Uchumi of Kenya Touches Four-Month High on Dividend Wagers

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Uchumi Supermarkets Ltd., Kenya’s only publicly traded retail chain, touched a four-month high as investors bet the company will pay a dividend.

The stock gained as much as 3.7 percent to 8.5 shillings, its strongest level since Nov. 16, before closing unchanged at 8.2 shillings at 3 p.m. in the capital, Nairobi.

“There was some news in the market that they are headed for their first dividend in several years,” George Bodo, an equity analyst at Nairobi-based Apex Africa Capital Ltd. said in a phone interview today. “It drove some foreign investor activity on that stock.”

Uchumi’s board will “deliberate on dividend payment by the end of the current financial year,” Kestrel Capital (East Africa) Ltd. analysts wrote March 5 in an e-mailed note. Kestrel initiated coverage on Uchumi with a “buy” rating and a price estimate of 15 shillings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net