Conoil Nigeria Gains Most in 9 Years on Outlook: Lagos Mover

Conoil Plc, which sells gasoline products in Nigeria, gained the most in nine years on speculation faster subsidy payments by the government will boost earnings. Forte Oil Plc also rallied.

Conoil advanced 10 percent to 51.48 naira by the close in Lagos, the commercial capital, its biggest advance since Sept. 2004. Trading volume was 1.2 times the three-month daily average. Forte jumped 5 percent to 95.16 naira with volume 2.5 times the average.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, subsidizes the cost of gasoline for local buyers. An attempt by President Goodluck Jonathan to scrap the rebates in January 2012 without notice sparked strikes and protests. An independent audit of payments in the oil and gas industry from 2009 to 2011 slowed transfers of the subsidies to oil importers.

“Payments to oil marketers have improved from what it used to be,” Oyekunle Omotayo-Benson, analyst at Asset & Resource Management Co., said by phone from Lagos. “The companies can push greater volume, cut down on borrowing and have a moderation in finance charges.”

Shares in Conoil, which led gains today on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s All Share Index, have more than doubled this year, compared with the bourse’s 35 percent advance. Forte Oil has risen more than 10 times in 2013 year as the best performer on the 193-member index.

Conoil’s profit for the nine months through September quadrupled to 2.1 billion naira from 486 million naira a year earlier, it said on Nov. 1.

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