Nigeria Nestle shares hit new highs, up 30 pct this year

LAGOS Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:29am EST

LAGOS Feb 20 (Reuters) - Nestle Nigeria shares soared 9.89 percent to a new record high on Wednesday on low volumes, as investors poured in cash on expectations of a healthy full-year dividend announcement this week, traders said.

Nestle climbed 89.9 naira per share to 990 naira ($6.29) at 1115 GMT, on 48,934 units traded, helping lift the all-share index up 1.44 percent to 33,814 points.

Nestle shares have risen more than 30 percent since the interim dividend was paid 10 weeks ago, on low volumes, to become the most expensive stock on the bourse on a per share basis.

The company, which is majority owned by Swiss food firm Nestle SA, paid an interim dividend of 1.50 naira per share in December, raising hopes of a healthy full-year payout.

It pays out around 90 percent of its local profits as dividends, brokers say.

(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; editing by Chijioke Ohuocha and James Jukwey)

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