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National Bank of Kenya Rallies Most in 13 Months: Nairobi Mover

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March 12 (Bloomberg) -- National Bank of Kenya Ltd., a state-run lender, gained the most in 13 months on bets its valuation and growth prospects are more favorable than those of other lenders.

The shares surged 9.9 percent to 22.25 shillings by 11:33 a.m. in the capital, Nairobi, the biggest gain since Feb. 16, 2012. About 56,900 shares traded, or 144 percent of the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“In the sector it is the cheapest stock with a price-to-earnings ratio of 3 and the industry average is 9,” Ted Macharia, a research analyst at Nairobi-based AIB Capital Ltd., said by phone today. “Its growth prospects going forward are much better because already under the new CEO they have begun improving efficiencies at their branches.”

Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. trades at 15.11 times reported earnings, the highest in the sector, while National Bank is the lowest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Other lenders such at Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd. and Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. are at 9.07 and 9.80 respectively.

National Bank shares have gained 29 percent this year while the Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share Index has climbed 22 percent.

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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