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High interest rates troubling, CBK governor says

GOVERNOR

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge. PHOTO | FILE

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor said Thursday that high commercial bank lending rates, at above 17 per cent in December, were "troubling" but that liquidity was now evenly distributed among banks after getting skewed following the collapse of Imperial Bank.

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Dr Njoroge said he was open to "real" dialogue with shareholders of Imperial Bank - under receivership since October - and reiterated the fate of the bank will be clearer in March.

Falling deficit

Meanwhile, Kenya's current account deficit is seen falling to 8.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, from 10.4 per cent the year before.

Speaking at a news conference, Dr Njoroge said that he expects the level to narrow further in 2016.

He added that the country is back on a track of macroeconomic stability with the local currency expected to remain stable after losing 11 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2015.