Bloomberg News

Kenya’s Safaricom Extends Gains as Mobile-Phone Users Rise

January 09, 2012

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest mobile-phone operator, gained for a second day after the industry regulator announced it added more customers than competitors did.

The stock gained as much as 5 percent to 3.15 shillings and traded 3.3 percent higher at 3.10 shillings as of the 3:00 p.m. close in the capital, Nairobi, the longest winning streak since Dec. 22.

  “Increased trading on Safaricom is expected as investors react to the regulator’s released statistics,” Nairobi-based Kestrel Capital East Africa Ltd. said in an e-mailed note to clients today. “The counter closed with pent up demand at the 3 shilling level on Friday.”

Mobile subscribers in the east African nation increased 4.8 percent to 25.3 million in the quarter ended September, Kestrel said.

During the quarter, Safaricom, which is 40 percent owned by Vodafone Plc, recorded the highest number of new customers at 593,177, followed by Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd., controlled by Delhi-based Bharti Airtel Ltd., with 557,567 new subscriptions, the Communications Commission of Kenya said in a statement on its website on Jan. 6. Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd., a unit of Essar Group of India, added 46,742 new customers while Telkom Kenya Ltd., a unit of France Telecom SA, took on 16,683 new clients.

--Editors: Ash Kumar, Peter Branton

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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