6 September 2012

Nigeria Stocks Soar to 59 Week High, Led By Banks

Lagos — Nigeria's stock index hit a 59 week high yesterday, crossing the psychological 24,000 point level, on confidence from the recovery of the banking sector and heavy buying of Union Bank shares, dealers said.

Sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest index gained 1.46 percent to 24,365 points at 1148 GMT on Wednesday, after rising consistently last week, hitting its highest since July 13, 2011, when it closed at 24,410 points.

Union Bank shares jumped almost 5 percent to 5.89 naira, on cross dealing of 2.2 billion shares by new investors in the lender, pulling other banks up with it.

The banking sector is up 36.2 percent this year on a recovery in earnings, compared with gains in the overall Nigerian index of 15.83 percent.

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