Kenya Shilling Heads for First Monthly Decline Since September

Kenya’s shilling headed for its first monthly decline since September, as the central bank purchased dollars to bolster its reserves.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy was little changed at 83.05 per dollar by 5:14 p.m. in Nairobi. A close at this level would give it a 0.2 percent drop this month, the first monthly depreciation since September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Foreign-currency reserves rose to $4.64 billion in the week to April 26, from $4.45 billion a week earlier, the Central Bank of Kenya said on April 27. The bank accepted all 6.55 billion shillings ($78.6 million) of bids today for seven-day repurchase agreements, after offering 10 billion shillings of the securities, at a weighted average rate of 14.916 percent, a central bank official, who declined to be named in line with the bank policy, said on phone from Nairobi.

“The shilling weakness is due to increased money supply as a result of the central bank decision last week to increase its reserves by purchasing dollars from the market,” Duncan Kinuthia, a dealer at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

Uganda’s shilling climbed 0.5 percent to 2,502 per dollar, heading for its biggest gain in two weeks, while Tanzania’s was little changed at 1585 per dollar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Johnstone Ole Turana in Nairobi at jturana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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