MSE activity declines due to ongoing political tension in Libya

During this morning’s trading session on the Malta Stock Exchange trading activity shrunk on the back of continued political tension in Libya. A total of only €63,864 worth of shares traded today across only four active equities.

The MSE Share Index closed in negative territory for the ninth consecutive session with a drop of a further 0.2% to 3,582.472 points. Bank of Valletta plc eased 0.3% lower to the €2.97 level on volumes of just over 9,500 shares. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc recovered some of yesterday’s decline as its share price edged 0.7% higher to regain the €2.95 level across four trades totalling 6,000 shares. Tomorrow will be the last day for investors to gain entitlement to the final gross dividend of €0.077 per share. The equity will turn ex-dividend as from Friday 4 March.

Further selling pressure in GO plc sent the equity down 2.2% to close at a fresh 15-month low of €1.76 across two deals amounting to 2,160 shares. The only other active equity was Malta International Airport plc whose share price also slumped 2.9% lower to the €1.70 level on volumes of just over 8,200 shares. The airport operator is shortly expected to publish the February passenger numbers ahead of the 2010 full-year results publication on 17 March.

Yesterday, Mediterranean Investments Holding plc (MIH) published its 2010 financial results showing total revenue amounting  to €9.1 million and a net loss of €0.79 million as the Palm City Residences opened for business in late 2010 and therefore faced the challenges inherent in a start-up operation. Meanwhile, in a company announcement published on 25 February, the Directors explained that despite the current turmoil in Libya, Palm City Residences is still operational and no contracts have been terminated. In the 2010 Annual Report, the Directors noted that they cannot make an estimate of the financial effect that the recent events may have on MIH although these may adversely affect the company’s future performance and financial position. Nonetheless, the Directors noted that due to the nature of the leases in force and the fact its clientele have significant vested interests in Libya, the Directors consider the company is still a going concern. Further details on the results available at

Plaza Centres plc and FIMBank plc will be publishing their 2010 financial statements this week.

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