Lagos - Nestle Nigeria shares rose to an all-time high on Wednesday as investors anticipated a healthy year-end dividend after the food company this week paid out an interim 1.50 naira per share, stock brokers said.
The company, which is majority owned by Nestle SA, has a payout ratio of up to 90% of its local profits, brokers say.
Nestle Nigeria gained 5.18% to 710 naira per share by 15:46, its highest level ever on the bourse, helping the Nigerian index climb 1.72% to 27 516 points.
Nestle Nigeria has gained 51% so far this year.
Sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest index has risen more than 30% this year, driven by strong corporate earnings and a gradual return of liquidity to the bourse, which also contributed to the Nestle's rally, brokers say.
Last week, Nigeria scrapped stamp duties and VAT on stock market transaction fees and wrote off around 22 6bn naira in margin loans owed by stock brokers, after a financial crisis in 2009 triggered a state-backed bailout.
"The government has restored confidence and brought back about 84 stock broking firms into the market," Rasheed Yusuuf, a stockbroker told Reuters.
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