The year of the equity decline
Action on the Malta Stock Exchange this year was unfortunately notable
for the somewhat drastic declines in all the equities listed on the
MSE, with the exceptions only of International Hotel Investments and
the First International Merchant Bank.
The general trend witnessed among the equities falling in average price
was one of peaking at the beginning of the year, while reaching the
years low toward the end of November. Then in December saw some
stocks began recuperating slightly.
Market watchers may have been rather deluded when only two companies
(Globe Financial Management and First International Merchant Bank) joined
the ranks of companies listed in Malta. At the end of 2000, it was rumoured
that some nine companies would be seeking a listing.
Despite the depreciations in average share prices practically across
the board this year, those tuned to the market would have found several
profit-spinning opportunities on the Exchange.
Lm20,758,762 worth of shares were traded on the Exchange this year.
However, the Exchanges share index fell by some 33 per cent from
3,290.61 at the years inception to its index last Friday of 2,200.134.
Following is a brief breakdown of individual equity performance over
The equity worst hit this year was the recently rebranded Middlesea
Insurance, which lost just under 45 per cent off its average share price.
The equity, which fell by Lm1.714 in average price, currently stands
Over the course of the year, the equity the only insurance company
listed on the Exchange - saw trading of some 970,000 shares worth close
to Lm2.5 million. The equity had started the year at it peak of Lm3.812,
while hitting a low of Lm2.046 on 5 December.
The Exchanges only telecom equity, also one of the most watched
stocks, declined by more than 39 per cent in average price over the
year by shedding 98c3 off its average price. The equity had closed
the years trading on Friday at Lm1.522. after having opened the
year at Lm2.505.
The equity saw the largest volumes of shares being traded, at 3,720,138
a sum some three times higher than that of its closest competitor
in that regard. Meanwhile the value of Maltacom shares traded this year
was of Lm6,577,588. The equity had hit a high of Lm2.505 at the years
inception, while bottoming out at Lm1.134 on 18 October.
HSBC also saw a sharp drop in its average price this year. The equity,
which has opened the year at Lm6.40 and currently stands at Lm4.138,
lost over 35 per cent, or Lm2.262, off its average shares price.
Over the year the equity had seen 611,389 shares changing hands, worth
Lm3,153,463. The equity had witnessed its high of Lm6.40 at the years
opening, while hitting a low of Lm3.897 on 26 November.
Lombard Bank, however, fared the best out of the Maltese banks, and
lost a comparatively low 21.6 per cent, or Lm1.076, off its average
share price, which currently stands at Lm3.904.
The equity saw just under 400,000 shares changing hands over the course
of the year, trading worth some Lm1.6 million. Meanwhile, the equity
had hit high of Lm4.98 at the years inception and reached a low
of Lm3.736 on 30 November.
Bank of Valletta
Bank of Valletta shares shed just under 33 per cent, Lm1.565, in its
average price, which now stands at Lm3.185.
The equity this year witnessed 1,278,095 shares changing hands, worth
close to Lm4.7 million. The equity had hit a high of Lm4.75 at the years
beginning, while hitting a low of Lm2.975 on 23 October.
Simonds Farsons Cisk
SFC shares this year lost just over 25 per cent, 25c4, in average price,
which rests until next years trading at Lm0.736.
Over the year the equity saw 223,m100 shares changing hands activity
valued at just over Lm207,000. The equity bottomed out at Lm0.722 on
30 November, while reaching its high of Lm0.99 at the years beginning.
Plaza shares this year also depreciated, although to a somewhat lower
extent, and dropped just over 18 per cent, or 15c3, off its average
share price, which now stands at Lm0.687.
The amount of trading in the equity this year was in the form of just
over 935,000 shares trading worth just under Lm700,000. The equity
saw a low of Lm0.672 on 27 November, while peaking at Lm0.875 on 22
International Hotel Investments
On a lighter note, IHI shares climbed over this years trading
by just over 7.5 per cent, 6c9, in average price over trading of close
to 925,000 shares valued at some Lm825,000.
The equity had hit a low of Lm0.787, on 8 February while peaking at
Lm0.994 on 23 November.
Suncrest shares was undoubtedly the least traded equity on the Exchange
this year, with just 70,030 shares changing hands. Over the trading,
which last took place on 22 August, fell by just over 35 per cent in
its average price, which currently stands at Lm0.431.
The equity had peaked at Lm0.665 at the years inception, while
reaching its current low of Lm0.431 on 22 August.
Globe Financial Management
Exchange newcomers Globe shed some 40 per cent, 17c1, in average price
since it was listed on the Exchange in March.
Over the year the equity saw trading of 1,179,560 shares worth
Lm326,840. The equity ad peaked at Lm0.426 on 8 March, while reaching
a low of Lm0.227 on 3 December.
First International Merchant Bank shares, listed on the Exchange in
late June in US dollars, appreciated albeit minimally
by 0.4 per cent, or 0c5 in average price.
Since its launch, the equity, which now stands at USD1.255 saw trading
of 263,280 shares. The equity had fluctuated little, reaching a high
of USD1.26 and a low of USD1.25.