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UBA Nigeria Advances Most in Six Years on Listing: Lagos Mover

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Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- United Bank for Africa Plc, the Nigerian lender whose shareholders last month approved a restructuring plan, surged the most in more than six years after its commercial banking business was listed on the local bourse.

The stock jumped 9.8 percent to 5.14 naira by the close in in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, its biggest rise since August 2006. The shares traded were about 59 percent of the stock’s three-month daily average volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The lender listed its commercial banking unit at 4.26 naira per share yesterday, it said in an e-mailed statement. UBA Capital, the non-commercial banking and capital market businesses of UBA, will trade as a separate company from Jan. 11. Africa Prudential Registrars, which acquired UBA’S share-registration business, will also begin trading on the same day.

The new structure will enable UBA to focus on its “core competence,” Abiola Rasaq, a Lagos-based banking analyst at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by phone today. “The bank has more competence in commercial banking so this new arrangement will help it to remain focused.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced regulation requiring lenders to spin off non-banking units, or adopt holding company structures to retain them, as part of its reforms after the near-collapse of the industry from a debt crisis.

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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