advertisement

Markets

Kenyan shilling steady, Uchumi up on expansion plan

A man counts bank notes. Kenya's main share index rose for the first time in eight straight sessions on Wednesday, as investors interpreted the central bank decision to keep its benchmark interest rate steady as favouring economic growth.  Photo/File
A man counts bank notes. Kenya's main share index rose for the first time in eight straight sessions on Wednesday, as investors interpreted the central bank decision to keep its benchmark interest rate steady as favouring economic growth. Photo/File  

Shares in Kenyan retailer Uchumi firmed on Thursday after the company said it would launch a rights issue to fund expansion locally and within east Africa. The shilling was steady.

Kenya's main share index rose for the first time in eight straight sessions on Wednesday, as investors interpreted the central bank decision to keep its benchmark interest rate steady as favouring economic growth.

Uchumi had gained 1.4 per cent to 19.50 shillings at 0736 GMT, after the company said it would launch a Sh1.5 billion ($17 million) rights issue by December.

While Kenya's shilling has not suffered the same kind of run as currencies such as the Indian rupee, all emerging currencies and stocks are vulnerable to an eventual pullback on the Fed's stimulus programme.

"If they do it (ease QE), the shilling might come under pressure," said Julius Kiriinya, a trader at African Banking Corporation.

The shilling was posted at 87.45/55 per dollar at 0902 GMT, barely changed from Wednesday's close of 87.40/60.

The weighted average yield on Kenya's 182-day Treasury bills dipped for the first time in ten weeks on Wednesday, which traders said was due to excess liquidity in the money market.

"So far (yields) are still high so they are still getting good inflows," Kiriinya said, adding that liquidity had increased in the market due to debt maturities.

The central bank on Thursday said it was in the repo market to absorb excess liquidity worth 5 billion

advertisement