MSE Share Index reaches new 3-year high

During this morning’s trading session on the Borza, the MSE Share Index advanced by 0.5% to a new 3-year high of 3,704.035 points on the back of increases in four of the six largest equities by market capitalisation.

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc rose by 0.4% to the €2.50 level on continued strong trading activity. A total of 60,727 shares changed hands across 43 deals.

Similarly, International Hotel Investments plc climbed 2.3% higher to recapture the €0.919 level also on high volumes of 42,100 shares. Meanwhile, thin trading activity took place in Malta International Airport plc with the equity of the airport operator moving 0.7% higher to €2.18 on just 5,000 shares. Last week, MIA confirmed that passenger numbers in 2013 grew by 10.5% to 4.03 million and it is forecasting a rise of a further 2% in 2014 to 4.1 million passengers. The growth achieved in 2013 and the forecasted for 2014 reflects growth in seat capacity following the launch of various new routes.

Amongst the large cap equities, FIMBank plc also trended 0.5% higher to US$0.955 on volumes of just over 4,200 shares. The Bank is shortly expected to publish the results of the recent voluntary bid by Burgan Bank and United Gulf Bank to acquire all the shares of the trade finance specialist.

Crimsonwing plc also performed positively with its share price moving 3.1% higher to regain the €0.835 level on volumes of 3,175 shares. The only other positive performer was Simonds Farsons Cisk plc with a 1.7% increase as the equity regained its all-time high of €2.95 across just 733 shares.

On the other hand, the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc shed 0.4% to €2.54 on just 8,186 shares.

Meanwhile, Medserv plc held on to the €1.30 level on a single deal of 3,850 shares.

This morning, the Malta Stock Exchange announced that 1,062,861 new MaltaPost plc ordinary shares have been admitted to its Official List following the recent scrip dividend issue, representing a high take-up of 83.09%. Following this scrip dividend, the total number of shares in issue of MaltaPost increased to 35,280,410 shares.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged a further 0.1% higher to a fresh 6-month high of 1,027.536 points as the Central Bank of Malta Stockbroker continued to raise its bid prices for the longer-dated MGS in view of the uncertainty over emerging markets.