Ghana Stocks Rally to Head for Best Month Since July After IMF

Stocks in Ghana gained, heading for the best month since July, after the West African nation got aid from the International Monetary Fund and companies reported profit that attracted investors.

The Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index rallied 2.2 percent in April to head for a third straight month of increases. The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer, which is struggling to curb a budget deficit, inflation and a depreciating currency, signed a deal worth almost $1 billion with the Washington-based lender earlier this month.

“Ghana’s IMF program is shaping foreign investors’ outlook positively so they are returning,” Randy Mensah, a stock trader at Ecobank Development Corp. said by phone on Wednesday from Lagos. “Banks’ 2014 earnings were quite attractive. First quarter results coming through show retail companies also bounced back.”

Consumer companies such as Fan Milk Ltd., which makes ice cream, and banks including CAL Bank Ltd. have overcome inflation that rose to 16.6 percent in March, Africa’s worst-performing currency against the dollar this year and electricity blackouts lasting as long as 24 hours to report higher profit from increased sales and lending.

The composite index advanced 0.2 percent to 2,268.50 by 2:35 p.m. in Accra, the capital. CAL Bank’s first-quarter profit increased 38 percent and the shares gained a third day, adding 1 percent to 1.04 cedis on Wednesday. Fan Milk’s net income climbed to 11.8 million cedis ($3.06 million) in the three months through March from 4.5 million cedis a year earlier, it said on Tuesday. The shares, which have risen 1 percent this year, were unchanged at 5.30 cedis Wednesday.

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