Bloomberg News

Kenyan Shilling Depreciates for a Fourth Day on Thin Trading

December 30, 2011

(Updates with Tanzania shilling comment in sixth paragraph.)

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling weakened against the dollar for a fourth day, increasing its year-to-date decline to 5.6 percent, on limited trading.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy depreciated 0.3 percent to 85.25 shillings as of 2:04 p.m. in Nairobi, the capital, the lowest since Dec. 14 on an intraday basis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The euro weakened for a second day against the U.S. dollar, declining 0.02 percent to 1.2942.

“The market has weakened on thin trading because most players are out,” Bernard Matimu, chief dealer at Nairobi-based NIC Bank Ltd., said by phone today. “The euro has also weakened, dragging the shilling along”.

Kenya’s shilling has appreciated 20.4 percent since weakening to a record intra-day low of 106.75 on Oct. 11. The central bank has taken steps to stabilize the currency, including raising the key lending rate to 18 percent.

The Tanzanian shilling snapped three days of gains and weakened 0.3 percent to 1,583 per dollar as of 1:03 p.m., heading for its biggest decline in four days and a 6.7 percent fall this year.

“The shilling depreciated as commercial banks purchased dollars in the interbank market,” Fred Siwale, a dealer with CRDB Bank Plc, said by phone from Dar-es-Salaam, the commercial capital.

The Ugandan shilling snapped two days of decline, gaining 0.1 percent against the dollar to 2,483 as of 1:11 p.m. A close at this level would be the biggest gain since Dec. 27, pairing its fall this year to 7.5 percent.

--Editors: Ash Kumar, Tim Farrand

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at


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