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Ghana Commercial Bank Rises to Record High After Profit Jumps

Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender by branches, rose to a record after reporting that profit soared by almost eight times in 2012.

The shares gained 4.8 percent to 3.25 cedis by 1:02 p.m. in the capital, Accra, the highest since February 1997, when Bloomberg began compiling the data. More than 128,000 shares were traded, or more than 5.6 times the three-month daily average.

Net income climbed to 143 million cedis ($74 million) from 18 million cedis a year earlier, Ghana Commercial Bank said in a statement e-mailed by the country’s bourse today. Loans to customers jumped 78 percent to 848 million cedis while net interest income, the money made from lending, advanced to 325.2 million cedis from 206.9 million cedis in 2011, it said.

Banks in West Africa’s second-biggest economy have led the Ghana Stock Exchange’s 44 percent rise this year, as many boost lending to clients in the country where growth is forecast by the Finance Ministry to reach 8 percent this year, faster than the sub-Saharan African average.

Ghana Commercial Bank’s stock has jumped 55 percent this year, faster than the composite measure and the gauge of financial stocks, which has climbed 49 percent.

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