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UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling weakens, Safaricom helps stocks recover
February 9, 2015 / 2:57 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling weakens, Safaricom helps stocks recover

* Stocks up 0.3 percent
    * Shilling eases, seen losing more ground

 (Adds shilling, stocks closing levels, bonds)
    NAIROBI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Kenya's shilling weakened
on Monday on dollar demand from oil companies and increased
liquidity, while mobile telecoms operator Safaricom helped
shares recover.
    The shilling closed at 91.50/60 to the dollar, compared with
Friday's close of 91.25/35.
    "It's due to improved liquidity in the market and mid-month
(dollar) demand. Oil as usual. They picked a bit, and a bit of
other corporates," said John Muli, a trader at African Banking
Corporation.
    Martin Runo, a senior trader at Chase Bank, said the
shilling was also under pressure due to a stronger dollar on
global markets.
    On Monday, the central bank mopped up 15 billion shillings 
($163.84 million) in excess liquidity, the first time it has
conducted any mop ups since Jan. 21.
    Last week, the shilling was receiving support from a
shortage of the local currency after investors bought Treasury
bills and bonds, draining local currency from the money markets.
    The shilling rose to its strongest levels in more than two
weeks on Thursday on hard currency inflows from coffee and tea
earnings, non-governmental organisations and foreign direct
investment into real estate.
    Before that, the shilling had been losing ground in the past
12 months or so, partly undermined by a spate of militant
attacks that hit the tourism industry, a vital source of dollar
revenues. 
    Traders forecast the shilling to trade in the 91.30 to 92.00
range against the dollar in the days ahead. 
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share
Index was up 15.53 points or 0.3 percent to close at
5280.72 points, rebounding from Friday's weakness.    
    The rise was driven largely by Safaricom whose
shares rose 1.7 percent to close at 14.80 shillings.
    Esther Njoroge, research analyst at Kestrel Capital, said
there was no significant news on Safaricom, but that it was
being driven by speculation.
    "People are just generally positive about Safaricom... there
hasn't been any major good news," she said.
    Analysts see a better full-year performance for Safaricom,
whose pretax profit for the first half ending September 2014
rose by almost a third to 21.1 billion shillings.
    On the secondary market, government bonds worth 2.24 billion
shillings were traded, up from 1.75 billion shillings traded on
Friday.
                
               ...........................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 = 91.5500 Kenyan shillings)

 (Reporting by George Obulutsa and Edith Honan; Editing by James
Macharia)

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