The share price of Malta International Airport plc gained 1.8% this morning to close at a new multi-year high of €1.70. Trading activity increased to 44,800 shares as all long-outstanding offers at the €1.70 level were snapped up. Despite ranking as one of the best performers in 2010 with an increase of 38.3%, MIA’s equity has started off the new year on a positive note as it advanced by a further 2.4% to its highest level since 31 July 2006. The airport operator is shortly expected to announce its December passenger numbers and the actual increase in passenger movements registered in 2010. During the period from January to November 2010, MIA registered a 13% growth in passenger traffic.
Despite the increase in MIA’s share price, the MSE Share Index closed lower for the first time in seven sessions. The Index shed 0.5% today to 3,876.567 points mainly due to a decline in the share price of HSBC Bank Malta plc for the first time since 6 January. The Bank’s share price slipped 1.9% lower to the €3.46 level on declining volumes of only 3,750 shares. HSBC is shortly expected to publish its 2010 full-year results.
On the other hand, Bank of Valletta plc reversed yesterday’s 0.3% drop amid higher volumes. Fresh bids helped the equity regain the €3.15 level across twenty trades totalling just over 24,600 shares. BOV is shortly expected to issue its Interim Directors’ Statement giving an overview of the Bank’s performance since the end of their last financial year on 30 September 2010.
Meanwhile, the share price of Plaza Centres plc slumped 11.2% to a fresh 54-month low of €1.50 on weak volumes of only 4,000 shares. Following this trade, fresh bids already entered the market at the €1.60 level. Low volumes were also traded in RS2 Software plc shares as the IT equity eased 2.2% lower to close at its all-time low of €0.45.
The local bond market also moved lower as the benchmark 10-year Eurozone yield continued to recover to reach the 3.09% level. This was reflected in another 0.2% drop in the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index to 987.623 points, representing a 0.5% decline since the start of 2011.