Bloomberg News

Kenya’s Shilling Advances on Lower Dollar Demand From Importers

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling strengthened against the dollar for the first time in two days on lower demand for the U.S currency.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy appreciated as much as 0.6 percent to 83.38 before paring its rise to 0.3 percent at 83.63 as of 4:30 p.m. in Nairobi.

“The shilling is riding on low dollar demand as most businesses starting scaling down their operation for the year,” Wilson Mutai, a dealer at Nairobi-based African Banking Corp., said in a phone interview today.

The shilling depreciated 19 percent in the first ten months, making it the world’s worst performer against the dollar, reaching 106.75 on Oct. 11. It recouped all its losses in the fourth quarter, appreciating 19 percent since Nov. 1 to date, making it the best performing currency among more than 170 currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Uganda’s currency edged up for the third day, rising as much as 0.8 percent before paring its gain to 0.2 percent at 2,360.

“Ugandans living abroad are sending remittances for the festive season and with the market having subdued demand of the U.S. currency because companies have slowed their activities which is normal in December,” Abbey Mutabali, a currency trader at Centenary Bank Ltd., said by phone from Kampala.

Tanzanian shilling weakened 0.1 percent to trade 1,595.80 per dollar at 4:29 p.m in Dar es salam.

--With assistance Fred Ojambo in Kampala at fojambo@bloomberg.net Editors: Ash Kumar, Dulue Mbachu

To contact the reporters 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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