Lagos - The index of Nigeria's Top-10 banks closed up 4.7% on Monday, a significant gain for a sector which analysts expect to drive a stock market rally again this year.
Nigerian stocks rose to a 32-month high last Monday, ending 2012 up 34% in the index's best performance over the last five years, led by growth in consumer goods and banking.
The banking index gained 24% last year, but it trailed the consumer goods sector which rose 42%.
Analysts say banking shares have room to close up for a second year running, following a strong recovery in earnings after a 2009 financial crisis that nearly sunk nine lenders.
FCMB gained the maximum 10% allowed for stocks eligible for market making. Fidelity Bank, Skye Bank, UBA and Sterling Bank were up more than 9% each.
The all-share index gained 1.58% to 28 988 points.
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