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Ghana Stocks Gain to Record as Growth to Outpace Africa

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana’s benchmark stocks index rallied to a record on speculation companies, including banks and breweries, will benefit from economic growth in 2013 that is set to beat the sub-Saharan African average for a sixth year.

The Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to close at 1,231.93. It was the ninth day of gains, the longest winning streak since Nov. 8, and highest level since the measure started in January 2011. Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd., the biggest by branches, increased for a third day, adding 1.4 percent to 2.18 cedis. Unilever Ghana Ltd., which makes items from soap to toothpaste, jumped 2.9 percent to 9.03 cedis, the highest since at least 1995, when Bloomberg started compiling data on the company.

“With Ghana’s stable political atmosphere, the majority of listed companies should be able to do well this year,” Gerard Hagan-Aggrey, a trader at First Atlantic Bank Ltd. in the capital, Accra, said by phone. “We expect 8 percent gross domestic product growth this year, driven by construction, oil and gas, energy and agriculture.”

Ghana’s 67.4 billion-cedi ($35 billion) economy will probably expand 7.8 percent this year, outpacing the 5.3 percent projection in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund. Ghana’s expansion has been driven partly by the start of oil exports in December 2010.

Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd., a unit of Diageo Plc, increased 0.4 percent to 2.63 cedis. Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd., the second-biggest lender by market value, added 0.1 percent to 12.31 cedis. Both stocks reached their highest since at least 1995, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Foreign investors account for 21.9 percent of value traded on the Accra bourse, according to data provided by the Ghana Stock Exchange last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Moses Mozart Dzawu in Accra at mdzawu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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