Bloomberg News

First Bank Nigeria Gains Most in Two Weeks: Lagos Mover

May 03, 2012

First Bank of Nigeria Plc, the country’s third-biggest lender by market value, rose the most in two weeks after reporting that first-quarter profit doubled.

The stock rose 5 percent, the maximum daily limit and the most since April 19, to 10.99 naira by the close in Lagos, the commercial capital.

Profit for the three months through March soared to 24.5 billion naira ($156 million) from 12.2 billion naira a year earlier, the bank said yesterday in a statement on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Revenue advanced 42 percent to 92.3 billion naira.

“I see growth, I see opportunities in the stock,” Eugene Ezenwa, chief operating officer for Lagos-based PAC Securities Ltd., said by phone today. “If the bank maintains the current run rate, I expect its price to hit 20 naira by year end,” he said.

First Bank shares have climbed 23 percent this year, compared with a 9.2 percent increase in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

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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