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Diamond Bank Plc recorded capital appreciation of 158.4 per cent to emerge third best performing stock out of the 10 best in Sub-Saharan African stocks of 2012, according to a research conducted by InvestingInAfrica.net, a field guide to profitable opportunities in African stock markets.

The bank recorded 158.4 per cent US dollar capital appreciation compared with International Breweries 172.5 per cent and Cadbury Nigeria Plc's 159.5 per cent capital growth respectively.

The research which excluded South African stocks, noted that after posting a loss in 2011, Diamond Bank put up great numbers in 2012, remarking that over the first nine months, the management of the bank more than doubled operating profits, and investors obviously liked what they saw.

The report observed that even after its 158.4 per cent US dollar gain, the stock still trades at just 4.2x trailing earnings. "Moreover, unlike its peers on this list, Access Bank (90.7 per cent) and UBA (78.5 per cent), Diamond Bank actually appeared to have laid the groundwork for exceptional performance in 2013. The bank increased its lending to customers by 38 per cent over the past 12 months and deposits have surged 29 per cent," InvestingInAfrica.net said.

The performance was measured as of December 14, 2012 and each stock has average trade volume greater than $10,000 per day over the previous 30 days.

The report noted that Nigerian companies dominated this year's list of the best-performing stocks in frontier Africa, adding that in fact, domination may be an understatement as first, second, and third place

All went to Nigerian stocks and all but four of 2012s 10 biggest gainers hail from Africa's most populous nation (Nigeria).

InvestingInAfrica.net remarked that many investors still find the words "profitable" and "African" to be a startling juxtaposition. And who can blame them? The news media is saturated with images of famine, war and disease on the continent.

"But there's another side of Africa that gets a lot less press. It's a place full of hopeful and enterprising people who are confident of a better future. This is the Africa that I believe is home to some of the most attractive investments in the world today," concludes the report.


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