Kenya Shilling Gains to 7-Month High on Foreign Investor Inflows

Kenya’s shilling strengthened to the highest in almost seven months as investors brought dollars into East Africa’s biggest economy to buy into a rally on its stock market, according to Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy appreciated as much as 0.4 percent to 84.60 per dollar, the highest since Sept. 12, before trading little changed at 84.88 by 3:41 p.m. in Nairobi, the capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The shilling has rallied on increased dollars inflows to the Nairobi Stock Exchange propelled by the peaceful elections as investors seek good returns,” Christopher Muiga, a senior trader at Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd., said by phone. “There is minimal demand for dollars as we are in the early part of the month.”

Kenyan stocks climbed as investors took the peaceful conclusion of the presidential election on March 4 and the Supreme Court confirmation of Uhuru Kenyatta’s win on March 30 as a sign political risk in the country was easing.

The Nairobi All Share index has advanced 12 percent since March 3, bringing its gain this year to 29 percent, the second-best performance in sub-Saharan Africa after Ghana.

The Central Bank of Kenya took all 14 billion shillings ($165 million) in bids for seven-day and 14-day term-auction deposits, according to an official at the institution who asked not to be identified in line with policy. The bank uses the securities to reduce money supply and support the shilling.

Uganda’s currency appreciated less than 0.1 percent to 2,594.68 per dollar, while the Tanzanian shilling rose the most in 17 months, gaining 1.7 percent to 1,592.70 against the dollar, the biggest increase since October 2011.

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