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Kenya Shilling Rises to Month-High on Dollar Flows, Tight Supply

Kenya’s shilling gained for the fourth straight day to the highest in a month on dollar inflows from agri-based suppliers and as the central bank reduced money supply through its repo and term-deposit auctions.

The currency of East Africa’s largest economy appreciated 0.5 percent to 84.45 by 3:06 p.m. in Nairobi, on course for its strongest closing level since May 18, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The shilling firmed against the dollar, lifted by decent inflows from the agricultural sector,” Nairobi-based NIC Bank Ltd. said in a note e-mailed to investors today. Foreign investors have also paid for “Kenya Airways’ rights issue that raised 14.5 billion shillings ($170.7 million).”

Kenya’s central bank has mopped up 119 billion shillings in seven-day repurchase agreements since April 27 and 25.4 billion shillings in term-auction deposits since June 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The bank today offered 5 billion shillings in repurchase agreements and term-auction deposits, tightening money supply. It accepted 850 million shillings of bids for seven-day repurchase agreements, paying a weighted average rate of 17.765 percent, a central bank official who asked not to be named in line with policy said. The regulator accepted 4.15 billion shillings in bids for 14-day and 28-day term-auction deposits at 17.772 percent and 18 percent, respectively, the official said.

The central bank on June 5 re-introduced the deposits as a measure for “liquidity management,” according to a statement on its website.

Term-auction deposits offer maturities of 14, 21 and 28 days and are paid back with interest, while the tenor of repos is typically seven days or less and the securities are offered at a discounted yield, according to a research note from Nairobi-based Sterling Capital Ltd e-mailed June 11.

Uganda’s shilling gained 0.6 percent to 2,489.77 per dollar, the first time in three days, while Tanzania’s currency appreciated for a second day, up 0.3 percent to 1,580 per dollar.

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