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Centum Rises First Day in Three on Real Estate: Nairobi Mover

Centum Investment Co., Kenya’s largest publicly traded investment group, rose for the first time in three days on speculation the company will benefit from real-estate investments.

The stock climbed 1.2 percent to close at 21.50 shillings in the capital, Nairobi, with about 1.7 times the three-month daily average of securities changing hands.

The company is putting $22 million into the first phase of Pearl Marina, a luxury real-estate project in Uganda, Graeme Reid, managing director of its Athena Properties Ltd. unit, said in an interview on April 12. In Kenya, Centum will invest about 2 billion shillings ($24 million) in its Two Rivers project in Nairobi, Chief Executive Officer James Mworia said in November.

“The company has gone into real estate and that is something that appeals to investors and they have taken note,” Ian Gachichio, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Kestrel Capital (East Africa) Ltd., said by phone.

Net income in the six months through September was 805.6 million shillings compared with 793.2 million shillings a year earlier, Centum said Nov. 13. The company is yet to provide a date when it will announce full-year earnings.

“The general sentiment is that earnings for the financial year ended March were good,” said Gachichio.

Shares in the company that invests in banks, breweries and food processing have surged 74 percent since the start of the year, the fifth-best performing Kenyan stock, outpacing the 28 percent gain on the Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share Index.

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