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Guinness Nigeria at Highest in 7 Months Amid Market Speculation

Guinness Nigeria Plc, the nation’s second-largest brewer by market value, rose to the highest in seven months amid speculation strategic investors may have increased their stake in the company.

The stock rose as much as 5 percent to 257.25 naira before trading up 2 percent at 250 naira at 12:52 p.m. in Lagos. A close at this price would be the highest since June 8.

“It could be that some strategic investors are taking position on the stock on its expansion project to cause such a high demand for it,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Lambeth Trust and Investment Co., said by phone today. Almost 452,000 shares were traded, down 24 percent since the exchange’s previous session on Dec. 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Guinness parent Diageo Plc this year started a 56 billion-naira ($344 million) investment program for Guinness Nigeria to expand its Benin and Ogba breweries and upgrade other facilities tomeet growing demand for Harp lager and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

“These are factors that are compelling enough to encourage investors to take position on the stock,” Adonri said.

The stock has gained 31 percent this year compared with a 16.8 percent loss for the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index over the same period.

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