HSBC and MIA trade higher

The MSE Share Index started off the week on a positive note with a 0.4% increase to 2,990.547 points following gains in the share prices of HSBC Bank Malta plc and Malta International Airport plc.

Following last week’s 2% rise, HSBC Bank Malta plc edged another 1.2% higher during today’s session to close at the €2.58 level on increased volumes of over 53,600 shares.

Malta International Airport plc also continued to build on last week’s 4.2% increase with another 0.6% during this week’s first trading session to regain the €1.73 level (close to its 2012 high of €1.75) on activity of 29,000 shares. Last Friday, the airport operator published the April traffic statistics revealing a 1.4% increase in passenger movements when compared to the same month last year to 304,198 – a record for the month of April. This rise was achieved in spite of a 3.3% decline in seat capacity which was more than offset by the 3.5 percentage point increase in the average seat load factor from 73% in April 2011 to 76.5% during the month under review. Nonetheless, passenger traffic during the first four months of 2012 is still 2.6% below that recorded in the comparable period last year.

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €2.15 as it closed this morning’s session unchanged at the €2.12 level across fourteen trades totalling 38,550 shares. Today was the last day for investors to gain entitlement to the recently declared gross interim dividend of €0.06 per share.

Also in positive territory today was GO plc with a 1.1% increase to the €0.72 level on a single trade of 4,000 shares. The quad-play telecom operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday with MIA and FIMBank plc following on Thursday.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index, following last week’s 0.3% jump, edged a further 0.1% today to a new 6-month high of 990.895 points as Eurozone yields tumbled to a new all-time low of 1.55%. The downturn in yields reflects the negative reactions towards the outcome of the elections in France and Greece.