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Sterling Bank of Nigeria Gains Most in 1 Month: Lagos Mover

Sterling Bank Plc, a Nigerian lender, gained the most on a closing basis in more than a month after rising by the daily limit on bets by investors its decline was overdone.

The stock rose 5 percent to 1.26 naira at the close in Lagos, the commercial capital, after four days without a gain. It was the biggest price jump since April 13.

“Investors’ appetite for the stock was awakened by the low price” after days of decline, said David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Lambeth Trust and Investment Co.

Sterling Bank, which last year acquired Equitorial Trust Bank Plc, a lender bailed out by the central bank, said on May 10 that first-quarter profit through March climbed 15 percent to 1.32 billion naira. Its shares have risen 24.8 percent this year, compared with gain of 8.6 percent in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index over the same period.

Based on “the first-quarter result, it could rise to 2 naira within two months,” said Adonri. The lender, which paid a dividend of 10 kobo per share for the full-year through December, exceeded the minimum dividend yield of 5 percent expected by most investors, he said.

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