Kenya’s shilling headed for its biggest drop against the dollar in more than a year as results from presidential elections on March 4 were delayed.
The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy weakened as much as 1.5 percent and was trading 1.2 percent lower at 86.55 per dollar by 12:46 p.m. in the capital, Nairobi. A close at that level would mark the biggest drop since Jan. 4, 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
This week’s election was the first since a disputed vote five years ago triggered violence in which more than 1,100 people died and another 350,000 were forced to flee their homes. Results for the presidential race have been delayed by technical issues including a failure in the real-time transmission of provisional results, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
“Yesterday people thought we would get a clear win in the first instance, but now it looks like it will take much longer and we have inquiries from clients who seem concerned,” Jeremiah Kendagor, head of trading at Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd., said in a phone interview.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has 53 percent of the vote and his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, has 42 percent with provisional results from two-fifths of the 31,982 polling stations counted, according to the commission’s website.
“The market is becoming jittery over the delay in the election results,” NIC Bank Ltd., a Nairobi-based lender, said in an e-mailed research note.
Poll officials from the country’s 290 constituencies will begin announcing final results in Nairobi today, the commission said in an e-mailed statement, without providing further information.
Shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange gained for a fifth day yesterday, extending the Nairobi All Share index’s 14 percent advance this year, the best performance in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Ghana in dollar terms. Of the gauge’s 61 members, 29 advanced today, while eight declined.