Last week, the Kenya Shilling appreciated marginally against the US Dollar to close at 103.3 shillings from 103.4 shillings recorded the previous week.
The marginal rise in the local currency was supported by inflows from offshore investors buying government debt amid tight liquidity in the local money market.
The Kenya Shilling has depreciated by 1.5 percent year to date, in comparison to the 1.3 percent appreciation in 2018.
“Despite the recent depreciation, we still expect the shilling to remain relatively stable to the dollar in the short term,” said analysts from Cytonn Investments.
There is a narrowing of the current account deficit, with preliminary data indicating that the current account deficit narrowed to 4.2 percent of GDP in the 12-months to June 2019, from 5.4 percent recorded in June 2018.
The decline has been attributed to the resilient performance of exports particularly horticulture and coffee, strong diaspora remittances, and higher receipts from tourism and transport services. Growth of imports also slowed mainly due to lower imports of food,
There has been improving diaspora remittances, which have increased cumulatively by 13.6 percent in the 12-months to June 2019 to USD 2.8 billion from USD 2.4 billion recorded in a similar period of review in 2018.
The rise in diaspora remittances is due to:
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) remained supportive through its activities in the money market, such as repurchase agreements and selling of dollars.
Currently, there are high levels of forex reserves, currently at USD 9.4 billion (equivalent to 5.9-months of import cover), above the statutory requirement of maintaining at least 4.0-months of import cover, and the EAC region’s convergence criteria of 4.5-months of import cover.