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Kenya shilling steady, export earnings eyed

10 January 2014, 15:22

Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling was steady on Friday, and traders said they expected it to post gains in the days ahead, helped by dollar sales from the agriculture sector and lower demand for the U.S. currency.

At 0804 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 86.50/70 to the dollar, compared with its close of 86.50/70 a day before. It had earlier strengthened to 86.40/60.

"We saw some inflows coming through from the agriculture sector," Sameer Lagadia, head of trading at Diamond Trust Bank, said.

Traders said they forecast the shilling to trade in the 86.30-86.90 per dollar in the next few days, with a bias towards gaining more ground until the end of the month when importers are expected to come in and buy dollars.

"Demand is at the minimum," said Peter Mutuku, head of trading at Bank of Africa.

"There is also the effect of the sovereign bond that is coming up. I think that is also psychologically supporting the shilling."

Kenya plans to start marketing a $1.5 billion Eurobond this month. Plans to launch a Eurobond in 2007 were scuttled by violence, triggered by a disputed election, which killed more than 1,200 people and displaced about 350,000 from their homes, and by the global financial crisis.

- Reuters


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