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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shilling stays bouyant through election week

It was business as usual at Tuskys Supermarket on Mfangano Street on August 11 /FAITH MUTEGI
It was business as usual at Tuskys Supermarket on Mfangano Street on August 11 /FAITH MUTEGI

The Kenyan shilling has been more resilient against major world currencies during this year's election week compared to the previous general election.

The latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the shilling appreciated against the Sterling Pound and Euro but slightly depreciated against the green back in the week starting August 3 to yesterday when the Independent Election and Boundaries Board (IEBC) results indicated the sitting president Uhuru Kenyatta was in the lead.

The Pound which traded at the high of Sh137.33 on August 3 depreciated by a shilling a day later to trade at Sh136.28 before further dropping to Sh135.85 and Sh135.24 on August 7 and 9 respectively. Yesterday, the Sterling Pound was trading at an average of sh134.91

The Euro on the other hand depreciated from Sh123.04 on August 3 to Sh122.93 on August 7, the eve of the nation's general elections. The depreciation continued after the polls to Sh122.46 on August 9. Yesterday morning, it slightly gained a cent pending the announcement of the presidential results.

The Kenyan shilling marginally deprecated against the US dollar through this week, moving from Sh103.85 on August 3 to Sh103.88 and Sh103.90 on August 7 and 9 respectively. The shilling however appreciated by a cent yesterday against the greenback to Sh103.89.

In the last election week of 2013, the shilling fluctuated against all major currencies, shedding Sh0.13 from March 5, a day after elections, to post an average of Sh68.26 on March 8 when the election board declared Uhuru Kenyatta as the president elect.

It also appreciated against the Euro which was trading at an average price of Sh112.32 on 5 March to post trade at Sh112.99 on March 8.

The shilling however showed some resilience against the starling pound during the same period, trading at an average price of Sh129.99 on March 8 from Sh130.21 on the fifth day of the month.

In the 2007 general elections, the Shilling which was going at an average price of Sh61.79 against the dollar shed 4.3 per cent the following week to bid and sell at Sh66.60 and Sh66.90.

Aly-Khan Satchu, a financial analyst expects the shilling to stabilise further, after the international community gave the just concluded general elections a clean bill of health.

He said the shilling has been the alpha Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) currency for quite a while, attributing this to Jubilee administration's free market policy

''I expect a Tsunami of money to flood in and further support the shilling,'' said Satchu in an interview with the Star.

Unlike previous election years where some countries imposed a travel bans, Kenya recorded high foreign investments with companies like Volkswagen returning after four decades just a few months to election day.

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