Kenyan Shilling Rebounds From Plunge on Manual Vote Count Switch
Kenya’s shilling recovered from its biggest drop in seven months after electoral authorities switched to a manual vote count, replacing an electronic system that broke down and slowed the release of election results.
The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy gained as much as 0.8 percent and traded 0.5 percent stronger at 86.35 per dollar by 3:44 p.m. in Nairobi. The shilling retreated as much as 3 percent to 88.05 yesterday, the biggest intraday slide since Aug. 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The mood in the market is much better,” Bernard Matimu, chief dealer at Nairobi-based NIC Bank Ltd (NICB), said by phone. “We now have a proper system of tallying and the mood in the country is peaceful. The sentiment is positive.”
This week’s election is the first since a disputed vote five years ago triggered violence that killed more than 1,100 people and left more than 350,000 people homeless. Kenya is the world’s biggest exporter of black tea, supplies a third of the cut flowers sold in the European Union and is a regional hub by companies including General Electric Co. (GE), Pfizer Inc. and Huawei Technology Co.
Uhuru Kenyatta garnered 2.66 million votes and his rival, Raila Odinga, obtained 2 million ballots after results from 112 of the country’s 291 constituencies were counted, the electoral commission said today. The commission includes Kenya’s diaspora community as a constituency.
Shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange advanced for a seventh trading day today, extending the Nairobi All Share index’s 15 percent advance this year, the best performance in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Ghana in dollar terms. Of the index’s 61 members, 36 stocks advanced and 6 fell.
“There is confidence the election outcome will be peaceful and fair,” Vimal Parmar, head of sub-Saharan Africa research at Burbidge Capital Ltd., said by phone today from Nairobi.
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