Monthly Round up Report: MSE Index marginally lower

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 October, 2021 at 3:20 pm by Andre Camilleri

The MSE Equity Total Return Index ended September in the red, as it suffered a 0.4% drop to close at 8,033.911 points and thus lost some of the gain recorded in August. A total of 25 equities were active during the month, 16 of which gained, 8 declined, while 4 remained unchanged. Monthly turnover during September tallied to €2m (August: €2.4m).

During September the top performing equity on the Maltese exchange was Santumas Shareholdings plc. The company’s share price jumped 46.7% on seven trades across 21,359 shares. This price increase represents a significant recovery from the drop the equity experienced in the beginning of August. The equity closed the month at €1.10.

The board of directors of Santumas Shareholdings plc approved their annual report for the year ended April 30, 2021. Net profit recorded during the year was €79,882, a significant increase when compared to a loss of €825,213 in 2020. Interest income generated from the company’s investment portfolio dropped by 6% when compared to the same period last year. The company’s property rose in value during this period and yielded an unrealised gain of €96,323 (2020: €5000). The directors did not propose any dividend for the year.

On the other hand, International Hotel Investments plc was the worst performer during the month, as the hotel operator traded 13 times on a volume of 72,750 shares. The price ended the month at €0.61, a month-on-month drop of 6.2%. The board of International Hotel Investments plc approved the half-yearly financial report for the period ended June 30, 2021. The group registered revenue of €34.6m in the first six months of 2021 of which approximately 30% is not hotel-related. The company posted a negative EBITDA of €0.8m for the period under review. This compares to revenue of €51.7m and a negative EBITDA of €2.1m in the corresponding period last year. During the period under review, the group registered a loss after tax of €26.4m compared to a loss of €30.1 million reported in the same period last year.

All local banks were active in September, starting off with Bank of Valletta plc (BOV). The bank’s equity was the most liquid, as trading value tallied to €427,866 with the price declining 3.3% to €0.87. On a year-to-date basis, BOV is trading 8.4% lower.

HSBC Bank Malta plc (HSBC) advanced 2.5% to the €0.83 price level on 169,906 shares. During the month, the share price fluctuated between a monthly low of €0.77 and a monthly high of €0.83. Similar to BOV, HSBC shares are trading 7.8% lower than its January value.

Similarly, Lombard Bank Malta plc trended higher with a gain of 4.9% to close at €1.94 on a total of 32,930 shares over 11 deals. On the flip side, FimBank plc eased 3.5%, as it dropped to the $0.386 price level across 20,500 shares over 3 deals. Trading value for both banks was €62,037 and $5,297 respectively.

Following last month’s price retraction, local telecommunications market leader GO plc lost a further 0.6% on the value of its equity to end September at €3.32. The company’s equity was fairly liquid during September, as 70,798 shares with a value of €239,277 changed ownership over 40 trades.

The share price of BMIT Technologies plc experienced an increase of 0.8% to the €0.494 price level during the month, as 32 trades on a total of 537,407 shares were recorded.

Harvest Technology plc shares were up 3.3% for the month, as a result of eight trades of 51,835 shares with a value of €77,713. The equity ended September at €1.55.

The equity of RS2 Software plc was active over 16 trades across 59,290 shares, totalling €103,348. The share price retracted almost all the gain experienced during August, as it closed at the €1.72 level, 4.4% lower than last month’s closing price. The company’s preference shares were also in the red, as one trade involving 4,000 shares moved the share price 5.6% lower to €1.70.

Positive results published by Simonds Farsons Cisk plc pushed the equity price 3% higherto close at a monthly high price level of €8.50 across 9,888 shares on 23 deals.

