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Lafarge Wapco Gains Most in Six Weeks on Dividend Bets

Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc, the country’s second-biggest producer of the building material by market value, gained the most in six weeks on speculation it will pay a higher dividend.

The stock advanced 2.9 percent to close at 41 naira, the biggest daily gain since Jan. 20.

“Investors are expecting a higher dividend from the company for 2011,” Raheem Mohammed, chief operating officer of Kundila Finance, a Lagos-based brokerage, said by phone today. Lafarge Wapco paid a dividend of 25 kobo per share for the prior year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While that amount was constrained because of investment in an expansion project, “this year, it has no excuse to not pay a higher dividend having completed the project,” he said.

Lafarge Wapco took 45 billion naira ($285 million) in loans to expand its plant in Ewekoro, in western Nigeria. The new production line, which began production last September, is expected to double the company’s output to more than 4.5 million metric tons a year.

Wapco is a unit of Lafarge SA, the world’s biggest cement maker.

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