GO & Farsons reach new highs

The MSE Share Index edged 0.1% higher during this morning’s session as various equities traded higher. Most notably, GO plc’s share price reached yet another 17-month high of €1.29 representing a marginal increase over the previous close. A total of 6,000 shares changed hands as investors still await the publication of Forthnet’s rights issue prospectus and a decision by GO’s Directors whether to participate or otherwise.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc reached an all-time high of €2.55, representing a 2% rise over the previous close on volumes of 4,666 shares. The financial year of the Farsons group ends this month with the preliminary results generally published by the end of April.

The share price of Malta International Airport plc traded higher for the first time since the publication of the record 2012 traffic results and the further growth in passenger numbers expected in 2013. The equity jumped 2.6% today to regain the €1.795 level across 27,700 shares. Earlier this week MIA reported a 4.1% rise in passenger numbers with growth of an additional 1.5% for 2013. Meanwhile, earlier on today, MIA issued a press release announcing that a new airline Wizz Air will start operating a route between Malta and Budapest (Hungary) from May 2013.

Bank of Valletta plc shares also traded 0.4% higher to close at the €2.26 level with 15,519 shares changing hands during this morning’s session.

In the small cap segment, MaltaPost plc advanced 1% to regain this year’s high of €0.98 on volumes of almost 51,000 shares. In contrast to last year’s 15% plunge, the postal operator’s equity ranks amongst the best performing equities in the first few weeks of 2013 with a year-to-date uplift of 14.1%. This reflects the expected turnaround in profitability after the increased postal tariffs approved by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) as well as the support from the majority shareholder which expressed its intention to increase its shareholding from the current 68.4% to not more than 74.5%.

Likewise, Plaza Centres plc’s share price edged €0.01 higher to the €0.56 level across a single deal of 60,000 shares.

On the other hand, HSBC Bank Malta plc traded 0.7% lower back to the €2.68 level on volumes of 5,000 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its preliminary 2012 financial results on 4 March.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed a further 0.1% to reach yet another 27-month high of 1,011.918 points. This is in line with the continued drift in the benchmark 10-year German Bund yield to just above the 1.51% level as investors’ preference towards the riskier peripheral paper was sustained. In this respect, earlier this week, Spain again attracted strong demand for a 10-year bond auction and Portugal successfully concluded its first bond auction, for 5-year paper, since receiving a bailout in 2011.