Henry Rotich assures investors despite shilling fall

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has moved to assure investors that the Government has put in place measures to reverse further depreciation of the shilling.

Speaking ahead of today's Kenya Investment Roundtable Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel, London, Rotich said Central Bank of Kenya has taken steps to stem the shilling's fall by increasing interest rates to attract the dollar.

"But we are also alert to guard against market speculators," he said.

"It is true that in the last three months our shilling has fallen, though not as bad as other currencies. That's basically due to economic recovery in the US. Investors have moved to the US because the economy is now picking up," Rotich said.

The Kenyan shilling has come under pressure from a broad rally in the dollar, Kenya's large current account deficit and weak foreign currency inflows from tourism after a number of terror attacks. Yesterday, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 105.25/45, barely changed from Wednesday's close of 105.25/35.

The London Roundtable is organised by the Kenya High Commission, Barclays Bank and commercial consultancy firm Africa Matters.

On his trip, Rotich said, "I was here to sell the Government euro-bond. I am now here to pass two messages to the investors: The Government's implementation is going according to plan and the country has beefed up security to make the country conducive for trade."

Kenya High Commissioner to London Lazarus Amayo said the roundtable targets an exclusive class of investors from the UK industries.

"We have CEOs of some blue-chip companies, top brand directors, capital investors, dealers in energy and transport. It's the opportunity to showcase our investment opportunities and our new business friendly environment," said Mr Amayo.

Both Amayo and Rotich have hailed the UK Government's decision to reverse travel advisories issued by the foreign office against Kenya after it suffered a couple of terror attacks. British billionaire businessman Richard Branson, Lord Valentine Cecil and John Small were among those against the advisories.

Said Rotich, "The good news from Kenya is that there is economic growth."