MSE Share Index up 0.6% this week

The MSE Share Index moved 0.6% higher this week to 2,978.344 points following increases in the share prices of the two large banks and the 4.2% recovery in the equity of Malta International Airport plc which offset the declines in GO plc and FIMBank plc.

This week’s trading activity was focused on Bank of Valletta plc shares following last Friday’s interim results publication. The initial positive reaction to the results was short lived as the Bank’s share price dropped by 2.4% yesterday only to partially recover during this morning’s session with a 1% increase to regain the €2.12 level, representing a weekly increase of 0.5%. Activity shrunk to only 11,700 shares today but during the four sessions held this week, a total of 236,633 shares traded with a value of €507,652 (representing 38.8% of the total value traded this week).

Similarly, HSBC Bank Malta plc ended the week 2% higher as the equity held on to this week’s earlier gains with a further 1,480 shares changing hands at €2.55 during this morning’s session.

On the other hand, GO plc’s equity ranked as the worst performer of the week with a 5.1% drop to a new all-time low of €0.712 reflecting investors’ concerns over the recent financial performance due to the impact from the investment in Forthnet. The quad-play telecom operator is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on 9 May.

Malta International Airport plc failed to register any trades today following the 4.2% recovery over the last two sessions. This afternoon, MIA published the April 2012 traffic results revealing a 1.4% increase in passenger numbers to 304,198 representing a record number of passengers for the month of April. Passenger movements dropped by 2.6% since the start of the year.

Elsewhere in the local equity market, a single trade of 1,000 Lombard Bank Malta plc shares was transacted at the equity’s 2012 low of €2.40 representing no change from last week’s close. The only other active equity today was MaltaPost plc which held on to the €0.96 level across 2,226 shares to also end the week unchanged.

On the bond market, the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index jumped 0.3% to 990.188 points (the highest weekly increase in 2012) which is just below the 2012 high of 990.293 registered on 3 February. This week’s upturn in bid prices is a reflection of the slide in Eurozone yields (to a new all-time low of 1.599%) on heightened concerns over the region’s sovereign debt and slowing economic growth both in Europe and the rest of the world.