UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling flat vs dollar, shares dip

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:02am EST

* Importers' dollar orders could weaken shilling
    * Safaricom, Equity Bank drag bourse lower
    * Shares could extend bull-run

 (Adds markets close, stocks)
    By Kevin Mwanza
    NAIROBI, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling was steady
on Monday, but traders said it might slip on the back of
importers buying dollars to make purchases for Christmas, while
stocks dipped after market heavyweights fell.
    The shilling was posted at 85.60/80 to the dollar at
the 1300 GMT close, same level it closed at on Friday.
    Traders said they expected the local currency to trend
towards the 86.00 level by the end of the week, but support was
seen coming from the central bank's open market operations.
    "Most corporates are closing their books as the year-end
approaches, hence the reduced activity. But demand for dollars
from importers buying goods for the Christmas season could weigh
on the shilling," said Chris Rwengo, head of trading at Standard
Chartered Bank.    
    The shilling has been propped up this year by a relatively
tight monetary stance from the central bank, which has also
regularly mopped up shilling liquidity from the market via
repurchase agreements. 
    On Monday, the central bank accepted all the 7.45 billion
shillings ($87.1 million) it received in repo bids after
offering 10 billion shillings. 
    In stocks, the main NSE-20 Share Index fell for the
second straight session as investors took profits on highly
capitalised stocks that posted results in the last two weeks.
    Safaricom, the leading telecoms provider that
doubled its half year profit, fell 1.1 percent to 4.60 shillings
per share, while Equity Bank, the country's biggest
bank by depositors, shed 1 percent to 24.50 shillings.
    "Some guys are getting out of these counters after the
earnings season," said Ronald Lugalia, an analyst at Afrika
Investment Bank.
    "However, sustained investor interest and effects of the cut
in the central bank rate are expected to continue boosting
activity at the bourse."
    The Nairobi bourse is the third-best performer in Africa,
with the benchmark share index up 29.7 percent year-to-date,
after Uganda's and Nigeria's.
    In the debt market, government and corporate bonds worth 758
million shillings were traded, down from 1.3 billion shillings
on Friday.
               ...........................Shilling spot rates 
                  .....................Shilling forward rates 
                           .......................Cross rates 
         ..................................Local contributors 
           .......................Central Bank of Kenya Index 
          .....................Kenyan Bonds contributor pages 
                          ...............Treasury bill yields 
        ..................Central bank open market operations 
        .........................Horizontal repo transactions 
         ,       ................Daily interbank lending rate 
              .............................Kenya Bond pricing 
             ..................Real time Africa economic data 
 <ECI & AFR> ...........................African economic news
          .................................NSE-20 Share Index
         .................................NSE All Share Index
             ...........................FT NSE Kenya 15 Index
             .......................... FT NSE Kenya 25 Index
  SPEED GUIDES:
                                    
            
  ($1 = 85.5000 Kenyan shillings)

 (Editing by James Macharia; editing by Ron Askew)