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Barclays Kenya Gains Most in 3 Weeks on Profit Speculation

Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd., Kenya’s largest lender by market value, advanced the most in more than three weeks on speculation full-year profit will increase.

The stock climbed as much as 5.3 percent before closing trading 3.6 percent higher at 12.80 shillings by 3 p.m. in Nairobi, the capital, the biggest gain since Dec. 21.

“People expect a good performance when they announce their profit for 2011 because of the cost rationalization they undertook,” Brenda Kithinji, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Old Mutual Securities Ltd. said by phone today. “Barclays is one of the stocks that have fallen below their valuation in terms of price to earnings and price to book”.

The stock has a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.89, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its ratio should be above 9, Kithinji said.

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