MIA’s equity higher on record profits and dividends

The local equity market rounded off this shortened week on a positive note as most of the active equities traded higher during this morning’s session. The share price of Malta International Airport plc edged 0.6% to €1.70 on increased activity totalling 30,812 shares following yesterday evening’s publication of the 2011 full-year results. The financial statements revealed an 11% increase in net profits to €11.9 million mainly due to the 2.1% increase in revenue to €52.4 million which in turn was mainly the result of the 6.5% rise in passenger movements in 2011 to a record 3.5 million passengers. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.0615 per share (representing a 14.3% increase over the previous year’s final dividend) to all shareholders as at close of trading on 3 April. In total, MIA declared a gross dividend of €0.1077 for 2011 compared to €0.10 in 2010.

High volumes were also transacted in FIMBank plc with over 54,300 shares changing hands today helping the equity close 2.4% higher at US$0.87. Activity in FIMBank shares surged over the past two weeks following the announcement of the possible takeover by Burgan Bank (a Kuwaiti based bank). FIMBank’s equity will trade with the entitlement to the final gross dividend of US$0.031 per share until Thursday 3 April.

This week’s best performing equity was GO plc with a 5.3% rise to €0.80 despite last week’s 2011 preliminary results which revealed a record loss of €51 million following further significant losses at the Greek telecommunications company Forthnet which offset the profits generated from local operations.

HSBC Bank Malta plc’s equity closed in marginal positive territory today as its share price edged 0.1% higher to €2.502 on low volumes of 2,155 shares. However, the equity ended the week 1.9% lower. On the contrary, Bank of Valletta plc reversed some of this week’s earlier increases as its share price eased 0.7% lower to €2.22 across 22,874 shares during this morning’s session but still ended the week 2.8% higher.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index slid back into negative territory with a 0.1% drop to 982.438 points representing a weekly drop of 0.06%. MGS prices failed to follow this week’s drop in eurozone yields back to the 1.86% level. Benchmark yields had surged to a 14-week high of 2.075% on Wednesday on renewed investor confidence. However, investor sentiment took a knock in the latter part of the week following negative economic data published by Germany and China which triggered renewed concerns over the eurozone’s economic growth potential, EU governments ability to meet budget targets as well as the ability of peripheral countries of the region to sustain their respective level of sovereign debt.