IHI share price climbs 17.6%

During this morning’s session on the Malta Stock Exchange, the share price of International Hotel Investments plc climbed 17.6% to €0.87 in reaction to the announcement issued last Friday afternoon on activity of almost 34,000 shares. IHI announced that in anticipation of the new public offering and listing of the company’s shares on a major international stock exchange, senior executives of the company are currently meeting international institutional and high net worth investors. IHI’s objective is to conclude share participation agreements at a price superior to the nominal value of €1.00 per share in order to raise additional capital to take advantage of current acquisition and development opportunities in key cities. The company’s advisors and underwriters are recommending to target the listing on an international stock exchange at an appropriate time in 2011 given current challenging market conditions which have significantly limited IPO activity during 2010. IHI also explained that the opening of the Corinthia Hotel & Residences in London, scheduled for April 2011, will also benefit the company from an increased profile and visibility in the United Kingdom which should in turn further support price expectations.

The significant upturn in the equity of the third largest cap helped the MSE Share Index advance by 2.1% to a nine-month high of 3,630.413 points. GO plc was the other positive performer of the day (+1.6% to €1.93) while Bank of Valletta plc and HSBC Bank Malta plc both closed lower.

The share price of Bank of Valletta plc reversed all of last week’s gains as the equity lost 1.6% during this morning’s trading session to close the day at €3.75 on volumes of 16,500 shares. Investors have until 7 January 2011 to gain entitlement to the 1 for 5 bonus share issue.

HSBC Bank Malta plc’s equity, which had climbed by 5.8% last week, eased by 0.3% to €3.09 on activity of over 34,000 shares.

Elsewhere in the banking sector, FIMBank plc held on to last week’s 1.1% gain as a further 144,329 shares traded at the USD0.95 level.

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