Bloomberg News

First Bank Nigeria Heads for Biggest Gain in Two Weeks

May 03, 2012

First Bank of Nigeria Plc, the country’s third-biggest lender by market value, headed for its biggest gain 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 on a closing basis, to 10.99 naira as of 11:10 a.m. 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 9.4 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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