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Safaricom of Kenya Gains 1.6% on Customer Growth: Nairobi Mover

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April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest mobile-phone company, advanced to its highest level in more than three weeks after the nation’s industry regulator said it led gains in new customers in the fourth quarter.

The stock jumped 1.6 percent to 3.25 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, the highest since March 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Safaricom, a unit of Vodafone Group Plc, added the most new customers in the last three months of 2011, with 741,560 new subscriptions at the end of December, compared with 593,177 in the previous three months. Essar Telecom, the local unit of Essar Group of India, followed with 600,285 new subscriptions, up from 46,742, according to an e-mailed statement from the Communications Commission of Kenya.

Telkom Kenya Ltd., the local unit of France Telecom SA, gained 144,208 new subscriptions in the fourth quarter, compared with 16,686 at the end of September while Airtel Networks Ltd., the Kenyan unit of Bharti Airtel Ltd. had 100,778 new subscriptions, compared with 557,567, the regulator said.

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

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