Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd. (GCB), the West African nation’s lender with the most branches, rose to the highest in more than seven months on speculation that first-half profit increased.
The stock gained 1.5 percent to 2 cedis as of 1:49 p.m. in the capital, Accra, the highest since Nov. 17.
Net income increased 18 percent in the first quarter to 23.4 million cedis ($12.1 million), the lender known as GCB said on May 30. Net interest income in the three months through March rose to 58.4 million cedis from 54.3 million cedis a year earlier. The bank had curbed lending in 2011 to ease impairment charges, resulting in a 64 percent drop in profit to 18 million cedis.
“We think the bank’s after tax profit grew 20 percent in the first half from a year earlier,” Xorlali Torsu, a stock trader at Accra-based Databank Financial Services Ltd., said by phone today. “Looking at their first-quarter results I don’t expect them to do a lot of risky lending, however, I’d expect fees and commission income as well as investments in government treasury bills to support earnings significantly.”
This year’s first-half results are expected within the next two weeks, Torsu said.
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