MSE Share Index ends the week 0.6% lower

The MSE Share Index dropped by 0.6% during the past five trading sessions to 3,103.426 points mainly due to the weekly declines in the share prices of International Hotel Investments plc and GO plc. This week GO’s share price slipped 4.6% back to its all-time low of €1.05 ahead of the Extraordinary General Meeting of Forthnet, scheduled to be held next Thursday, during which shareholders will be asked to approve a €30 million rights issue. IHI also edged 2.4% lower to close this week at the €0.80 level after most of this week’s trades took place at €0.815.

This week’s worst performer was FIMBank plc whose share price tumbled 10.4% to a new multi-year low of US$0.67 on total volumes of 14,000 shares. The trade finance specialist (like all other companies with a December year-end) is expected to publish its Interim Statement within the next few weeks to update the market on its performance since the June half-year end.

For the second successive week, the equity of Malta International Airport plc ranked as the best performer after the company raised its passenger growth forecast for the second time this year. Following the arrival of the three millionth passenger, the airport operator announced that it is now expecting growth of a minimum of 4.5% in passengers compared to the previous forecast of +3.2%. This week MIA’s share price advanced by 2.4% to a new 3-month high of €1.70 on activity totalling more than 53,000 shares.

Bank of Valletta plc ended this week unchanged at the €2.45 level as investors await next Friday’s publication of the Bank’s financial results for the year ended 30 September 2011. Meanwhile HSBC Bank Malta plc edged 0.8% higher at the €2.66 level.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index climbed 0.2% higher this week to 985.361 points. Early this week Eurozone yields touched a new 3-month high of 2.256% following the G20 meeting during which the European representatives reassured the other delegates that Europe was working on a plan to solve the region’s sovereign debt crisis. However, as the week progressed, doubts on such a solution remerged thereby forcing yields back to just above the 2% level. The markets now eagerly await the outcome of this weekend’s meeting of European leaders after media reports revealed that France and Germany are in disagreement over the next step forward.