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Kenya Airways Slides as Commercial Director Quits: Nairobi Mover

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Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya Airways Ltd., sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest airline, dropped to its lowest level in five weeks after the company’s commercial director disappointed investors by deciding not to renew his contract.

The stock declined 1.8 percent to 10.75 shillings by 1:25 p.m. in Nairobi, the biggest decline since Jan. 11 and the lowest level on a closing basis since Dec. 17. About 67,500 shares have traded so far, equivalent to about 39 percent of the three-month daily average volume.

Commercial Director Mohan Chandra, 60, will leave the company after agreeing not to renew his contract, Communications Manager Chris Karanja said today in response to e-mailed questions. He did not say when Chandra would leave.

Chandra’s resignation “was generally negative on the stock and is causing concern among investors,” Eric Musau, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank, said by telephone today.

Kenya Airways plunged 42 percent last year, making it the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s worst performer. It has retreated 5.7 percent so far this year, the third-worst performer, while the bourse has risen 10 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the six months through September, Kenya Airways reported a loss of 4.79 billion shillings ($55.2 million) compared with a profit of 2.03 billion shillings a year earlier, the company said in November.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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