NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan shares headed higher and the currency strengthened against the dollar after the Supreme Court upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in a repeat election held last month, traders said.
The benchmark NSE-20 share index rose 1.57 percent to 3,788.88 points while the shilling rose to 103.65/75 per dollar from 103.80/90 before the verdict was delivered.
The markets dropped sharply when the court nullified the initial Aug. 8 presidential election result on Sept. 1. Kenyatta won the Oct. 26 re-run, which was boycotted by his main rival, Raila Odinga.
The ruling “reduces the political risk. A 90 day delay is something the market could not stomach,” said Aly Khan Satchu, an independent analyst, referring to the period it would have taken to hold another election had the court nullified the result of the poll again.
The economy has taken a hit from the prolonged electoral cycle and the government has cut this year’s GDP growth forecast to 5 percent from the initial 5.9 percent forecast.
Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Alison Williams