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Local index extends gains despite a drop of 18% in 2011

The Malta Stock Exchange index extended last week’s gain by registering an appreciation of 0.65 per cent to end the week at 3,094.799 points, and thus registering a drop of 18 per cent for 2011. Following Monday’s Boxing Day holiday, the index experienced a relatively positive week as it traded in green territory in three out of four sessions with the mid-week session emerging as a key source of support as HSBC Bank Malta plc recorded a strong gain of 3.2 per cent. In the final week of the year the index experienced a positive sentiment, as gainers outperformed losers with five from the nine active equities registering gains, while three closed flat and one posted a meagre loss. Turnover in the week decreased to €195,397 traded over 117,078 shares, which were executed over 77 transactions.

Meanwhile, turnover in the Government Stocks Market decreased drastically to €1.1 million traded over 14 stocks, of which nine closed higher, while five depreciated in value. The 4.6% MGS 2020 was the best performer of the week as the long-dated issue gained 0.7 per cent. In the Corporate Bonds Market, running yields were mixed as from the 24 active issues, nine gained ground, five posted losses, while 10 closed unchanged. The 7% Grand Harbour Marina plc 2017-2020 was the best performer this week having gained 3.4 per cent.

In the equity market, HSBC Bank Malta plc posted a scant loss of 0.04 per cent to close the year at €2.579, thus down by 20.8 per cent year-to-date. The banking equity was active throughout and it kicked-off on a sore note as it plunged by 3.1 per cent on Tuesday which it than recuperated in the following session by gaining 3.2 per cent, while it traded flat on Thursday and posted a minimal loss of yesterday. A total of 15,641 shares changed hands over 14 transactions.

The other active banking equity, Bank of Valletta plc closed the week unchanged at €2.50 with the bank having the lion’s share of trading as a total of 39,316 shares changed ownership over 32 trades. Since the commencement of the year the bank plummeted by a heavy 22 per cent from the €3.215 price level registered as at the end of December 2010.

From the hoteliers sector, International Hotels Investments plc appreciated by 1.7 per cent over a single session on Tuesday to close the year at €0.844. Similarly, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc emerged as one of the best performers for the week, as the beverage operator soared by 5.3 per cent over a total of two trades of 3,383 shares to reach the €1.80 levels, thus registering a gain of 5.8 per cent year-to-date.

From, the I.T. sector RS2 Software plc was marked as a preeminent equity for the year ending 2011, as it surged by 25 per cent. In the week the I.T. operator gained 1.7 per cent over two sessions, in which it closed flat on Tuesday, while it gained 1.7 per cent on Thursday to close the year at a record high of €0.60.

From the postal industry, Maltapost plc snapped a minimal gain of 0.5 per cent to regain the €1.00 price levels. The equity was active in three sessions having posted the said gain on Tuesday, and closed unchanged in the two subsequent sessions. A total of 28,899 shares worth €28,860 were traded over 13 transactions.

Likewise, Midi plc shares headed the list of gainers, as the equity surged by 8.3 per cent in the last session of the year to close at €0.38 over two trades of 5,500 shares in total.

Meanwhile, the other non-movers for the week were Go plc and Malta International Airport plc. Go, ended the year as the worst performer as it contracted by a strong 49 per cent with headwinds from abroad regarding their indirect investment in Fourthnet being a major consequence for drop in the share price. The equity closed unchanged in the two active sessions over 5,700 shares which were dealt across six transactions. Likewise, the airport operator closed the week unchanged at €1.69 over a single session on Thursday, to end the year at a gain of 1.81 per cent.

We wish you all a prosperous New Year.

This article, which was com­­piled by Atlas JMFS Investment Services Limited, does not intend to give investment advice and the contents therein should not be construed as such. Atlas JMFS 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 Atlas JMFS at 67, Level 3, South Street, Valletta, or on Tel: 2122 4410, or e-mail [email protected].

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