Bloomberg News

Kenyan Shilling Strengthens Tight Liquidity and Tax Payment

March 09, 2012

Kenya’s shilling gained against the dollar to its strongest level in almost two weeks as businesses paid taxes and the country’s interbank rate rose.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy appreciated as much as 0.5 percent and traded 0.2 percent higher at 82.65 as of 5:10 p.m. in Nairobi, the capital, the most since Feb. 27.

“The shilling has strengthened with businesses settling their employees’ tax obligations and market liquidity is tight as exhibited by the high interbank rate,” Duncan Kinuthia, a dealer at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

Employee taxes are due today, according to the Kenya Revenue Authority’s website. Kenya’s average interbank rate rose to 22.59% in the week to Feb. 29.

Tanzania’s shilling strengthened for the second time this week, gaining 0.2 percent to 1,592 shillings.

“Bank of Tanzania has supplied dollars to meet the available demand from the oil importers and manufacturers,” Fred Siwale, a dealer with CRDB Bank Plc (CRDB), said today by phone from Dar es Salaam, the commercial Capital.

The Ugandan shilling appreciated, gaining as much as 1.6 percent before paring its rise to 1 percent at 2,440 shillings in Kampala, the capital.

“The shilling has gained due to tight liquidity in the market following the sale of government securities,” Ahmed Kalule, a trader at Bank of Africa Uganda Ltd., said in a phone interview from Nairobi.

-- With assistance from David Malingha Doya in Dar es Salaam Editors: Ash Kumar, Peter Branton

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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