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British American of Kenya Gains Most This Year: Nairobi Mover

British-American Investments Co., a Kenyan company which owns money managers and insurance businesses, gained the most in seven month on bets it returned to profit in the first half of this year.

The stock jumped 5.4 percent, the most since Dec. 30, to close at 5.90 shillings in Nairobi, the capital.

British-American reported a full-year pretax loss of 1.7 billion shillings ($20.2 million), compared with year-earlier profit of 2.7 billion shillings, the company said in March, citing the “poor” performance of the stock market in 2011. The Nairobi Securities Exchange All Share Index is up 26 percent this year, having plunged 30 percent in 2011.

“They took a big unrealized loss, of about 2.25 billion shillings on their equities in full year and given the performance of the market so far that impairment is going to be repaired in the next earnings release,” Aly Khan Satchu, chief executive officer of Nairobi-based investment company Rich Management Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

The company has cut its stake in Equity Bank Ltd. to 7.66 percent from 10.63 percent and reduced its holding in Housing Finance Ltd. to 18.93 percent from 20.78 percent, Business Daily said July 27, citing regulatory filings at the end of June.

In April, British-American said it plans to tap international investors to help set up a planned 10 billion-shilling property fund. British American said it would provide 1.5 billion shillings for the fund and raise 8.5 billion shillings from investors.

The company is expected to announce earnings Aug. 2.

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