The share price of Malta International Airport plc momentarily touched an intra-day high of €1.79 before easing back to close unchanged at the €1.75 level across three trades totalling 6,110 shares. The airport operator recently announced that it registered a 1.6% increase in passenger movements during the first six months of 2012 to a record 1.58 million passengers on the back of a 3.5 percentage point increase in the seat load factor. Despite the growth in passenger traffic for H1 2012, MIA have not yet updated its passenger forecast for 2012 published earlier this year indicating the expectation of a 2.8% decline from the 2011 record 3.5 million passengers. Meanwhile, MIA will be publishing its interim financial statements next Tuesday 17 July.
On the other hand, high volumes of 315,000 shares were transacted in Plaza Centres plc representing 1.1% of the Company’s issued share capital. The share price shed 5.8% to €0.565 (a new 16-month low), equivalent to a pre-share split price of €1.695. At the current price, the historic gross dividend yield is equivalent to 6.90% per annum.
Bank of Valletta plc also closed in negative territory as its share price retreated 1% back to the €2.05 level across nine trades totalling 19,720 shares with further bids entering the market at the last traded price. Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered from an intra-day low of €2.60 to close unchanged at the €2.61 level across three trades totalling 5,200 shares. HSBC Malta is scheduled to publish its half-year results on Friday 27 July.
Single trades were transacted in International Hotel Investments plc and Middlesea Insurance plc with both share prices closing unchanged at the €0.85 and €0.64 respectively. Likewise, RS2 Software plc held on to the €0.50 level across two trades totalling 4,337 shares.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index edged minimally higher to 989.443 points as Eurozone yields remained around their 1-month low of 1.30%. In fact, a meeting of EU finance ministers failed to increase appetite for riskier assets despite granting Spain an extra year (up to 2014) to reach its deficit reduction targets. Earlier on this morning, Euro area finance ministers agreed on the terms of a bail-out for Spain’s troubled banks with a total of €30 billion to be available by the end of July to help avert a full bail-out.