East Africa Portland Drops Most in Six Weeks: Nairobi Mover

East African Portland Cement Ltd. (EAPC), the smallest of Kenya’s three publicly traded makers of the building material, plunged the most in almost six weeks on bets it will make a loss in the first half.

The stock plummeted by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent to close at 38.25 shillings in the capital, Nairobi, the steepest decline since Oct. 31, when the company reported a full-year loss. About 91,000 shares traded or seven times the three-month daily average volume.

“We still believe the company will make a loss in the half year to December unless they do something drastic,” Halima Saadia, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Old Mutual Securities Ltd. said in a phone interview.

In the year through June the loss was 821.5 million shillings ($9.57 million), compared with a profit of 1.72 million shillings a year earlier. Sales dropped 16 percent to 8.61 billion shillings, hurt by “extraordinary turbulence” in the period, the company said.

Management wrangles and a dispute on directorship will partly contribute to the dismal performance of the company, Saadia said.

In January the industry regulator suspended trading in the shares to give the company time to resolve management disputes. The suspension was lifted in April.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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