Bloomberg News

Kenya Shilling Falls as Companies Prepare Monthly Settlements

March 26, 2012

Kenya’s shilling weakened on increased dollar demand from businesses preparing to settle monthly obligations and investors seeking to pay for government securities.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy depreciated as much as 0.4 percent to 83.25 and was trading 0.3 percent weaker at 83.20 at 2:11 p.m. in Nairobi.

“The shilling is under pressure as demand for dollars persists, with businesses seeking to settle their end-month obligations and the payment of the treasury bills by investors,” Duncan Kinuthia, a dealer at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today. Kenya businesses are preparing to pay their end-month bills, invoices and place orders for the coming month.

Last week, the central bank sold a total of 4.5 billion shillings ($54.2 million) of 91-days and 182-days treasury bills, with settlement expected today, the bank said on its website.

Tanzania’s shilling fell for a second day on increased dollar demand. The currency of the second-biggest economy in East Africa depreciated as much as 0.4 percent to 1,598 and was trading 0.1 percent weaker at 1,592 per dollar at 1:02 p.m.

“The shilling has weakened due to increased dollar demand by businesses; a situation likely to continue through the week to cover their shortfalls,” Fred Siwale, a dealer with CRDB Bank Plc, said by phone today from Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital.

The Ugandan shilling weakened for a fourth day, the longest losing streak in three weeks. The currency of the third-biggest economy in East Africa depreciated as much as 1 percent to 2,515 and was trading 0.6 percent lower at 2,506 per dollar at 2:03 p.m. A close at that level will be the longest losing streak since March 5, according to data provided by Bloomberg.

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

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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