Kenyan Shilling Gains Versus Dollar on Tourism, Remittance Flows

Kenya’s shilling strengthened for the first week in three, helped by increased dollar inflows from tourism and workers abroad remitting money home during the holiday season.

The currency of East Africa’s largest economy gained as much as 0.6 percent before retreating to 0.2 percent weaker at 85.95 a dollar by 5:13 p.m. in Nairobi, trimming this week’s advance to 0.2 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tourism in Kenya, which is home to wild game reserves such as the Maasai Mara Park and Indian Ocean beaches, earned the country 98 billion shillings last year, making it one of the nation’s chief foreign exchange earners alongside tea exports.

“There are some flows from tourism during this peak season and diaspora flows because they are sending home cash for their families at Christmas,” Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading for Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said by phone from Nairobi.

Uganda’s shilling weakened 0.2 percent to 2,650 a dollar, while the Tanzanian currency gained for the fourth day, advancing 0.5 percent to 1,580 a dollar. A close at that level would be the strongest since Oct. 22.

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