AccessKenya Climbs to 21-Month High on Dividend: Nairobi Mover

AccessKenya Group Ltd., the East African nation’s only publicly traded Internet company, climbed to the highest level in almost 21 months on plans to pay its first dividend in three years.

The stock advanced 0.7 percent to 7.15 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, the capital, the highest level since June 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 282,200 shares were traded, or 98 percent of the three-month daily average volume.

AccessKenya declared a dividend of 0.30 shilling per share on March 12. The payout needs to be approved by shareholders in a meeting scheduled for May 27.

"We have been seeing strong demand after the company declared the first dividend in three years," Ted Macharia, a research analyst at Nairobi-based AIB Capital Ltd., said in a phone interview today. "Investors are also expecting future growth from new connections, particularly among small businesses."

Full-year profit rose to 151 million shillings ($1.8 million) in the 12 months through December from 109 million shillings a year earlier, the company said. Sales jumped 9 percent to 1.9 billion shillings.

Shares of AccessKenya have surged 63 percent this year, the best performer on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The bourse’s All-Share Index has gained 24 percent during the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.