Bloomberg News

Skye Bank Reaches Two-Month High on Dividend Bets: Lagos Mover

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Skye Bank Plc, a Nigerian lender, reached the highest level in two months as investors bought the stock in anticipation that the bank will pay dividends when it announces full-year 2011 results as soon as next week.

The stock rose 4 percent to 4.16 naira as of the 2:30 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, the highest since Dec. 22. The stock is up 8.3 percent this year, compared with a 1.1 percent decline in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

“Investors’ expectation is that the bank will pay a dividend for 2011,” Eugene Ezenwa, chief operating officer for Lagos-based PAC Securities Ltd., said by phone today.

Nine-month net income rose 9.5 percent to 9.37 billion naira ($61 million) from 8.55 billion naira a year earlier, Skye Bank said on Oct. 17. Earnings are rising for Nigerian lenders after the country implemented banking reforms following a debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 triggered by loans given to stock market speculators. The central bank introduced a December common year- end for the country’s lenders, and results are expected to be released from the end of this month.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange gives listed companies 90 days after their year-end to release results.

“Any result that does not come out within two weeks may be having a problem,” Ezenwa said.

A call to Skye’s head office in Lagos did not go through.

--Editors: Peter Branton, Linda Shen

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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