High volumes trade in FIMBank shares

Over 170,000 FIMBank plc changed hands during this morning’s trading session at the US$0.80 level, unchanged from the previous close. Similarly high volumes were transacted in this equity last week when over 116,000 shares were traded on 31 May. The FIMBank Group is scheduled to publish its 2011 half-year results on 10 August.

Meanwhile, apart from the equities of HSBC Bank Malta plc and Bank of Valletta plc, no other shares were active today. HSBC maintained the €2.96 level across four trades totalling just over 5,000 shares while BOV’s share price eased marginally lower to the €2.74 level on volumes of 26,382 shares.

Malta International Airport plc was inactive today despite yesterday’s announcement revealing a further 5.8% increase in passenger movements during the month of May 2011. This growth was due to an increase in the seat load factor to 73.1% from 67.2% in the same month last year. Since the start of the year, passenger movements climbed by 15.3%. The airport operator also explained that its forecast for 2011 is to maintain the record level of passengers achieved in 2010. However this forecast will be revised in July when MIA will have a clearer indication of the traffic flow for the second half of the year including the two most important months of the year, namely July and August which normally account for 25% of overall passenger flow.

This afternoon the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it left interest rates unchanged at 1.25%. Moreover, analysts are expecting ECB’s President Jean-Claude Trichet to give strong indications of a July interest rate hike during a press conference later this afternoon. The Bank of England also maintained interest rates at a level of 0.5% during today’s Monetary Policy Meeting.