How Major Maltese Events Affected Malta's Stock Exchange
The ups and downs of the 'Borża ta' Malta'
Featured photo: Borza ta' Malta, Valletta / Facebook
Malta's stock exchange, better know as Il-Borża ta' Malta has been raising equities from a large pool of public investors since 1992. This pool of money was around €15 billion earlier this year, which allowed local companies to expand and invest in new technology.
"If you invested €1 in the Malta Stock Exchange 20 years ago, you'd have €4 today. Similarly if you invested €1 million, you'd walk away with €4 million"
Today the Borża ta' Malta is located in the building that was the former Garrison Chapel in Castille Square, just outside the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The exchange operates on a state of the art electronic trading platform, a far cry from its beginnings 25 years ago, when stocks were manually traded once a week.
Here's a look at the entire progress of the stock exchange over the past 20 years:
The Index’s zenith was on the 28th of March, 2006 when it peaked at over 6600, before retreating in the subsequent worldwide recession. But how did other big events locally and internationally shape our stock exchange value?
All of the following graphs are plotted using official Malta Stock Exchange data.
The September 5th 1998 election:
The 1996-1998 political turmoil saw Alfred Sant’s government implode three years prematurely, and while at first the trend seemed up, the change seemed to startle investors a bit.
The apprehension wouldn’t last long though: the price nearly quadrupled over the next four years.
The 2003 EU referendum result:
Surprisingly, the index wasn’t so keen on Malta’s ascension to the EU.
Switching from Lira to Euro on the 1st January 2008:
The same can’t be said for adopting the Euro, and Malta’s entrance to the single-currency area.
The Divorce Referendum, May 28th 2011:
With referendums, it can be difficult to determine if the drop is mainly due to the lost work, the actual vote itself or both, but the polarisation and scaremongering certainly left some mark.
Franco Debono’s ‘xeba hassle’ and his voting against the budget on December 10th, 2012:
Unsurprisingly, Franco Debono blasting the budget didn’t help much…
The March 9th 2013 elections:
But Labour’s election and Muscat’s ample promises for a ‘pro-business’ government seemed to have the effect they wanted.
The Hunting Referendum, 11th April 2015:
The same caveat as the previous referendum, but in this case the drop appears to be more consistent and long lasting.
The Panama papers revelations, March 2016:
Despite earlier promises, most people didn't expect Muscat's government to be that type of pro-business.
The Index goes beyond reflecting local happenings and shows how globalised our world is, and how affected by international events the Maltese stock exchange (or any stock exchange) can be.
The effects of 9/11 and its aftermath:
The September 11th attacks hit global industries like insurance, travel and aviation especially hard.
And the beginning of the Coalition intervention in Libya back in 2011:
Similarly, the index reacted negatively to fears of regional instability, with a significant number of Maltese companies with business in Libya.