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Kenya Shilling Rises to Four-Month High on Tea, Tourism Inflows

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Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling appreciated to the highest in almost four months on inflows of dollars from the tea and the tourism industries.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy climbed for the fourth consecutive session, rising 0.8 percent to 90.50 per dollar by 3:03 p.m. in Nairobi, its strongest intraday level since July 28, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We are seeing very good inflows from the tourism and the tea industries, while demand is quite low for the dollar because a lot of the petroleum actors are locked in forward agreements,” Peter Mutuku, a trader at Bank of Africa Kenya Ltd., said by phone from Nairobi.

Kenya is the world’s largest producer of black tea, which is its biggest foreign-currency earner followed by tourism.

The Tanzanian shilling advanced for the fifth day, gaining 0.5 percent to 1,711.13 per dollar, as oil importers bought the U.S. currency from the central bank, Hakim Sheik, a currency trader with Commercial Bank of Africa Tanzania Ltd., said by phone today from Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital.

“The central bank is directly supplying dollars to oil importers who are the main buyers in the market,” Sheik said.

Uganda’s currency strengthened for a fourth day, adding 0.4 percent to 2,509.5 per dollar. A close at this level would be the highest since June 24.

“Lack of demand for the dollar has lifted the shilling,” Faisal Bukenya, head of currency trading at Barclays Bank of Uganda Ltd., said by phone from Kampala, the capital.

“There is a general shortage of shillings in the market and whatever dollar inflows are coming in are converted to get shillings.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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