Malta International Airport plc and MaltaPost plc both closed today’s session at new highs of €1.85 and €1.07 respectively. Despite the positive performances by these two equities, the MSE Share Index still closed the day lower mainly due to a 0.9% drop in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc.
MIA and MaltaPost continued to attract investor demand despite topping last year’s performance list. This morning, MIA’s equity climbed a further 2.2% to a fresh 59-month high of €1.83. Today’s closing price is just €0.013 below its all-time high of €1.863 registered on 9 March 2006. MIA’s share price was the top performer this week with a 5.7% gain in response to the publication of the January 2011 traffic statistics showing a 14.9% increase in passenger numbers. MIA’s equity has so far appreciated by 11.5% this year.
Likewise, MaltaPost’s share price added a further 1.9% to hit a new all-time high of €1.07 on volumes of over 25,000 shares. Further bids remain unsatisfied at the closing price with no offers in sight. Following this week’s 1.9% increase, the postal operator now ranks as the third best performing equity with a year-to-date performance of +7%. This morning the Malta Stock Exchange announced that just over 1.1 million new shares of MaltaPost had been admitted to listing following the recent scrip dividend. This represents a high take-up of 83.3%. Meanwhile those shareholders who opted for a cash dividend have been paid today.
The MSE Share Index closed this shortened week 0.2% lower at 3,856.828 points as the two big banks’ equities traded lower. The main highlight of the week was the very high trading volumes with a total value of €3.1 million worth of shares changing hands across the 11 active equities.
HSBC’s share price closed below the €3.50 level for the first time in over two weeks as the equity eased 0.9% during this morning’s session back to the €3.47 level. 39,224 shares traded today ahead of the Bank’s full-year results publication scheduled for today week. Bank of Valletta plc also closed in negative territory this week as the market reacted negatively to last Friday’s Interim Statement and the recent media reports surrounding the MFSA’s investigation into the La Valette Property Fund. A total of 423,240 shares changed hands during the past four sessions with the share price slipping 2.6% to the €3.049 level.
GO plc eased minimally lower today to close the week at the €1.899 level representing a decline of 2.1% This morning, Forthnet announced that its Vice Chairman and CEO Pantelis Tzortzakis resigned from the Company with immediate effect. Following this resignation the Company replaced the outgoing CEO with Panos Papadopoulos. The new CEO is also one of the founders of the Greek Company and has been heading a number of vital departments including Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NOVA.