This week saw Simonds Farsons Cisk plc approve the group’s unaudited financial statements and Interim Directors’ Report for the six months ended July 31, 2021. The Group registered a turnover of €41.6 million during the first six months of the current financial year, a 13% improvement over the same period of last year, during which turnover totalled €36.8 million. Increased turnover was experienced across all our business sectors, being most pronounced in our franchised food operations, where almost all outlets were closed for much of the prior year period. Profit before tax for the period amounted to €5.2 million compared with €1.6 million for the equivalent period last year, resulting from the improved operating margins. Earnings per share attributable to shareholders improved from €0.053c in the first half of FY2021 to €0.163c in the comparative period of FY2022.

The board declared an interim dividend to shareholders from retained profits amounting to €1.5 million, equivalent to €0.05 per share, which dividend will be distributed on October 20, 2021 to the ordinary shareholders who will be on the Register of Members of the company as at October 6, 2021.

The retail conglomerate PG plc saw its share price trend 6.8% higher to the €2.50 price level on 27 trades involving the exchange of 51,700 shares. Year-to-date, the company’s share price continues to gain, as it is up by a staggering 25%.

The company announced that their 5th Annual General Meeting will be held remotely on October 21, 2021.

The equity of Maltapost plc closed the month unchanged at the €1.28 price level, as six trades were recorded on total of 16,874 shares, with a market value of €21,619.

Similar to August, Malta International Airport plc shares continued to head south, as the price eased by 3.3% to the €5.95 level. The national airport’s equity was fairly active during the month, as 38,867 shares changed ownership over 37 trades. Although, air travel is recovering, MIA shares remain far off from their 2019 high of €7.95.

After last month’s exceptional share price performance, MIDI plc equity increased by 1% to close at the €0.426 price level across 48,661 shares over 7 deals.

MIDI plc published their unaudited consolidated financial statements for the six months ended June 30, 2021. Although the MIDI Group has registered a profit after tax of €962k (2020: loss of €1.1m) during the first six months, these results have been in part impacted by COVID‐19 pandemic as MIDI continued supporting the tenants of its commercial properties and its car park operator by way of rent concessions albeit not to the same extent as in 2020.

The positive results were driven by the sale of two apartments out of the three apartments in the Q2 residential development which were part of the inventory at the beginning of the year. Revenues generated from the sale of these apartments amounted to €5.4m (2020: NIL) resulting in an operating profit of €1.3m (2020: operating loss of €1.2m) for the development and sale of property segment.

With regards to the property and rental management segment, revenues were at €1.2m (2020: €1.1m), mainly due to rent concessions to help tenants’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. Operating profit for this segment tallied to €588k (2020: €510k)

From a balance sheet perspective, Net Asset Value increased from €101.8m to €102.8m reflecting the profit posted for the relevant period.

The company also announced that the board of the Planning Authority approved the revised masterplan and the revised outline development permit for the restoration and redevelopment of Manoel Island.

The shares of MedservRegis plc slid 4% lower to €0.695 during September. A sole trade involving a mere 1,900 shares was recorded.

MedservRegis plc approved their half-yearly financial report for the period ended June 30, 2021. Turnover for the first six months stood at €6m compared to €6.3m in the same period last year, a decrease equivalent to 4.6%. The group’s EBIDTA was a negative €56,604, which is a significant jump from last year’s negative €1.3m. This negative figure was a result of an impairment allowance on a trade receivable balance. After all deductions were made, the group registered an operating loss of €503,214, a significant increase from last year’s €2.6m loss. After accounting for the profit from discontinued operation, profit for the period amounted to €1.9m compared to last year’s €3.2 loss.

In the retail shopping mall business, all three listed shopping complexes traded in the green. Tigne` Mall plc was up 1.2%, Main Street Complex plc increased by 0.8%, while Plaza Centres plc jumped 9.3%. From these three equities, Plaza Centres plc was the most liquid, as it traded seven times with a trading value of €34,603. The closing prices for these shares were €0.85, €0.48 and €1 respectively.

