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Centum of Kenya Starts Secondary Trading in Uganda

Centum Investment Co., East Africa’s biggest publicly traded company, started secondary trading on the Uganda Securities Exchange today as it broadens its operations outside Kenya.

Centum, based in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, sold 4 million shares, and the stock rose as much as 2.3 percent to 670 Ugandan shillings ($0.29), its Chairman James Muguiyi told reporters today in Kampala.

The secondary listing is a “springboard” for the company’s expansion program that will see it operating in three other East African countries within the next two years, Muguiyi said in an interview.

Centum plans to increase its assets under management threefold to 30 billion Kenyan shillings ($370 million) by 2014, with at least half of the portfolio expected to be outside Kenya, Muguiyi said. Uganda’s bourse now has 14 listed companies, seven of which are secondary listings from Kenya.

Uganda’s exchange will boost the number of trading days to five a week from three in early March because of increasing business, Joseph Kitamirike, the bourse’s chief executive officer said.

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