MIA moves higher on record 2011 passenger numbers

Yesterday afternoon, Malta International Airport plc announced that during 2011 the company registered a record 3.5 million passenger movements representing a 6.5% increase over 2010 which was also a record year. Looking ahead, the new CEO Mr. Klaushofer explained that MIA is expecting a challenging year ahead, especially in so far as seat capacity is concerned. Nonetheless the CEO also indicated that 2012 will be an eventful year with the inauguration of the SkyParks Business Centre and the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Terminal building. There was a mild positive reaction to yesterday’s news as the equity opened 1.2% higher at the €1.71 level. However, the share price of MIA eased back to the €1.70 level by the close of today’s session trimming its gains to just 0.6% over the previous close on total volumes of 7,400 shares.

The share prices of the two large banks moved higher for the second consecutive day. Bank of Valletta plc added a further 0.2% today to close at the €2.535 level ahead of the Bank’s 1 for 8 bonus issue cut-off date on Monday 9 January. Thirteen trades totalling just over 29,700 shares were executed today. Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc edged another 0.4% higher to close at the €2.59 level on volumes of 12,344 shares.

On the other hand, Lombard Bank Malta plc suffered a 3.7% drop during this morning’s session to close at the €2.60 level on a single trade of 1,300 shares.

GO plc’s share price slipped to an intra-day low of €0.95 before recovering to close unchanged at the €0.98 level on total volumes of 2,250 shares. Nonetheless, offers already placed minimally below the last closing price. The Greek telecommunications company Forthnet is scheduled to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday 13 January to seek shareholders’ approval on a €30 million rights issue in line with the conditions of its restructured debt.

Middlesea Insurance plc also closed unchanged at the €0.80 level after it failed to hold on to an intra-day high of €0.82. 3,400 shares changed hands today.

On the bond market, the most notable development was the increase in the prices of the 5.20% MGS 2031 to yet another new high. This stock touched a new record of 103.06% before easing to close unchanged at 103.02%.