Bloomberg News

Sub-Sahara Africa Stocks: Lafarge Wapco Nigeria, Safaricom Kenya

March 05, 2012

Kenya’s All-Share Index (NSEASI) advanced for the 10th straight day, gaining 0.4 percent to 60.01 in Nairobi, the longest rally since September 2010.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NGSEINDX) rose for a third day, climbing 0.1 percent to 20,619.04 as of 2:30 p.m. in Lagos, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mauritius’s SEMDEX Index (SEMDEX) fell 0.1 percent to 1,778.4 by the end of trading. The FTSE/Namibia Overall Index (FTN098) fell for a third day, retreating 0.6 percent to 909.11 in Windhoek.

The following shares were active in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc (WAPCO) , the country’s second-biggest producer of the building material by market value, advanced 2.9 percent to close at 41 naira, the biggest daily gain since Jan. 20, on speculation it will pay a higher dividend.

“Investors are expecting a higher dividend from the company for 2011,” Raheem Mohammed, chief operating officer of Kundila Finance, a Lagos-based brokerage, said by phone today. Lafarge Wapco paid a dividend of 25 kobo per share for the prior year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While that amount was constrained because of investment in an expansion project, “this year, it has no excuse to not pay a higher dividend having completed the project,” he said.

Safaricom Ltd. (SAFCOM) , East Africa’s biggest mobile- phone operator, jumped 5 percent to 3.2 shillings, the largest advance since Sept. 7, on speculation lower rates for money transfer will boost usage.

The company cut the charge to send 101 shillings ($1.22) to 500 shillings over its M-Pesa mobile phone money-transfer service to 25 shillings, from 30 shillings, Nairobi-based Business Daily said March 2. Transfers of 10 shillings to 50 shillings will cost 3 shillings, while previously users were unable to send any amount less than 50 shillings, it said.

Uchumi Supermarkets Ltd. (UCSP) , Kenya’s only publicly traded retail chain, surged 4.1 percent to 7.6 shillings. Kestrel Capital (East Africa) Ltd., a Nairobi-based brokerage, said it initiated coverage on Uchumi with a “buy” recommendation and a price estimate of 15 shillings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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