Access Bank Hits 18-Month High as Profit Trebles: Lagos Mover

Access Bank Plc (ACCESS), Nigeria’s fourth- largest lender by market value, climbed to its highest level in 18 months after reporting first-half profit more than trebled.

The shares rose 4.1 percent to 9.1 naira at the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos, the commercial capital, the strongest since March 15, 2011. The stock has advanced for seven days, the longest streak in two months.

The Lagos-based bank said yesterday net income in the six months through June climbed to 26.3 billion naira ($166 million) from 8.05 billion naira a year earlier, as revenue doubled to 108.7 billion naira.

“Access Bank’s first half results were encouraging and are currently ahead of our full year 2012 earnings expectations on some key metrics,” Muyiwa Oni and Rele Adesina, Lagos-based analysts at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc (IBTCCB), wrote in e-mailed comments today.

Access Bank last year acquired Intercontinental Bank Plc, one of eight lenders bailed out by the central bank in 2009 after a debt crisis caused in part by loans to speculators in equities.

Access Bank has surged 90 percent this year, compared with a 44 percent gain for the Bloomberg NSE Banking Index (NGSEB10), which tracks the performance of Nigeria’s 10 most capitalized lenders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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