Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. (KNCB), the East African nation’s biggest lender by assets and outlets, gained the most in more than four months on bets earnings will continue growing in the second half.
The stock of KCB, as the lender is known, advanced 2.8 percent to 27.50 shillings as of the 3:00 p.m. close in Nairobi, the capital, the biggest increase since May 3.
Earnings per share in the 12 months through December could grow as much as 17 percent to 4.337 shillings a share, Davis Mika, an analyst at Nairobi-based Contrarian Investing Kenya Ltd., said by phone today.
“It is mostly influenced by efficiency gains out of the restructuring which they carried out last year,” he said. “Especially staff costs have declined, impacting their bottom line positively, and I expect loan uptake to increase after they reduced their base lending rate.”
KCB on Sept. 14 said it would reduce its base loan rate to 19 percent from 22.5 percent starting Oct. 1. First-half profit climbed to 6.09 billion shillings ($71.5 million) from 4.06 billion shillings a year earlier, as income from loans increased and earnings from regional operations surged.
Investor Mark Mobius, who oversees about $45 billion as executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said yesterday he’s considering buying shares in Kenyan banks, Russian retailers and pharmaceutical companies.
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