Monthly Round up Report for January 2021: MSE index starts off the year in the red

The building of the Malta Stock Exchange in Valletta. (source: Wikimedia Commons/Frank Vincentz)

Last Updated on Thursday, 4 February, 2021 at 9:47 am by Andre Camilleri

The MSE Equity Total Return Index kick-started the year with a negative 2.6% change, as it ended January at 8,255.31 points. Total turnover declined by almost half the previous month’s figure, as it amounted to €3.7 million – generated across 521 transactions. A total of 23 equities were active, five of which headed north while another 16 closed in the opposite direction.

The hybrid IT enabler, BMIT Technologies plc, registered the highest liquidity, as it generated a total turnover of €0.7 million throughout January. The price declined by 0.4% to €0.48, as 1,497,422 shares were spread across 79 transactions.

Its parent company, GO plc, also closed in the red at €3.46 – equivalent to a 2.3% movement in price. A total of 10 deals involving 10,773 shares were executed. The equity reached a monthly low price of €3.24 but managed to recoup some lost ground until end of month.

RS2 Software plc provided the market with an update on the group’s 2020 performance and expectations for the next financial year. Despite the current economic challenges Covid-19 brought with it, 2020 was a year where significant revenue contracts have been entered into and during which a number of strategic clients across regions in Asia-Pacific (APAC), North America, Europe and Latin America (LATAM) have transitioned from the implementation phase to live processing.

RS2 reported an increase in the volume of transactions processed on its platform during 2020 when compared to those processed in 2019. This increase is expected to progress with a gradual increase from RS2’s current clients, as well as the on-boarding of new clients.

The Board reasonably expects the group to experience growth in its consolidated results for 2021, notwithstanding the current economic challenges resulting primarily from the pandemic. By the end of 2021, RS2 aims to have achieved important developmental milestones in key business areas pursued by the group.

During January, the equity traded 30 times over a spread of 110,835 shares, worth €220,474. The equity traded at a monthly low of €1.91 but managed to recover, as it closed 2% higher at €2.04.

The best performance was a double-digit gain of 10%, recorded by LifeStar Holdings plc. The equity closed €0.05 higher at €0.55, as it traded twice over a spread of 1,174 shares.

Similarly, in the property sector, Malta Properties Company plc, was up by 10% as 52 deals involving 1,139,010 shares pushed the price higher to €0.55. The equity recorded a total turnover of €571,650, being the second most liquid equity.

Trident Estates plc declined by 10.8%, as it ended January at €1.48. Eight deals involving 37,712 shares were executed.

A 13.4% fall in price was also recorded by MIDI plc,as it closed the month at €0.388. This was the outcome of 31,000 shares executed over four deals.

Meanwhile, Malita Investments plc was active and closed unchanged at €0.90. The equity saw 70,837 shares change ownership across nine transactions. On a similar note, a sole deal of 70 Tigne’ Mall plc shares pushed the equity’s price down to €0.82, closing 3.5% lower. 

Three equities were active in the banking industry. Bank of Valletta plc generated the highest turnover of €486,556 – as a result of 91 deals involving 515,123 shares. The price suffered from a 1.1% change, as it closed €0.01 lower at €0.94.

Its peer, HSBC Bank Malta plc also ended the month in negative territory at €0.83 – translating into a 7.8% movement in price. A total of 202,097 shares changed hands across 36 transactions.

The largest decline for the month was recorded by Lombard Bank Malta plc, as it closed 16.1% lower at €1.98. This was the result of just three deals involving 79,144 shares.

Malta International Airport plc (MIA) announced the full-year traffic results for 2020. A 76.1% drop was recorded over 2019, equivalent to 1,748,050 passenger movements. This is the lowest traffic result to be reported by the airport since the company assumed management of the air terminal in 2002, when full-year traffic amounted to 2.6 million passenger movements.

Traffic for December 2020 stood at just 10% of what was reported within the same month for 2019, as only 46,475 passenger movements were recorded. Data provided by Airports Council International (ACI) shows that European airports in general suffered the same plight last year, with this airport group registering an overall contraction in passenger traffic of 79.6% and reporting the cumulative loss of over 6,000 routes.

Several international industry organisations are predicting that, following an extremely rocky first quarter of 2021, the tourism industry may expect to start seeing signs of recovery with the onset of the summer season. MIA’s CEO welcomed the International Air Transport Association’s recent appeal to key EU policymakers to agree on a common digital European Covid-19 vaccination certificate, which would constitute a huge stride towards the safe re-opening of borders without the need for testing and quarantines.

