitigating measures taken at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent travel ban leading to complete closure of the airport.  In this context, the board has decided to re-instate full remuneration of all employees, including the Board itself, as of August 1, 2020.

The equity traded once over 250 shares but closed unchanged at €5.50.

Today’s top performance was recorded by Bank of Valletta plc as it closed 1.02% higher at €0.99. The bank registered a total turnover of €1,782 over a single deal of 1,800 shares. Conversely, a sole deal of 150 HSBC Bank Malta plc shares dragged the price 1.08% lower to €0.92.

International Hotel Investments plc was the most liquid with a total turnover of €15,521. Five deals involving 29,285 shares were executed, resulting into a 1.85% decline. The equity ended the session at the €0.53 price level.

Food and beverage company, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc,headed the list of fallers with a 5.03% movement in price. The price declined to €7.55 as a result of two transactions.

BMIT Technologies plc ended the session with a positive 0.83% rise in price as a result of one deal involving 11,900 shares. Total turnover amounted to €5,760 as the equity reached the €0.484 price level. Meanwhile, its parent company, GO plc¸ was active but closed unchanged at €3.44.

Two deals involving 7,665 Harvest Technology plc shares dragged the price by 0.67% into the red. The equity closed at €1.48 and total turnover stood at €11,344.

In the property sector, Malita Investments plc lost 1.08% as it closed at €0.92. A sole deal of 1,229 shares resulted into a total turnover of €1,131.

Trident Estates plc announced that, further to an expression of interest, the lease proposal at Trident Park, Central Business District, Birkirkara submitted by its subsidiary Trident Park Limited, has been selected as the preferred bid to house the office premises for the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). Moreover, other promise to lease agreements have also recently been confirmed with financial services and investment holding companies bringing the total area that has been committed at Trident Park to 4,298m2.

The equity was not active during the session.

Malta Properties Company plc announced that all resolution on the agenda were approved during the Annual General Meeting. No trading activity was recorded.

Plaza Centres plc announced that the board approved the interim financial statements for the six months ended June 30, 2020. The group’s results were significantly impacted by COVID-19. During the first six months of the year, the group generated revenue of €1,444,798 (2019: €1,716,479) a decrease of 15.83%, whilst EBIDTA decreased by 24.61% to €1,058,751 (2019: €1,404,290). Profit before tax decreased by 35.45% to €609,687 (2019: €944,522). The group’s occupancy at June 30, 2020 was 93% (June 30, 2019: 87%). During this period, Plaza had to take commercial decisions which negatively impacted its revenues, costs and hence profitability, in the form of lower rents and absorbing a higher percentage of common area costs. Furthermore, an increase of €72,900 in the general provision for doubtful debts has been recognised.

The equity did not record any trading activity.

In the Corporate Debt market, 11 issues were active, of which two registered gains while another four lost ground. The 4% SP Finance plc Secured EUR Bonds 2029 headed the list of gainers with a 1% change in price, to close at €101.00. On the other hand, the 3.85% Hili Finance Company plc Unsecured € 2028 lost 3.06%, ending the session at €95.00.

In the Sovereign Bond market, out of four active issues, two declined while the 2.1% MGS 2039 (I) closed 0.78% higher at €130.00. The 4.1% MGS 2034 (I) declined by 1.67%, to close at €141.60.

In the Prospects MTF market, only the 5% Smartcare Finance plc Secured € 2029 was active as it traded 0.5% lower at €100.50.


The Equities traded today were:

Symbol CodeVolume TradedValue TradedTradesClosing Price% Change

The Corporate Bonds traded today were:

 Closing Price% Change
5.1% 1923 Investments plc Unsecured € 2024100.0000.00
5.1% 6PM Holdings plc Unsecured € 2025100.0000.00
4% International Hotel Investments plc Secured € 2026100.6000.00
4% Merkanti Holding plc Secured € 2026102.0000.99
5% Dizz Finance plc Unsecured € 202699.000-0.30
3.75% Premier Capital plc Unsecured € 2026101.550-1.28
4.35% SD Finance plc Unsecured € 2027101.5000.00
4.4% Central Business Centres plc Unsecured € 2027 S1/17 T1100.5000.00
3.85% Hili Finance Company plc Unsecured € 202895.000-3.06
4% SP Finance plc Secured EUR Bonds 2029101.0001.00
3.75% TUM Finance plc Secured € 2029100.500-0.50

The Government Stocks traded today were:

 Closing Price% Change
1.5% MGS 2027 (I)110.0000.00
4.1% MGS 2034 (I)141.600-1.67
2.1% MGS 2039 (I)130.0000.78
2.4% MGS 2041 (I)130.000-1.52

The Prospects MTF bonds traded today were:

 Closing Price% Change
5% Smartcare Finance plc Secured € 2029100.500-0.50

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. Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited 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 Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on Tel: 21224410, or email [email protected].