Trading activity in Mapfre Middlesea plc shares helped the equityadvance further, to capture the €2.16 price level. Three trades across 3,743 shares were recorded.

Although being fairly illiquid, LifeStar Holding plc traded twice during the month. A total of 860 shares changed hands over 2 deals, closing at €0.64.

The board of directors of Lifestar Insurance plc approved the unaudited half-yearly financial report of the company for the six-month period ended June 30, 2021. The consolidated loss after tax for the first six months totalled €1.4m compared to the prior period consolidated loss after taxation of €2.7m. Gross written premiums rose by 5% over the same period last year, while the business commission generated from its subsidiary Lifestar Health decreased by 6% when compared to the first six months of 2020.

Grand Harbour Marina plc equity rallied 33.3% to the €0.80 price level on 11,500 shares on 7 deals.

Furthermore, both Malta Properties Company plc (MPC) and Trident Estates plc saw their shares move higher – 3.6% and 9.7% respectively. MPC was fairly liquid during the month, as it recorded 18 trades with a trading value of €93,967 to end the month at €0.57. On the other hand, Trident Estates plc shares were involved in four trades with a market value of €5,267 to close at the €1.58 price level.

Malta Properties Company (MPC) entered into a promise of sale agreement with A+ Investments ltd to sell and transfer to the MPC a building, used as an office complex in Ta’ Xbiex. Upon publication of the Deed of Sale, the Property will be added to the company’s property portfolio and thereafter, the company’s income will be supplemented by rental payments attributable to the lease of the Property.

Trident Estates plc approved for publication the unaudited financial statements of the company for the six months ended July 31, 2021. The group recorded revenue of €544,000 as compared to €562,000 in the same period of the prior year. The decrease in revenue resulted due to the early termination of a lease in January 2021, on which discussions with potential tenants are under way. As a result of the reduction in revenue, gross profit decreased to €506,000 (2020: €525,000).

The Group registered an increase in its administrative costs, which totalled €389,000 (2020: €317,000) for the period. Whilst the day-to-day operational costs remained stable, the increase in expenses emanated from marketing costs being incurred for the Trident Park project, together with costs which were previously being capitalised during the early construction period and which are now being recognised in the Statement of Profit or Loss. The Group’s tax expense during this period amounted to €54,000 (2020: €122,000). The resulting net loss for the period amounted to €28,000, as compared to a net loss of €5,000 in the prior period. The board did not propose the payment of an interim dividend.

On September 17, 2021, Central Business Centres plc announced that their proposed 4% unsecured bonds with an aggregate principal amount of up to €21,000,000 was approved by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Hili Properties plc announced that the issuance and allotment of 18,408,000 Ordinary Shares at €1each from the unissued share capital of the company, to increase the company’s authorised share capital to €120,000,000 and to re-designate authorised share capital into 600,000,000 Ordinary Shares of a nominal value of €0.20 each, and issued share capital into 300,000,000 Ordinary Shares of a nominal value of €0.20.

In the Corporate Bond market, a total of 62 issues were active, with the MSE Corporate Bond Total Return Index closing at 1,151.774 points. The 4.65% Smartcare Finance plc Secured Bonds 2031 headed the list of gainers, as it closed 3.6% higher at €105.80. On the other hand, the 4% Merkanti Holding plc Secured € 2026 was the worst performer, as it closed 2.7% lower at €100.17.

The Sovereign Debt market was on the decline during the month, with the MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index closing at 1,094.387 points. The 3.3% MGS 2024 (I) was the only positive performer, as it closed at €111.12 – equivalent to a 1% change. Conversely, the 2.5% MGS 2036 (I) ended the month 2.3% lower at €118.74.

In the Prospects MTF market,8 issues were active, with a total monthly turnover of €297,353 over 32 trades. The 5% Busy Bee Finance plc Unsecured € 2029 bonds were the most liquid, as 9 trades of 121,800 shares were recorded, to close the month at €101.50.

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. 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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