During this morning’s trading session on the Borza, the share price of Malta International Airport plc advanced by 1.2% to a new 2-month high of €1.72 on a single trade of 5,000 shares. Today’s upturn follows last week’s announcement by the airport operator which revealed that during 2011, passenger movements grew by 6.5% to 3.5 million. Moreover, Ryanair this week announced that it will be introducing seven new routes as from May 2012 in addition to the existing 21 routes already serviced by the airlines. The deputy CEO of Ryanair, Michael Cawley, further explained that with these 28 routes the airline expects to carry 1 million passengers per year to and from Malta as from 2013.
Bank of Valletta plc also closed the day in positive territory as its share price edged 0.4% higher to €2.29 across six trades totalling 9,522 shares. Today marks the settlement date for the 1-for-8 bonus share issue. The additional 30 million shares were listed this afternoon.
Meanwhile Lombard Bank Malta plc traded unchanged at the €2.60 level across 1,100 shares. Similarly, GO plc ended this morning’s session unchanged on increased volumes of just over 15,000 shares.
MaltaPost plc initially dropped to an intra-day low of €0.97 before recovering to close the day at €0.99, 1% lower than the previous close. A total of 10,591 shares changed hands today. The postal operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting next Tuesday 17 January.
On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed 0.2% higher to a new 2011 high of 988.497 points as Eurozone yields this morning slipped closer to the 1.80% level in anticipation of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monthly monetary policy meeting and the debt auctions by Italy and Spain. Benchmark yields recovered by the afternoon as both Italy and Spain had to pay less in their respective bond auctions. Furthermore, after two consecutive interest rate cuts in November and December, the ECB this afternoon announced that it will maintain rates at the historically low 1% following some encouraging economic data from Germany and France. Nonetheless, various analysts indicated that the ECB might need to intervene again in the coming months.