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Mota Rises on Expectations of New Africa Orders

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Mota-Engil SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest construction company, rose to the highest in three weeks as it expands operations in Africa while seeking contracts in the continent worth about $5 billion.

The stock climbed 2.1 percent to close at 2.036 euros in Lisbon, the highest since Feb. 28. That boosted Mota-Engil’s market value to 416.6 million euros ($538 million). Trading volume was 17 percent above the three-month daily average.

Chief Executive Officer Goncalo Martins said yesterday the Oporto-based company was studying or had presented proposals for projects in Africa worth about $5 billion. Mota-Engil plans to enter new markets in the continent, including Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.

“The rise in net income and news that the company is negotiating new contracts in Africa is helping shares today,” said Juan Dieste, a trader at Orey iTrade in Lisbon.

Mota-Engil, which reported a 22 percent rise in 2012 net income to 40.7 million euros yesterday, sees its order book exceeding 3.5 billion euros in 2013, compared with 3.4 billion euros last year, according to Martins.

Mota-Engil is among Portuguese builders making inroads into emerging markets in Africa and South America to counter a slump in government spending in Portugal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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