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Kenya’s Shilling Falls 3rd Day as Importers Buy Dollars

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling fell for a third day on demand for dollars from oil importers and after a tea auction was halted for a second day, which could restrict supply of the U.S. currency next week.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy weakened 0.4 percent to 82.95 per dollar as of 2:33 p.m. in Nairobi, the capital.

“It’s the usual end-month buyers coming to the market for dollars,” Duncan Kinuthia, a dealer at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

The world’s biggest tea auction, held weekly in Kenya, has been halted because of a dispute between the government and traders over a new tax imposition. It “could effect dollar inflows next week,” Kinuthia said.

Tanzania’s shilling appreciated 0.6 percent at 1,590 per dollar.

“Corporate clients are dumping dollars to get shillings to meet end-of month payment obligations like salaries and taxes,” Yonoh Mtengule, chief economist at the National Bank of Commerce Ltd., ABSA Group Ltd.’s Tanzania unit, said by phone today from Dar es Salaam, the commercial Capital. 

The Ugandan shilling snapped two days of losses, strengthening 0.1 percent to 2,367.49 per dollar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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