MIA share price at 4-month high of €1.75

Following last week’s 2.4% rise, further demand for Malta International Airport plc shares lifted the equity a further 2.9% higher this morning to a new 4-month high of €1.75 on total volumes of 27,000 shares. The equity now stands 5.4% higher year-to-date mainly due to last week’s announcement which revealed an uplift in the passenger growth forecast for the second time this year after the arrival of the 3 millionth passenger. The airport operator now expects passenger movements to rise by at least 4.5% during 2011.

Significant volumes of 425,000 FIMBank plc shares traded during this morning’s trading session with the share price rising from its multi-year low of US$0.67 to the US$0.72 level.

In the banking sector, the two large banks again moved in opposite directions ahead of Bank of Valletta plc’s results issued a few minutes after the close of the trading session. BOV’s share price retreated by 0.8% to the €2.40 level on volumes of almost 48,000 shares. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc edged 0.3% higher to the €2.64 level on lower volumes of 10,852 shares.

Shortly after the close of today’s trading session, BOV published its preliminary full-year results for the financial year ended 30 September 2011. The financial statements reveal a 34.3% drop in profitability to €42.1 million. The Directors are recommending a final gross dividend of €0.08 per share to shareholders as at close of trading on 11 November 2011. Together with the gross interim dividend of €0.0625 per share, the total dividend of €0.1425 represents a 27.2% drop from the previous full-year dividend of €0.196 per share. The Directors also recommended a 1 for 8 bonus issue to shareholders as at close of trading on 9 January 2012. This bonus issue will be funded through the capitalisation of €30 million of reserves.

On the bond market, Eurozone yields continued to recover following yesterday’s deal reached between EU leaders with respect to the prevailing eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis. As a result, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index tumbled a further 0.3% today to 981.505 points.