UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling falls vs dollar, Safaricom jumps

Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:30am EST

* Demand for dollars rises ahead of holidays
    * Safaricom shares jump to a more than 2-year high

 (Updates with close, adds shares)
    By Duncan Miriri
    NAIROBI, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling fell
to a near-six month-low against the dollar on Monday, subdued by
demand for dollars ahead of the holidays, while the benchmark
share index was almost flat.   
    At the 1300 GMT close of trading, leading commercial banks
posted the shilling at 86.00/10 per dollar, last touched on June
5, and weaker than Friday's close of 85.85/95.
    Traders attributed the drop to dollar demand from firms keen
to fill their requirements ahead of the holidays, when most
businesses close or operate minimum hours, as well as banks
covering their short dollar positions.
    "We may see a continuation but it will probably not fall
further than 86.50 because of remittances from the Diaspora for
the festive season and holiday bookings," said Duncan Kinuthia,
head of trading at Commercial Bank of Africa.
    Kenyans living abroad usually send back money to their
relatives in December while tourists flock to the country's game
reserves and beaches.
    Kinuthia said demand for dollars will also fall in December
when most firms close for the holidays or reduce their
activities, further supporting the shilling.
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the benchmark NSE-20
share index was barely changed at 4,163.91 points, down
2.65 points from the previous session, while the all share index
 added 0.43 points to close at 93.90 points.
    Market participants attributed the gains in the all share
index to a jump in shares of telecoms operator Safaricom
 which closed a two-year-and-three months high of 5.20
shillings per share.
    Shares of the firm, which is 40 percent held by Britain's
Vodafone, have outperformed a 30 percent rally by the
benchmark index this year by far, thanks to a turnaround from a
steep drop in earnings last year.
    Safaricom shares have rallied about 70 percent this year,
propelled by the growth in earnings and massive demand for the
shares from foreign investors. 
    Pretax earnings for its first-half ended September surged
113 percent to 11.5 billion shillings, it said on Nov. 8.
 
    It was the most traded stock during the session with 33
million shares, or close to 75 percent of the day's volumes,
changing hands.
    In the fixed-income market, bonds worth 957 million
shillings were traded, down from 2.1 billion shillings worth of
bonds traded 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
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 (Editing by George Obulutsa, Ron Askew)