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United Bank Jumps to 14-Month High on Rising Profit Speculation

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Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- United Bank for Africa Plc surged to the highest level in 14 months on speculation the Nigerian lender will post an increase in third-quarter profit in results expected within a week.

The stock gained 4.9 percent to 5.17 naira today in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, its highest closing price since Aug. 2, 2011.

“The first two quarters have been very good and the expectation of investors is that this trend will continue in the third quarter,” Abiola Rasaq, a Lagos-based analyst with Vetiva Capital Management Ltd. who rates the stock the equivalent of hold, said by phone today. UBA’s results may be released as early as Oct. 12, “or early next week,” he said.

Calls and a text message to Nasir Ramon Olarenwaju, a spokesman for the Lagos-based bank, requesting details of the earnings release date weren’t immediately returned.

UBA’s net income in the second quarter more than doubled to 27.1 billion naira ($172 million) from 10.3 billion naira a year earlier, the bank said on July 10. Revenue rose to 111 billion naira from 91.27 billion naira.

Shares of the lender have more than doubled this year, compared with a 30 percent advance in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index. Diamond Bank Plc, a Lagos-based lender, released its third-quarter results yesterday.

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

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