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Safaricom Rises to 5-Year High Before Dividend: Nairobi Mover

Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest mobile-phone company, soared to the highest in more than five years as investors bought shares before a dividend cut-off date.

The stock gained for a second day, advancing 4.1 percent to 7.7 shillings, the highest since June 2008, by the close in Nairobi, the capital. Almost 14 million shares traded, equivalent to 80 percent of the 3-month daily average.

Safaricom is the second-best performer on the FTSE NSE Kenya 25 Index so far in the third quarter. The company, Kenya’s biggest by market value, said on May 14 shareholders are entitled to a dividend of 0.31 shillings per share for the year through March.

“We are seeing demand building up because of book closure on Sept. 12,” Eric Musau, an analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone today. Safaricom has an “attractive” dividend yield of 4 percent, Musau said, comparing it with East African Breweries Ltd., the second-largest Kenyan company by market value, which he said is at 2.1 percent.

Safaricom’s 14-day relative strength index closed at 73.8 today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A reading above 70 means a security may be overbought and poised to fall.

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

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

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