Share Index up 4.75% to 12-month high

The positive sentiment in the local equity market was maintained today with the MSE Share Index closing in positive territory for the fifth successive session.

The index advanced a further 0.6 per cent to close the week 4.75 per cent higher at 3,869.771 points – the highest level since last January 26.

On the other hand the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index shed 0.3 per cent this week to 990.996 points reflecting the downturn in bond prices.

The sharp rally in the local equity market was accompanied by an increase in trading activity as €1.72 million worth of shares changed hands.

The main contributor to the gains registered in the equity market today was the 3.1 per cent rise in the share price of International Hotel Investments plc to a new 19-month high of €0.98 on activity amounting to 40,684 shares.

This equity ended the second week of 2011 with a weekly rise of 8.9 per cent as it remains in demand following the recent announcement revealing a private placement of shares at a price above the nominal value of €1.

HSBC Bank Malta plc remained well supported at the €3.50 level as a further 64,312 shares changed hands at this price during this morning’s session.

HSBC ranks as the best performing equity this week with an increase of 9.4 per cent. Meanwhile, Bank of Valletta plc edged minimally lower today to close at €3.15 on volumes of over 27,300 shares.

BOV’s overall gain this week was more contained at +2.2 per cent.

Another banking equity saw high trading activity today.

Over 150,000 FIMBank plc shares traded with the equity failing to hold on to yesterday’s gains slipping 2.1 per cent lower to its multi-year low of US$0.92. The trade finance specialist is scheduled to publish its 2010 full-year results on March 3.

Meanwhile, the share price of Malta International Airport plc edged 1.2 per cent higher to €1.67.

MIA is shortly expected to announce its December passenger numbers.

During the first 11 months of 2010, MIA reported a 13 per cent rise in passenger numbers, significantly above its estimate of an eight per cent growth.


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