Kenyan shilling surges 16 pct on high dollar inflows

he Kenyan shilling gained 16 percent in the first quarter of 2024 to stand at a new high of 131.8 to the U.S. dollar at the end of March, the Central Bank of Kenya said Tuesday.

The apex noted that the currency gained from 157 at the beginning of January, with the rise attributed to an increase in U.S. dollar inflows following more than 763 million dollars in funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The East African nation also raised 1.55 billion dollars in its first infrastructure bond offer in January and a similar amount from a Eurobond buyback plan in February.

On a year-to-date basis, the shilling has similarly appreciated 16 percent against the dollar, according to the Central Bank.

The shilling’s gain has also been supported by stable foreign exchange reserves, which stood at 7.1 billion dollars at the end of the first quarter.

On Tuesday, the shilling stood at 131.5 against the dollar, said the apex bank, sustaining its upward trajectory.

Analysts, however, expect it to come under pressure as Kenya services its dollar-denominated debt. 

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