Housing Finance of Kenya Gains Most in Three Weeks on Profit

Housing Finance Ltd., Kenya’s only publicly traded mortgage lender, gained the most in more than three weeks after saying profit jumped in the first quarter.

The shares advanced as much as 7.2 percent, the biggest intraday increase since April 2, before trading 3.1 percent stronger at 25 shillings by 1:57 p.m. in Nairobi, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 2.7 times the three-month daily average of shares were traded.

Net income rose to 195 million shillings ($2.3 million) from 133 million shillings a year earlier, Housing Finance said yesterday. Net interest income, the money earned from interest charges on loans, rose to 665 million shillings from 456 million shillings.

The company “may seek additional funding in the fourth quarter of the year to further capitalize Kenya Building Society,” Managing Director Frank Ireri said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The society, a Housing Finance unit, constructs homes in East Africa’s biggest economy. “Following recent peaceful national elections, we expect sustained growth during the year,” Ireri said.

Uhuru Kenyatta withstood a court challenge from Raila Odinga of his March 4 presidential election victory and was sworn into office earlier this month. A disputed vote in 2007 left at least 1,100 people dead and displaced 350,000.

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