Bloomberg News

Kenya’s Shilling Weakens as International Court Charges Four

January 23, 2012

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling depreciated after the International Criminal Court ruled that four Kenyans including Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta will be tried at The Hague on crimes against humanity.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy weakened as much as 0.9 percent to 86.85 per dollar and traded 0.1 percent lower at 86.13 at 4:34 p.m. in Nairobi, falling for a second day.

“The weakening of the shilling is tied to market nervousness over the ruling by the international criminal court, with buyers seeking to buy dollars in advance,” Duncan Kinuthia a dealer at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

The court in The Hague ordered the Kenyans, including Kenyatta and fellow presidential candidate William Ruto, to face charges related to post-election violence in 2008.

Francis Muthaura, the 65-year-old head of Kenya’s civil service, and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang, 36, will also go on trial as suspected perpetrators of the clashes, Presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova told the court today in a 2-1 decision.

The clashes killed 1,500 people and displaced 300,000 in East Africa’s largest economy.

Tanzania’s shilling weakened for the first time in four days on increased dollar demand from oil importers.

The currency of the second-largest East African economy depreciated 1.1 percent to 1,602.10 per dollar and was trading 0.6 percent lower at 1,595 at 4:04 p.m. in the capital Dar es Salaam.

“We have seen demand coming in from oil importers today and that explains depreciation of the shilling today,” Eric Chijoriga, a trader with National Bank of Commerce, ABSA Group’s Tanzanian unit, said by phone from Dar es Salaam.

Uganda’s currency strengthened for a third day, gaining 0.4 percent to 2,383 at 4:04 p.m. in the capital Kampala.

--With assistance from David Malingha Doya in Dar es Salaam. Editors: Peter Branton, Gavin Serkin

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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