9 - 15 May, 2001

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Malta Stock Exchange performance - 2000

According to Malta Stock Exchange Chairman, Alfred Mallia, last year marked "the coming of age of the institution." Indeed, last year was rather successful. The Exchange’s turnover of Lm150 million was up 28 per cent over that of the previous year, after the extraordinary sale of the government’s Mid-Med shares, and was mainly comprised of trading in the equities market. Meanwhile, the number of Collective Investment Schemes listed on the Exchange surpassed the 300 mark. Following are highlights from the Exchange’s report for 2000.

Market performance
Over 2000, market turnover on the Malta Stock Exchange reached a total of Lm149 million, which was represented by a turnover of Lm81.2 million in equities; Lm4.5 million turnover in corporate bonds and Lm63 million in Malta Government Stocks.
Although with a turnover surpassing Lm190 million, the global turnover value for 1999 was somewhat higher than that recorded for 2000, the 1999 figure included Lm74 million which represented the turnover on the sale of the government's shareholding in Mid-Med Bank plc to HSBC Bank Malta plc in June 1999.
After allowing for this extraordinary factor, business on the Exchange increased by Lm32.5 million during 2000, an increase of 28% on the previous year.
During the year under review, the market was again dominated by high levels of business in the equity sector, which far exceeded the business transacted in the Government Stock market.
The number of deals effected on the market reached a total of 17,057, a minimum increase of 218 over the previous year's figures. Deals concluded in equities remained practically the same (from 13,201 to 13,206), while a slight decrease in Government Stock deals ( 3,010 to 2,866) was made up for by a significant increase in the number of deals concluded in corporate bonds, which registered an increase of over 50%, from 628 in 1999 to 985 in 2000, this increase being largely the result of the increase in listed corporate bonds.
The value of shares traded on both the Official List and the Alternative Companies List registered an increase of over 27% during 2000 when compared to 1999 figures (excluding the Mid-Med Bank plc transaction), reaching a turnover figure of Lm81.2. This increase in the turnover value for equities was not reflected in the number of shares traded, which registered a decline of 15%, from almost 31 million in 1999 down to 26.2 million in 2000. These divergent trends can be explained by higher equity prices during 2000, which pushed up equity turnover figures for the year.
In the equity market trading was heaviest in Maltacom plc shares, turnover in which accounted for 37% of all business transacted in the equity market.
Market turnover in the Government Stock market reached a value of just over Lm63 million in 2000, an increase of 24% compared to Lm5l million in 1999. This increase was not reflected in the number of deals concluded which decreased slightly from 3,010 in 1999 to 2,866 during the year under review.
Trading in the Government Stock market was dominated by business in the longer term stocks, mainly in the 7.8% MGS 2018, turnover in which accounted for almost 27% of all business transacted. Business in this market was also brisk in medium term stocks, mainly in the 7.8% MGS 2012 and in the 7.8% MGS 2013. The largest number of deals in any one stock throughout the year were concluded in the longest term bond, the 6.6% MGS 2019.
During 2000, there was a noticeable increase in corporate bond business, with the total value traded exceeding Lm4.5 million, over twice the turnover value registered during 1999, due to the large increase in the number of securities listed in this sector. This increase was also reflected in the number of deals which was similarly higher, rising from 628 to 985.
Turnover in the 6.15% Bank of Valletta plc Bond 2003/4, accounted for almost 50% of the business transacted in the Corporate Bond market.
The MSE Ordinary Share
The Malta Stock Exchange Ordinary Share Index is an index of the price movements of ordinary shares listed on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange.
By definition, therefore, preference shares and those shares listed on the Alternative Companies List are excluded from the computation of the Index. The Index is a weighted index and the weightings correspond to the overall capitalisation of each issue in relation to the capitalisation of the ordinary shares in the Market. The prices taken in the computation are the trade weighted average for each share recorded on a daily basis. The base date was set at the end of the session held on 27 December 1995 and the base index was set at 1,000.
Equity prices during 2000 remained fairly steady throughout the year. This was reflected in the value of the Malta Stock Exchange Ordinary Share Index, which after opening the year at 3278.48 and peaking at 3896.90 on 14 February 2000, ended the year at a value of 3375.49, an overall annual increase of 97.23 points, or three per cent. Index values, in fact, remained fairly steady throughout the year, dipping slightly towards the end of the year, following the dip in equity prices as the year drew to its conclusion.
