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UPDATE 2-Vote-count worries put Kenyan shilling on balance
March 7, 2013 / 3:02 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Vote-count worries put Kenyan shilling on balance

* Shilling backtracks on comments to stop tallying
    * Shilling had earlier touched a high of 86.00
    * Stocks remains resilient on investor long term view

 (Adds markets close, stocks)
    By Beatrice Gachenge
    NAIROBI, March 7 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling lost
its early gains against the dollar on Thursday as the slow
release of election results and integrity complaints from
political parties, increased anxiety among investors. 
    In stocks, the benchmark index rose for the third
session after the vote, as investors discounted election jitters
and focused on listed firms' outlooks.
    The comments by the running mate of one of the front runners
in the presidential race that the final ballot count lacked
integrity and should be stopped added to anxiety over the
outcome after largely peaceful voting.
    The complaints are reminiscent of events that preceded the
2007 result announcement that sparked violence that led to the
deaths of 1,200 people. 
    "That could put jitters in the market and could cause
anxiety," Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at Commercial Bank of
Africa said. "That could put pressure on the shilling."
    The shilling, which has been swinging back and forth since
Monday's vote and was trading at 86.30 per dollar at the 1300
GMT closer, according to Thomson Reuters, off its
intraday high of 86. 
    Earlier investors took heart from reassurances from the
electoral commission that the election would deliver a credible
result despite technological hitches, forcing commercial banks
to trim long dollar positions.
    The shilling, off its 18-week high of 85.10 hit on Tuesday
after voting passed off peacefully, is down 0.9 percent against
the greenback so far this year.
    "The shilling's immediate fate lies squarely on how we react
to election results and if the tallying will be perceived to
have been above board," said a trader at one commercial bank.
    By 1326 GMT, with about 5 million votes counted, Kenyatta
had about 2.8 million votes to Odinga's 2 million, giving the
deputy prime minister more than 50 percent. But there is still a
long way to go, as turnout was estimated at more than 70 percent
of the 14.3 million voters.
    If the count maintains Kenyatta above 50 percent of the
vote, it would give him an outright victory.
    The slow release of results has increased anxiety among
Kenyans and led to complaints from political parties, including
accusations of foreign meddling in the process.
    At the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 share
index rose 0.8 percent to 4,585.07 points.
    "Investors have taken a long term view on the whole issue
and they believe stocks will be immune to developments in the
political arena," said Johnson Nderi, an analyst at Suntra
Investment Bank.
    Standard Chartered Bank, rose for the second
session, up 2.4 percent to 298 shillings a share ahead of its
full-year results expected next week.
    In the debt market, the weighted average yield on the 91-day
Treasury bills rose to 9.747 percent, during a
primary auction on Thursday. 
    In the secondary debt market, bonds worth 1.55 billion 
shillings ($17.9 million) were traded, up from 1.66 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 = 86.7500 Kenyan shillings)

 (Editing by George Obulutsa; editing by Ron Askew)

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