Bloomberg News

Sterling Bank Nigeria Hits 3-Week High on Dividend: Lagos Mover

April 13, 2012

Sterling Bank Plc (STERLNBA), a Nigerian lender, rose to the highest in more than three weeks after announcing it will pay a dividend for 2011.

The stock rose by the daily limit of 5 percent to 1.26 naira, the highest since March 22, as of 12:43 p.m. in Lagos. The shares have risen 25 percent this year.

Sterling will pay a dividend of 10 kobo per share for full- year 2011, it said in a Nigerian Stock Exchange statement today. Net income rose 60 percent to 6.69 billion naira ($42.5 million), the Lagos-based lender said. Revenue surged to 45.17 billion naira from 30.39 billion naira.

“It’s the decision to pay a dividend that is pushing the price,” Raheem Mohammed, chief operating officer of Kundila Finance Ltd., said by phone. “It is a pointer to improved performance in the future.”

Sterling didn’t pay a dividend in 2010 after returning to profit. Earnings are improving for the lender after Nigeria’s central bank implemented banking reforms following a debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 that threatened the industry with collapse.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at

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