Market Capitalisation
The market capitalisation of securities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange (excluding Collective Investment Schemes) reached a total of over Lm1,730 million at the end of 2000, an increase of Lm34 million, or 8%, over the end of 1999 value. Market capitali-sation of equities reached a value of Lm882 million, an increase of Lm92 million over last year's value.
A large increase was also registered in the market capitalisation for corporate bonds - from Lm41 million at the end of 1999 up 154% to Lm106 million at the end of the year under review. Market capitalisation of Government Stocks decreased slightly by Lm22 million to end the year at a value of Lm742 million.
At the end of the year there were also 26 local Collective Investment Schemes listed on the Malta Stock Exchange (apart from almost 200 foreign investment schemes) with a market capitalisation value of over Lm330 million.
New Admissions
2000 was another year that witnessed a considerable amount of new listings in all sectors of the market, including the first listing on the Alternative Companies List.
Three new equity issues were admitted to listing during the year under review, namely 40,000,000 Ordinary Shares of Lm1 each of International Hotel Investments plc and 9,414,000 Ordinary Shares of 20c each of Plaza Centres plc, were admitted to listing on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, Datatrak Holdings plc listed 15,949,500 Ordinary Shares of 10c each on the Alternative Companies List, the first company to list its securities on the alternative listing board which was introduced in 1999.
Subsequent to a Rights Issue, an additional 763,833 Lombard Bank (Malta) plc Ordinary Shares of 50c Nominal were admitted to the Official List in April 2000.
During the year under review, a further six medium term Government Stocks were admitted to listing, with a total Nominal value issued of over Lm87 million. These were the 5.9% MGS 2009 (III); 6.6% MGS 2014; 5.6% 2015 and the 7% MGS 2010 (III), the latter being allocated entirely to the Foundation for Church Schools.
Throughout the year, there were also a further six new Corporate Bonds admitted to listing on the Official List. Among these were the first foreign currency denominated bond - the 8% Bank of Valletta plc Bond 2010, denominated and traded in US Dollars, with a Nominal value issued of US$36,543,500.
The first privatisation bonds - 100,000 Malta Government Privatisation Bonds of a Nominal value of Lm100 each were admitted to listing in December 2000 while International Hotel Investment plc listed Lm5,000,000 5% Convertible bonds 2010 at the same time it listed its equity.
Other Corporate Bonds listed during the year were Lm10,000,000 Eden Finance plc Bonds 2010, Lm4,000,000 6.75% United Finance plc Bonds 2008 and a further bond issued by Bank of Valletta plc – Lm20,000,000 6.15% Bonds 2010.
The year 2000 was a hugely successful year in respect to the listing of Collective Investment Schemes. The following local and overseas schemes were granted a primary or secondary listing during the year and admitted to the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange:
Primary Listing
• Global Funds SICAV plc - 1 sub-fund
• Wignacourt Fund SICAV plc - 1 sub-fund
• Amalgamated Investments SICAV plc - 1 sub-fund
• Melita International Funds SICAV plc -3 sub-funds
• La Valette Funds SICAV plc -5 sub-funds
Secondary Listing
• Royal + Sun Alliance Global Investment Portfolio SICAV plc - 1 sub-fund
• Lloyds TSB Money Market Fund Ltd - 12 sub-funds
• Lloyds TSB Offshore Fund Ltd -9 sub-funds
• Lloyds TSB Offshore Gilt Fund Ltd
• Barclays International Fund SICAV - 13 sub-funds
• Barclays International Funds (Luxembourg) -5 sub-funds
• Barclays Euro Funds -6 sub-funds
• UBS (Luxembourg) Bond Fund -13 sub-funds
• UBS (Luxembourg) Strategy Fund - 15 sub-funds
• Putnam World Trust IT Fund -13 sub-funds
• Fidelity Funds SICAV - 7 sub-funds
• HSBC International Capital Secured Growth Funds plc -6 sub-funds
At the end of the year there were around 300 local and overseas Collective Investment Schemes listed on the Malta Stock Exchange.
Following the winding up of the Lazard Asia Pacific Fund, a sub-fund of Lazard Global Equity Fund, it was delisted from the Official List with effect from 29 February 2000.
Suspension of Listing
As a result of new developments within the Fund, two share classes of Fidelity Funds SICAV - the Selection International Fund and the Selection Europe Fund - were suspended from listing on 9 December 1999. The listing of these two sub-funds was subsequently cancelled with effect from 4 February 2001.
During the year 12 Government Stock issues with a total Nominal value of Lm86.5 million were redeemed.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt