Markets & Finance

Kenya diaspora cash up 20 per cent in August


Kenya received Sh11.4 billion ($128.8 million) in August, up from Sh9.5 billion ($107 million) similar month in 2013. PHOTO | FILE

The amount of hard currency sent into Kenya by its citizens living abroad, known as remittances, jumped 20.34 per cent in August from the same month last year, the Central Bank of Kenya said on Friday.

Like other African economies, Kenya sees funds sent home for various reasons like support for relatives, as a vital source of foreign exchange, supplementing export earnings and helping to support the shilling.

The East African nation received Sh11.4 billion ($128.8 million) during the month, up from Sh9.5 billion ($107 million) in the year ago period, data from the central bank showed.

Fears over the impact of frequent gun and grenade attacks, blamed on Islamists, on the tourism sector, another key source of foreign exchange, have weighed on the shilling this year.

The currency has lost 2.9 per cent against the dollar this year. Some 49.7 per cent of the remittances in August came from North America, the central bank said.

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Total remittances this year stood at $936 million at the end of August, compared with $1.3 billion for the whole of last year.