UPDATE 1-Kenya shilling firms on tea export inflows, shares flat

Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:24pm GMT

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* Markets remain apprehensive of election petition
    * Shares' five-session fall slows right down

 (Recast with stocks, markets close)
    By Kevin Mwanza
    NAIROBI, March 19 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling 
firmed slightly on Tuesday, lifted by inflows of dollars from
the country's weekly tea auction, while shares fell for a fifth
straight session but only slightly, market players said.
    The shilling was posted at 85.65/85 to the dollar at the
1300 GMT market close, stronger than the 85.80/90 close on
Monday.
    "We've seen some agricultural flows, especially from the tea
sector," said a trader at one commercial bank.
    Tea is Kenya's leading foreign currency earner and is sold
at the port city of Mombasa every Tuesday. Exporters typically
then convert their earnings into shillings to pay farmers and
cover operational expenses.
    The shilling has been stuck in a range between 85 and 86
since the country held a presidential election on March 4 amid
uncertainty over the result. 
    Presidential candidate Raila Odinga, the country's prime
minister, refuses to accept defeat and has challenged the result
at the Supreme Court. The court has up to two weeks to rule on
the petition, extending the period of uncertainty. 
    So far this year, the shilling is up 0.4 percent against the
dollar, helped by a rally just before the vote as investors bet
the ballot would pass off peacefully and avoid a repeat of
violence which followed a disputed vote in 2007.
    Odinga says the election this month was rigged against him
but has urged calm from his supporters.
    If the court rules in Odinga's favour, it could order a
re-run of the vote, a scenario market players said was causing
some anxiety in the market. 
    In stocks, the main NSE-20 share index was barely
changed on Tuesday, down 0.1 percent to 4,721.23 points.
    The index surged 7 percent in the two sessions after Uhuru
Kenyatta was declared president-elect on March 9. But it has
shed more than 5 percent in the past five sessions as investors
booked profits and concerns over the election petition weighed
on sentiment.
    The benchmark index is up 14.3 percent so far this year
helped.
    Consumer goods retailer Uchumi fell 2.4 percent to
20.75 shillings per share as they corrected downwards after the
post-vote surge, traders said.
    In debt, government and corporate bonds worth 1.51 billion 
shillings ($17.6 million) were traded, down from 2.10 billion
shillings on Monday.
               ...........................Shilling spot rates 
                  .....................Shilling forward rates 
                           .......................Cross rates 
         ..................................Local contributors 
           .......................Central Bank of Kenya Index 
          .....................Kenyan Bonds contributor pages 
                          ...............Treasury bill yields 
        ..................Central bank open market operations 
        .........................Horizontal repo transactions 
         ,       ................Daily interbank lending rate 
              .............................Kenya Bond pricing 
             ..................Real time Africa economic data 
 <ECI & AFR> ...........................African economic news
          .................................NSE-20 Share Index
         .................................NSE All Share Index
             ...........................FT NSE Kenya 15 Index
             .......................... FT NSE Kenya 25 Index
  SPEED GUIDES:
                                    
            
 ($1 = 85.6500 Kenyan shillings)

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