KTN Prime: Shillings continues to plummet owing to surge in demand by importers

Business | Thursday 5 Jan 2017 10:08 pm

The Kenyan shilling continued to weaken today as it fell to a 15-month low of 103.60 against the dollar. The drop has been attributed to surge in demand by importers. So far, the central bank has stepped in to sell dollars after the fall, helping the currency to regains its footing, according to Reuter’s news agency. The 0.7% fall of the shilling is likely to hit hard importers who will pay more for imported raw materials. Foreign-exchange reserves at the central bank of Kenya declined to 6.97 billion us dollars at the end of December, the first time they have fallen below 7 billion marks since January 2016. To stabilize the shilling the CBK will be looking to perhaps tap into a 1.5 billion dollar pre-cautionary lending facility from the international monetary fund that is used as a last resort. By close of trading today the central bank quoted the shilling at 103.467. The shilling last traded at its present levels in mid-October 2015, when it hit a lo