Nigerian Stock Index Rises for Fifth Day, Led by Zenith Bank

Nigeria’s benchmark stock index climbed for a fifth day, the longest streak of increases since Oct. 18, led by Zenith Bank Plc, the country’s biggest lender by market value, and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the third largest.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index added 0.4 percent to 24,856.84 as of 12:35 p.m. in Lagos, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

Banks led the rally, with Zenith rising 2.9 percent to 15.01 naira, the highest in more than a week. Guaranty gained 3.2 percent to 16 naira, the highest since Nov. 19.

Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria, a state-owned company set up to buy bad debts from the West African nation’s banks, plans to sell 2.5 trillion naira ($16.6 billion) of three-year, zero-coupon bonds to finance the purchases, Managing Director Mustafa Chike-Obi said in an interview in Lagos, published after Bloomberg News received notification from the stock exchange of the market close today.

Amcon will buy back 2.2 trillion naira bad debts that resulted from loans to stock speculators and threatened to cripple the banking industry. The central bank fired the chief executive officers of eight of the country’s 24 lenders, and took stakes in some of them, spending 620 billion naira to recapitalize the industry.

Oceanic Bank International Plc, one of the lenders bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria, increased 2.8 percent to 2.59 naira, taking its advance this year to 53 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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