MIA up 2.9% to €1.80

The share price of Malta International Airport plc advanced by 2.9% today to regain the €1.80 level across volumes of 5,000 shares. The airport operator recently announced a 17.8% rise in passenger movements during February to 174,877 including a total of 5,500 passenger movements generated from the Libyan-related evacuation flights. MIA is scheduled to publish its 2010 financial results today week.

Elsewhere across the equity market, volumes remained low with a value of only €66,854 traded across the six active equities. The MSE Share Index dropped 0.1% to 3,584.294 points mainly due to the 0.7% drop in HSBC Bank Malta plc to a fresh 3-month low of €2.92 level on volumes of 4,700 shares.

Bank of Valletta plc inched minimally higher to close at the €2.97 level across ten trades totalling 8,435 shares.

Further selling pressure in the equity of GO plc forced the share price to slip 1.1% to the €1.73 level – the lowest closing price since 13 November 2009. Five trades amounting to 7,700 shares were transacted today. The quad play telecom operator has still to announce the date of the 2010 full-year results publication.

Marginal declines also recorded in the share prices of Middlesea Insurance plc and FIMBank plc. The share price of the insurance company edged €0.003 lower to the €1.00 level on volumes of 4,155. The trade finance specialist also edged minimally lower to US$0.924 on volumes of 2,400 shares despite still trading with the entitlement to the final net dividend of US$0.0248 per share.

This afternoon Lombard Bank Malta plc published its 2010 full-year results revealing a 12.9% increase in ‘profit attributable to shareholders’ to €8.3 million. The increase was mainly due to the €1.5 million increase in net interest income to just over €16 million. This offset the increase in operating expenses and the net impairment losses of €186,000. The Directors recommended a final gross dividend of €0.115 per share to all shareholders as at close of trading on 24 March. In contrast to previous years, the dividend, which will be paid on 6 May, does not have a scrip option and therefore it will only be distributed in cash.

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