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Kenya Shilling Weakens First Day in 3 on Year-End Dollar Demand

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Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling depreciated for the first day this week as businesses sought to buy dollars before the year-end.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy weakened 0.2 percent to 86.10 a dollar as of 4:45 p.m. in Nairobi.

“There is last-minute demand” for dollars, causing the weakening of the shilling, Julius Kiriinya, a dealer at Nairobi-based African Banking Corp., said by phone. “The local currency will get a reprieve” as business activity slows over the Christmas period, he said.

The Central Bank of Kenya accepted all 1.75 billion shillings ($20.3 million) in bids at today’s sale of 14 day term-auction deposits, a bank official who asked not to be identified in line with policy, said by phone. The bank had offered 4 billion shillings.

“We expect the shilling to firm slightly in coming sessions helped by remittances from expatriate workers and tea exporters selling dollars after their auction,” Nairobi-based NIC Bank Ltd. said in a note to clients today.

The Ugandan shilling gained 0.7 percent to 2,648 a dollar, while Tanzania’s shilling appreciated 0.2 percent to 1,596 a 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