Filomena Scalise

Lagos - Nigeria's biggest listed company, Dangote Cement, rose the maximum daily limit of five percent on Thursday after a positive profit forecast this week, helping to lift the stock index 1.3 percent.

Dangote Cement, which accounts for a third of Nigeria's stock market capitalization, said on Monday it expected first quarter pre-tax profit to rise 38.9 percent year-on-year to 42.09 billion naira.

Sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest index rose to a three week high on thin trades on Thursday and is up 31.9 percent this year, compared to a 16.3 percent drop in 2011. The index was up 375 points at 27,722 points by 1320 GMT.

Dangote Cement climbed 5.0 percent to 128.10 naira, close to the 135 naira which it listed its shares two years ago.

Nigeria's biggest cement producer said it expected turnover of around 81.6 billion naira ($519 million) in the first quarter, compared with 64.1 billion naira it achieved in the same period in 2012. -Reuters