It is no secret that the local stock market is not particularly liquid with local investors’ predilection for regular returns generating more interest in bonds than in equities. What may come as something of a surprise, however, is just how concentrated the Maltese stock market is, with 10 companies making up 75 per cent of its total value.
The top three companies, in fact, accounted for a remarkable 40 per cent of the total value of equities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange as at the end of 2023.
These are BOV (16 per cent), Malta International Airport (15 per cent) and HSBC Bank Malta (nine per cent).
IHI (the owner of the Corinthia brand, among other hospitality and property interests) accounts for seven per cent of the total equity value of the Maltese market, while telecoms giant GO makes up six per cent.
These five companies alone – two banks, the airport, Malta’s most successful hotel group and one of Malta’s biggest telecoms companies – make up just over half of the total equity value on the Malta Stock Exchange.
Once you add the next five largest public companies by market cap – RS2 (five per cent), Simonds Farsons Cisk (five per cent), PG (five per cent), APS Bank (four per cent) and AX Real Estate (three per cent) – the total market cap of these 10 firms amounts to 75 per cent of Malta’s total equity market value.
It should be noted that such concentration is not necessarily all that uncommon abroad – the ‘Magnificent Seven’ of Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, NVIDIA, Tesla and Meta Platforms make up close to 40 per cent of the NASDAQ 100, and 38 per cent of the S&P500.
While the list of Malta’s most valuable companies by market cap is certainly similar to the largest when ranked by their total assets.
The Malta Stock Exchange
The total number of firms that registered over €100,000 in profit in 2022 amounted to 5,044
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