Index ends in negative territory

The MSE Equity Total Return Index erased the previous week’s minimal recovery, having slipped by 0.661 per cent, closing at 8,513.44 points – thus resulting in a drop of 0.725 per cent in August. Activity last week was spread across 20 equities of which 12 lost ground and seven advanced - totalling to a turnover of €1.9 million – up from the previous week’s €1.4 million.

In the banking sector, Lombard Bank Malta plc shares extended the previous week’s four per cent advance, having increased by 0.8 per cent, as two transactions of 11,850 shares were executed, closing at a 16-month high of €2.42 – registering a 5.2 per cent gain in August.

Bank of Valletta plc shares recouped by 0.7 per cent, after having registered six consecutive weekly declines. The banking equity witnessed the highest turnover of €472,334 and closed at €1.51 – down by two per cent in August.

HSBC Bank Malta plc shares slipped by five per cent over 11 deals of 55,713 shares, to close at €1.71 - down by 8.6 per cent in August.

GlobalCapital plc shares headed the list of fallers for the week. The insurance and investments services provider registered a 4.7 per cent loss in its share price, as 150 shares were negotiated across one transaction. The equity closed at €0.286 and recorded a 4.7 per cent loss for the month. In the same sector, Mapfre Middlesea plc shares fell by €0.03 or 1.6 per cent, as four deals of 13,923 shares were concluded, closing at €1.86 - recording a 5.1 per cent loss in August.

Last Tuesday, after market close, PG plc published its statements for the financial year ending April 30, 2018, reporting a profit before tax of €11.1 million – a 2.5 per cent increase over the previous year. Turnover for the year was €99.8 million, 8.9 per cent higher than the year ended in 2017.

This revenue growth mainly reflects the increased maturity of the PAMA Shopping Village, as well as the fact that this was the first full year of operations for the retail mall. The group also incurred increased direct costs in line with the additional revenues, as well as higher marketing expenses, administrative overheads and employment costs. The group registered an operating profit of €11.7 million, translating to a 2.7 per cent increase on the previous period. The board of directors has resolved to distribute a net interim dividend of €0.023611 per share, to be paid on September 5, 2018, to all registered shareholders as at August 24, 2018. The retail and supermarkets owner’s shares witnessed 10 deals of 48,500 shares and closed 0.7 per cent higher at €1.38.

International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) shares partially erased the previous week’s 3.9 per cent decline, having advanced by 2.4 per cent. The hoteliers’ equity was active on 15 deals of 379,442 shares and closed the month unchanged at €0.63. Last Friday, IHI announced that it has registered a loss before tax of €1.8 million for the first six months of 2018, compared to a loss of €2.3 million in the corresponding period last year. In terms of revenue, the group recorded an increase of €1.6 million over the previous period, to reach €116.9 million. This reflects an overall operational improvement, as well as the effect of the consolidation of the Corinthia Palace Hotel which was acquired in April 2018. No further dividend was declared following the net dividend of €0.02 declared in June 2018.

Malta International Airport plc shares added to the previous week’s 0.9 per cent decrease, having slipped by €0.05 or 0.9 per cent across 30 transactions of 69,529 shares, closing at €5.55 – up 2.8 per cent in August and 18.1 per cent as at year-to-date. MIDI plc shares stayed faithful to their winning streak, having closed in the green for the fourth consecutive week. The property management company’s shares appreciated by €0.035 or 6.5 per cent as 307,900 shares changed ownership over 17 deals, closing the month 18.8 per cent higher at €0.57 – rallying by 62.9 per cent as at year-to-date.

This positive performance was reflective of the positive financial results for the first six months of 2018. MIDI Group registered a profit after tax of €10.5 million, compared to a loss of €1.7 million registered for the same period last year. Revenue for the six months amounted to €35.5 million (2017: €1.9 million) of which €33.6 million (2017: €185k) was generated from sale of property. Operating profit from sale of property amounted to €13.4 million (2017: Loss of €1.4 million). The property management activities of the Group generated revenues amounting to €1.8 million (2017: €1.7 million) and an operating profit of €968k (2017: €673k). As a result, earnings per share was up from negative €0.0078 last year to a positive €0.0492 this year.

In the same sector, Malita Investments plc shares increased by 2.3 per cent, as 31,400 shares changed hands over five trades, to close at €0.89 - up by 2.3 per cent for the month. The company is scheduled to distribute a net interim dividend of €0.00858 per share, on Friday, to all registered shareholders as at August 23, 2018.

Malta Properties Company plc shares declined by 4.3 per cent across two deals of 2,288 shares, closing at €0.488 – registering a 2.4 per cent loss in August. Medserv plc shares extended the previous week’s 1.8 per cent decrease, having slipped by €0.04 or 3.7 per cent, as 7,900 shares were executed over two transactions. The oil and gas logistics services provider’s shares closed at €1.05, recording a 5.4 per cent loss in August.

Last Monday, Medserv published its half-yearly report, showing a loss before tax of €2.7 million, translating to a loss reduction of 20.3 per cent.  Turnover for the first half of 2018 amounted to €18.1 million, 33.2 per cent higher than the €13.6 million registered in the corresponding period last year. The increase in revenue is partly a result of increased oil and gas exploration activities, and engineering services in Malta and Cyprus. Results were impacted by costs incurred to set up the facilities necessary for the three-year contract secured in Egypt. The company’s outlook is optimistic, as the board is confident that EBITDA will be improved in the coming months and years, as current works in progress should start to generate positive cash flows. The board has decided not to recommend an interim dividend.

Tigne Mall plc shares slipped by 2.1 per cent over five deals of 40,000 shares, to close at €0.95. Shareholders on the shopping mall owner’s register as at August 17, 2018 were distributed a net dividend payment of €0.0128 per share. Next Wednesday will be Main Street Complex plc’s dividend cut-off date. Eligible shareholders will receive a net dividend of €0.00628 on September 14, 2018. Plaza Centres plc shares added to the previous week’s two per cent increase.

GO plc registered a 1.2 per cent loss in its share price after two consecutive weekly gains. RS2 Software plc shares closed the week unchanged at €1.19, despite having reached a weekly low of €1.12 and a weekly high of €1.20 - registering a 1.6 per cent loss in August. The I.T. equity was negotiated over 24 trades of 93,259 shares. During the first half of 2018, the group registered total revenues of €15.6 million, compared to the €10.6 million recorded in the same period last year. This significant increase in revenue was brought about by the implementation of IFRS15, the new revenue recognition Standard. Gross profit for the first six months of the year stands at €9.3 million, compared with the €4.9 million in the previous year. After eliminating the effects of the adjustments brought about by the implementation of IFRS15, gross profit would read €2.7million. Due to further substantial investment, the Board is not declaring an interim dividend. Loqus Holdings plc shares declined by 2.2 per cent on one deal of 4,500 shares, to close at €0.09. MaltaPost plc shares fell by €0.04 as 3,370 shares were executed over three transactions, closing at €1.61 – recording a 2.4 per cent loss for the month. The food and beverage supplier Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (SFC) registered a two per cent decrease in its share price, as five deals of 27,193 shares were concluded, to close €0.15 lower at €7.35 – up 0.7 per cent in August.

Trident Estates plc’s shares fell by 0.8 per cent, as two trades of 7,843 shares were negotiated, closing at €1.32.  Investors shied from the sovereign debt market as all 20 traded issues closed in negative territory.

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: 21224410, or email

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