Bloomberg News

Kenyan Shilling Gains First Day, as Dollar Demand Fizzles Out

December 06, 2011

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling appreciated for the first day in three on low dollar demand following an increase in the benchmark interest rate.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy gained 0.2 percent to 89.68 per dollar at 5:39 p.m. in Nairobi, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Kenyan central bank raised the rate by 1.5 percentage points to 18 percent on Dec. 1 to contain inflation after prices rose more than double a government target. The worst regional drought in 60 years and higher fuel prices helped spur inflation to 19.7 percent in November from 18.9 percent in the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics said last month.

“The shilling has strengthened on account of low dollar demand and a prevailing tight liquidity following the increase in the benchmark rate by the central bank,” Duncan Kinuthia, a dealer at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

The Tanzanian shilling strengthened for the third day, rising 0.2 percent to trade at 1,662.

Uganda’s currency gained for a sixth day, rising 1.2 percent to 2,495 per dollar as dollar inflow increased on account of treasury bonds being sold this week.

“The shilling is strengthening on account of dollar inflows from offshore investors who are eyeing a bond sale this week,” Walter Mananu, a currency trader at Bank of Africa Uganda Ltd., said by phone from Kampala.

--With assistance from David Malingha Doya in Dar es Salaam and Fred Ojambo in Kampala. Editors: Peter Branton, Chris Peterson

To contact the reporter on this story: Johnstone Ole Turana in Nairobi at jturana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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