Johannesburg - South Africa’s Financial Services Board will probe trading in African Bank Investments Ltd. shares after they rose the most in 12 years three weeks ago.

African Bank climbed 11 percent to 12.20 rand on April 23, the biggest gain since March 2002.

Two days later, the Johannesburg-based company said it was in talks with Edcon Ltd. to offer loans to the clothing retailer’s clients.

“We can confirm that the FSB is investigating trading in African Bank shares,” Tembisa Marele, a spokeswoman at the Pretoria-based FSB, said in an e-mailed response to questions today, without giving more details.

African Bank, South Africa’s largest provider of unsecured loans, wasn’t immediately able to comment, according to a spokeswoman contacted by mobile phone today.

African Bank rose 1.6 percent to 8.24 rand by the close of trading in Johannesburg.

The stock has declined 34 percent since the company said on May 2 that it will report a loss of as much as 4.5 billion rand for the six months through March. - Bloomberg News