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AccessKenya Climbs to 19-Month High on Investment: Nairobi Mover

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- AccessKenya Group Ltd., the East African nation’s only publicly traded Internet company, climbed to the highest in almost 19 months as AIB Capital Ltd. said investment in network infrastructure will boost profit margins.

The stock advanced 4.7 percent to 6.65 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, the capital, the highest since July 20, 2011. About 527,800 shares traded, or 190 percent of the three-month daily average volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

AccessKenya is converting all its wireless base stations to fiber-optic cable links, which should boost bandwidth capacity by more than 80 percent, Nairobi-based AIB Capital said today in an e-mailed note to clients. Reduced operational expenses will allow for greater profit margins, according to the note. The move is part of a larger effort to bolster Internet connectivity, AIB Capital said.

“Investors are buying into the company because they expect expenses will shrink and the new customers will increase revenue,” Ted Macharia, a research analyst at AIB Capital, said in a phone interview.

Shares of AccessKenya have surged 51 percent this year, the best performer on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The bourse’s All-Share Index has gained 15 percent during the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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