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UT Bank Ghana Jumps Most in 3 Weeks on Profit Bets: Accra Mover

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- UT Bank Ltd. of Ghana, a lender in the West African nation, rose the most in almost three weeks on bets profit grew in the first quarter.

The stock gained 3.3 percent to 31 pesewas as of 1:16 p.m. in Accra, the capital, the biggest gain since March 30.

“We are expecting UT’s profit after tax to increase by at least 15 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier,” Randy Mensah, a stock trader at Databank Financial Services Ltd. in Accra, said by phone today. “The bank’s loans and advances performed very well last year and we expect that momentum to be sustained, driven mainly by lending to small and medium-sized businesses in line with expansion of the economy.”

UT Bank’s loans and advances grew 50.7 percent to 475.2 million cedis ($260.9 million) in 2011, according to its annual report. That helped boost net interest income by 45 percent to 49.7 million cedis and net income by 40.5 percent to 13.1 million cedis, it said on April 2.

The bank’s first quarter earnings are expected by the end of this month, Mensah said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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