High volumes in MIA

A total of 127,000 Malta International Airport plc shares changed hands during this morning’s session. The share price of the airport operator eased 0.6% lower back to the €1.79 level despite the record passenger numbers for 2012 and the further growth expected in 2013. Moreover, earlier this week, MIA revealed its tenth consecutive monthly record with an 8% growth in passenger movements to 179,243 on the back of a 1.1 percentage point rise in the average seat load factor to 66.3% as well as a 6.2% growth in capacity to 270,400 seats.

MIDI plc shares also closed in negative territory today with a 7.1% plunge back to the €0.26 level across two trades totalling 56,000 shares.

Meanwhile, the share prices of GO plc and MaltaPost plc maintained their upward trend. GO’s equity advanced by a further 0.4% to yet another fresh 18-month high of €1.375 on volumes of 6,735 shares. Similarly, the postal operator’s share price edged 1% higher to regain the €1.04 level for the first time since June 2011 on volumes of 21,621 shares.

In the banking sector, Bank of Valletta plc recovered some of the recent declines with a 0.9% increase to the €2.25 level across seven trades totalling 36,913 shares. The Bank is shortly expected to publish its Interim Directors’ Statement explaining its performance since the start of the current financial year on 1 October 2012. Similarly, the share price of Lombard Bank Malta plc recouped 1.6% from near its all-time lows to regain the €1.89 level across two trades totalling 14,000 shares ahead of its 2012 results publication on 14 March.

On the other hand, HSBC Bank Malta plc maintained the €2.72 level on volumes of just over 36,000 shares. The Bank is scheduled to publish its preliminary 2012 full-year results on 4 March.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index eased 0.1% lower to 1,007.823 points in spite of a continued decline in benchmark 10-year German Bund yields which currently lie just below the 1.62% level. Demand for safe-haven assets surged in recent days due to increasing political uncertainty in Spain and Italy.