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UPDATE 1-Kenya shilling slips after minister's comments
March 1, 2012 / 3:06 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kenya shilling slips after minister's comments

 * Shilling under pressure after FinMin comments
 * High demand for government paper to support shilling
 * Stocks rally for eight days on results

 (Adds markets close, stocks)	
 By Beatrice Gachenge and Kevin Mwanza	
 NAIROBI, March 1 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling
 slipped on Thursday as importers bought dollars after the
finance minister said the central bank should limit the local
currency's appreciation, while stocks rallied for an eighth
straight day.     	
 Acting Finance Minister Robinson Githae told Reuters on
Tuesday he had instructed the central bank to stop the shilling
strengthening beyond 82 per dollar, spooking the market.
 	
 At the 1300 GMT market close, commercial banks quoted the
shilling at 83.25/45 per dollar, from 83.05/83.25 at the close
on Wednesday. 	
 "The sentiments of the finance minister's comment triggered
(dollar) buying," said Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at
Commercial Bank of Africa. "But government yields are still
attractive so we might see inflows capping the shilling losses."	
 Yields on Kenya's Treasury bills have fallen this year as
offshore investors flock to auctions to take advantage of high
interest rates.	
 Traders said a drop in Kenya's inflation rate 
for a third straight month to 16.7 percent in February from 18.3
should give the central bank room to start easing its tight
monetary stance.    	
 The shilling is up 2.2 percent this year, extending a rally
at the end of last year after the central bank raised its key
lending rate by 11 percentage points in less than three months
to prop up the shilling and curb double-digit inflation.	
 The bank's Monetary Policy Committee is next scheduled to
meet on March 6.	
 On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the key NSE-20 Share
Index inched up 0.3 percent to 3,312.15 points aided by
investors buying stocks after company full-year results.	
 Kenya Commercial Bank, the country's biggest bank
in asset terms, posted a 54 percent jump in pretax profit to
15.1 billion shillings. The shares was suspended from trading on
Thursday. 	
 "We are likely to see KCB shares rally in tomorrows
session," said Mwenda Rarama, an analysts at Kingdom Securities.	
 Diamond Trust Bank, fell 1.6 percent to 91.00
shillings after it said it will offer a rights issue this year
to finance its expansion plan. The bank announced a 24 percent
rise in full-year pretax profit to 4.3 billion shillings.
 	
 Government bonds worth 306 million shillings ($3.7 million)
were traded, down from 700 million shillings on Wednesday.  	
            ...........................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 = 83.1000 Kenyan shillings)	
	
 (Editing by George Obulutsa/Anna Willard)	
 

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