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Pan Africa Insurance Rallies on Higher Dividend: Nairobi Mover

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Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Pan Africa Insurance Holdings Ltd., the Kenyan unit of South African insurer Sanlam Ltd., rose to the highest level in almost 21 months after increasing its annual dividend payout by 50 percent.

Shares of the Nairobi-based company climbed 2.1 percent to 48 shillings, the highest since May 25, 2011, by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi. About 30,100 shares changed hands, or more than double the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company proposed a dividend of 3 shillings per share compared with 2 shillings a year earlier. Profit in the 12 months through December rose 57 percent to 698.3 million shillings (8 million) as net written premiums jumped to 5.13 billion shillings from 3.3 billion shillings a year earlier, it said yesterday.

“The dividend payout is the major factor contributing to the rise in share price because investors are rushing to get the stock,” Augustine Misoka, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Sterling Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

Yesterday the stock was recommended buy in new coverage by Sterling Capital. Standard Investment Bank Ltd. had a similar recommendation on the company last month.

Sanlam is the largest South African-based life insurer in Africa.

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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