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First Bank Nigeria Rises Most in Month on Dividend Bets

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March 21 (Bloomberg) -- First Bank of Nigeria Plc, the country’s third-biggest lender by market value, rose the most in almost a month on bets the company will pay a dividend for 2011, with results expected by the end of this month.

The stock added 4.9 percent, its biggest gain since Feb. 23, to 10.46 naira by the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos, the commercial capital.

“Investors are expecting that the bank’s full-year result will be good and that it will pay a dividend,” Emeka Maubuike, chief executive officer of Compass Investments and Securities Limited, a Lagos-based brokerage, said by phone today.

Nigeria’s central bank introduced a December common year-end for the country’s lenders and some of them have announced their 2011 results, with the rest expected to be released before the end of March.

Third-quarter net income rose 32 percent to 42.9 billion naira ($272 million), First Bank said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Oct. 13.

Link to Company News:{FIRSTBAN NL <Equity> CN <GO>}

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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