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Centum Climbs to Highest Level in Almost 8 Months: Nairobi Mover

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Centum Investment Co., Kenya’s largest publicly traded investment group, rose to its highest level in almost eight months.

The stock advanced for a fourth day, gaining 4.7 percent to 14.45 shillings by the close in Nairobi, the highest price since June 18. About 72 percent of the three-month daily average of shares traded.

Shares in Centum have climbed 18 percent this year after dropping 8.5 percent in the 12 months to December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Last month Centum announced it has acquired 45 percent of Platcorp Holdings Ltd., a lender in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

“Guys are accumulating the stock following the fall in price last year and as they look at the future prospects,” Rufus Mwanyasi, head trader at Nairobi-based Canaan Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview.

Canaan has a short-term price target of 15.65 shillings and a buy recommendation, he said.

“The share price is a reflection of investor confidence after they bought Platcorp,” Ted Macharia, a research analyst at Nairobi-based AIB Capital, said by phone today. “The banking sector has very strong growth and small businesses which cannot be covered by banks or private equity get financing from micro finance institutions like Platcorp.”

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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