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Steady shilling looks for boost from tea sector inflows

07 October 2013, 13:45

Nairobi - The shilling held steady on Monday, with traders saying the currency could firm up in coming days on dollar inflows from tea exporters.

The shilling was posted at 85.95/86.05 per dollar by 0734 GMT, barely changed from Friday's close of 85.95/86.15.

"There might be some agricultural flows, especially from the tea sector, from tomorrow. The shilling might gain further on that," said Julius Kiriinya, a trader at African Banking Corporation.

Tea is the country's leading foreign currency earner and is sold in Mombasa every Monday and Tuesday. Exporters typically then convert their earnings into shillings to pay farmers and cover operational expenses.

The shilling has firmed 1.8 percent since mid-September, lifted by tight liquidity on the interbank market and dollar inflows from foreign investors buying into a 12-year infrastructure bond sale.

The bond issue was oversubscribed at an auction last month, and the central bank is offering it again through a tap sale for the next three months to raise up to 16 billion shillings more.

- Reuters


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