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First Bank of Nigeria Rallies Most in Two Months in Lagos

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- First Bank of Nigeria Plc, the country’s third-biggest lender by market value, advanced the most in two months, as investors bet it will pay a “good” dividend.

The stock jumped the maximum 5 percent permissible under the country’s stock exchange regulations, the most since Dec. 16, to 10.50 naira by the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

“Very soon the full-year results will be released and investors believe it will pay a good dividend,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lambeth, said by phone today.

About 28.92 million of First Bank’s shares, or 95.3 percent of the three-month daily average, traded today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock is up 18 percent this year, compared with the 0.3 percent fall in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index. The lender’s net income for the third quarter through September rose 32 percent to 42.9 billion naira ($270 million), it said Oct. 13.

The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced a December common year-end for lenders in Africa’s most populous nation as part of its reforms in the banking industry. Full-year results for 2011 will start streaming in later this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ana Monteiro at amonteiro4@bloomberg.net

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