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Guinness Nigeria Heads for Highest in Over 10 Years: Lagos Mover

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Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Guinness Nigeria Plc, the nation’s second-largest brewer by market value, headed for the highest close on more than 10 years as investors bought the stock before a dividend.

The stock gained 1.5 percent to 264 naira by 2:08 p.m. in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. A close at this price will be the highest since Jan. 25, 2002, when Bloomberg started compiling data on the company.

Guinness will pay 8 naira a share or issue one bonus share for every 33 shares held, Raheem Mohammed, chief operating officer of Lagos-based Kundila Finance Ltd, said by phone today. “Investors are taking position on the stock. The qualifying deadline for the payment is Oct 5.”

Net income for the Diageo Plc unit declined 18 percent to 14.6 billion naira ($92.6 million) from 17.9 billion naira a year earlier, as distribution costs rose, the Lagos-based company said on Sept. 17.

“If Guinness can take care of distribution costs going forward, investors believe it will do well,” Mohammed said.

Guinness shares have risen 5.6 percent this year, compared with a 26 percent rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

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