The board is scheduled to meet on February 24, 2021, to conduct an assessment of the current situation, which continues to evolve. During this meeting, the board will be approving the company’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 and discussing other items on the agenda, including shareholder dividend.

While MIA generally publishes a forecast for the year ahead in January, given the fluidity of the current situation and limited visibility of the way ahead, the company does not have sufficient data to provide the market with reliable guidance at this time.

MIA lost 1.6%, as it traded 74 times over a spread of 47,440 shares. A €0.10 decline in price was recorded, as it closed off January at €6.10.

International Hotel Investments plc declined by 3.5% on muted activity. Three deals involving 2,500 shares dragged the price to €0.695.

Retail conglomerate, PG plc, generated a total monthly turnover of €411,902 as 201,475 shares changed ownership across 43 transactions.  The equity’s price was up by 3% to €2.06, despite reaching a low of €1.71 during the month.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc was active but closed flat at €7.80. A total of 30 deals involving 18,617 shares were executed.

The board of Mapfre Middlesea plc is scheduled to meet on March 25, 2021 to consider and approve the audited financial statements for the financial year ended December 31, 2020. The declaration of a dividend, if any, shall also be considered and recommended to the shareholders’ Annual General Meeting.

The equity traded 10 times over a spread of 16,315 shares, dragging the price 4% lower to €2.36.

Medserv plc announced that it has been awarded a two-year contract extension by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Cyprus (Offshore) Limited to continue providing shore-base management services in Cyprus. Pursuant to this extension, the Company will provide shore-base services for further evaluation of Block 10, following the natural gas discovery offshore Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean at the Glaucus-1 well in year 2019. These services are to be carried out at the Company’s base situated at the DP World facilities in Limassol, Cyprus.

The company also announced that following an international tender by BP Exploration (Delta) Limited, Medserv Egypt Oil & Gas Services JSC has been awarded a contract to provide materials and warehouse management services for BP’s drilling and gas production projects in Egypt. It is expected that this contract will be serviced through Medserv’s internal resources and will not require any major capital expenditure and is expected to contribute towards an improved financial performance of Medserv Egypt Oil & Gas Services JSC. This award is another major step to broaden Medserv’s oil and gas client portfolio within this region, and together with already contracted business, further underpins the Company’s business pipeline.

A 7% fall in price was recorded, as the equity ended the month at €0.735. Four deals involving 3,458 shares were executed.

Maltapost plc announced that the Annual General Meeting will be held on February 12, 2021. The audited financial statements shall be received and approved, while the reports of directors and of the auditors will be considered, for the year ended September 30, 2020.  The board shall also consider the declaration of a final ordinary net dividend of €0.04 per nominal €0.25 share, representing a final net payment of €1,506,189 in cash.

Nine deals involving 28,075 shares resulted into a 12.8% decline, as it closed at €1.16.

A sole deal of 3,000 Grand Harbour Marina plc shares dragged the price by 7.1% into the red. The equity closed at €0.65.

Similarly, Main Street Complex plc traded once over 3,500 shares, to close 0.4% lower at €0.498.

Plaza Centres plc lost 4.1%, as 218,328 shares changed hands over two deals. The equity ended the month at €0.94.

A positive 0.68% movement in price was recorded by Harvest Technology plc, as it closed off January at €1.49. This was the outcome of 19 deals involving 64,855 shares.

Loqus Holdings plc held its Annual General Meeting. The profit and loss account and balance sheet for the period ended June 30, 2020 and the directors’ report and the auditors’ report thereon, were received and approved.

No trading activity was recorded throughout January.

In the Corporate Bond market, a total turnover of €7.6 million was recorded. During the month, out of 64 active issues, 38 registered gains while another 11 lost ground. The 6% Medserv plc Secured & Guaranteed € Notes 2020-2023 S1 T1 3 headed the list of gainers, as it closed 3.1% higher at its par value. On the other hand, the 4.35% Hudson Malta plc Unsecured € 2026 closed 2.4% lower at €100.01.

In the Sovereign Debt market, 21 issues were active, eight of which traded higher, while another 12 declined. The best performance was recorded by the 4.1% MGS 2034 (I) with a 1.4% change in price, to close at €149.00. Conversely, the 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) lost 5%, to end the month at €133.00.

In the Prospects MTF market,13 issues were active. The 5% Smartcare Finance plc Secured € 2029 was the most liquid, as it generated a total monthly turnover of €96,129.

 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: 2122 4410, or email

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