Local market round-up for 2023: All indices report positive year-on-year returns

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 January, 2024 at 11:26 am by Andre Camilleri

Movement in Equity and Bond Indices

The MSE Equity Total Return Index (MSE) closed the year with a double-digit gain of 14.5% at 8,477.527 points. A total of 6,555 transactions were executed, generating nearly €58m in turnover, 81% higher when compared to the previous year. Ten equities registered gains while 21 moved in the opposite direction. During the year, investors’ sentiment towards the largest two banks on the MSE, turned positive as both equities posted high double-digit gains. The shift to a positive interest rate environment gave the banks’ profitability a boost and as a result investors’ outlook towards the sector substantially improved.

In terms of trading activity, Tigne Mall plc headed the list of the most traded equities, as turnover reached €15.9m. This was followed by Bank of Valletta plc (BOV), as €13.5m worth of shares exchanged hands. 

The MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index finished the year at 920.047 points, translating into an increase of 4%. This was the outcome of 3,000 transactions worth €132m. The 5.25% MGS 2030 was the most liquid issue, generating €19.4m in turnover.

The MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index advanced by 3.3% to close at 1,161.460 points, as 11,390 transactions worth €99m were executed. The 3.7% GAP Group plc Secured € 2023-2025 Series 1 was the most active corporate bond, generating €9.5m in turnover.

Annual performance of the top 10 equities by market cap

BOV shares recorded an impressive 75% increase to end 2023 at €1.42. During the year, the banking equity traded at a high of €1.50 and a low of €0.80. BOV generated a total turnover of €13.5m as a result of 1,809 deals.

HSBC Bank Malta plc (HSBC) posted an 80% positive movement in its share price. The equity oscillated between a yearly high of €1.35 and a low of €0.71 to eventually close the year at €1.28. A total of 705 transactions generated a turnover of €4.5m. In April, the bank paid a final gross dividend of €0.0561 per share, followed by an interim gross dividend of €0.06 paid in September.

On the other hand, the share price of APS Bank Malta plc (APS) experienced a year-on-year decline of 5.7%. Despite reaching a yearly high of €0.63, APS concluded the year at the €0.58 level. Turnover reached €1.5m across 486 trades.

Meanwhile, Lombard Bank Malta plc (LOM) plummetedby 14% when compared to the previous year’s closing price. The bank finished the year at €0.90, despite reaching a high of €1.02. A total of 189 deals worth €2.3m were recorded. The bank issued a 2 for 3 rights issue at the price of €0.75 in September which followed a 1:45 bonus issue in July.

Malta International Airport plc was one of the most liquid equities during the year, generating €6.2m in turnover across 804 deals involving 1.1m shares. The share price lost €0.05 or 0.9% when compared to 2022, ending the year at €5.75. MIA paid a net final dividend of €0.12 in May, along with a net interim dividend of €0.03 paid in September.

In 2023, International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) underperformed relative to the previous year’s performance. IHI concluded the year with a 14.8% decrease in price at €0.575. Liquidity was low compared to other large cap equities, recording €0.4m as a result of 181 deals.

In the communication services sector, GO plc advanced by 7%, as the equity’s price closed at €3.06. During the year GO plc shares traded between a yearly high of €3.18 and a yearly low of €2.70. A total of 315 deals involving 0.9m shares worth €2.8m were executed.

RS2 Software plc Ordinary shares (RS2) ended the year unchanged at €1.19. Despite closing flat, the equity had a volatile year, as the share price oscillated between a yearly high of €1.35 and a low of €0.85. RS2 generated a total turnover of €1.2m as 1m shares exchanged hands across 149 trades.

The share price of the food and beverage company, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (SFC) gained 4.4% during 2023. SFC shares closed the year at €7.15 compared to €6.85 a year earlier. Turnover reached €0.9m over 190 transactions of 130,707 shares.

PG plc joined the list of gainers in 2023, recording a positive 5.8% movement in its share price. The equity concluded the year at a yearly high of €2.20. PG was one of the top 10 most liquid equities after generating €2.5m in turnover. Gross dividend pay out was of €0.0641 in July and €0.0392 in December.

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. Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited is acting as sponsoring brokers for the upcoming BNF Bank plc bond issue. For further information contact Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on Tel: 21224410, or email info@jesmondmizzi.com

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