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Sub-Sahara Africa Stocks: First Bank, New Mauritius Hotels

Mauritius’s SEMDEX Index rallied to the highest since February 2008, adding 0.9 percent to 2,086.43 by the 1:30 p.m. close in Port Louis.

The Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index snapped 10 days of gains, slipping 0.8 percent to 1,151.83 by the 3 p.m. close of trading in Accra. Kenya’s All-Share Index retreated for a second day, losing 0.8 percent to 75.98 by the end of trading at 3 p.m. in Nairobi. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index advanced 0.7 percent to 25,432.93 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos, according to a statement on the bourse’s website. Namibia’s FTSE/Namibia Overall Index surged 2 percent to 862.71 by the 4 p.m. close in Windhoek.

The following shares rose or fell in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

CFC Insurance Holding Ltd. (CFCI KN), Kenya’s first listing in 28 months, retreated 30 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 18.10 shillings, on speculation it climbed too far too fast since it started trading two weeks ago.

“For the short time it has been in the market, the gains have been driven purely by short-term traders and it is bound to fall,” Ruphus Mwanyasi, head trader at Nairobi-based Canaan Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

First Bank of Nigeria Plc (FIRSTBAN NL), the country’s third-biggest lender by market value, rose the most in six weeks, gaining 66 kobo, or 5 percent, to 13.92 naira.

Renaissance Capital placed a “buy” recommendation on First Bank and five other Nigerian lenders, saying April elections in Africa’s most populous nation were “positive, and should shift market focus away from political risk,” analysts David Nangle, Adesoji Solanke and Armen Gasparyan wrote in an e-mailed note to clients yesterday. Skye Bank Plc (SKYEBANK NL), a Nigerian lender, gained 32 kobo, or 3.9 percent, to 8.6 naira, after it was also rated “buy” at Renaissance.

New Mauritius Hotels Ltd. (NMH MP), the Indian Ocean island nation’s biggest leisure group by market value, climbed the most in three months, rising 4 rupees, or 3.9 percent, to 107 rupees. Net income increased 25 percent to 334.6 million rupees ($12 million) in the second quarter from a year earlier, it said in a regulatory filing today.

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