UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling weakens vs dollar, shares fall again

Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:18am EDT

* Looming presidential election petition a concern for
markets
    * Shares retreat 4.3 pct in three straight sessions

 (Adds markets close, stocks)
    By Beatrice Gachenge and Kevin Mwanza
    NAIROBI, March 15 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling 
weakened on Friday, hurt by greater corporate demand for the
dollar, while shares fell again as investors waited for Prime
Minister Raila Odinga to file a Supreme Court petition
contesting the presidential poll outcome.
    Commercial banks posted the shilling at 85.45/65 to the
dollar at the 1300 GMT market close, weaker than Thursday's
close of 85.30/50.
    Traders said they expected the shilling to trade in the
85.20-85.80 range in coming sessions, noting that investors were
waiting for the outcome of a Presidential election result
petition challenging Uhuru Kenyatta's win in a tightly fought
election on March 4.
    "With the political uncertainties still looming in the air,
we expect market players to trade cautiously," a Commercial Bank
of Africa report said.
    Odinga, a defeated presidential contender and the outgoing
prime minister, is expected to file a petition challenging the
presidential result on Saturday. 
    Despite the uncertainty, there has been no repeat of the
previous elections' deadly violence that sent the region's
biggest economy into a tailspin. 
    Odinga has called for calm while he takes his case to court
and has said he will accept the final ruling. 
    Demand for the dollar, mainly from oil importers, has been
subdued this week, helping stabilise the local currency, which
has risen half a percent so far this year.       
    The shilling has gained 0.7 percent since the presidential
result was announced on Saturday, lifted by a return of business
confidence and reduced dollar demand by importers who had
accumulated long positions in the run-up to the election.
    In stocks, the main NSE-20 share index fell 1.2
percent to 4,774.12 points, extending its losing streak to a
third straight session.
    Kenyan shares surged 7 percent in the first two session of
after the elections results were announced, but have since
retreated 4.3 percent as investors took profit on the rally.
    "Bidding levels remain weak, pulling most stocks off the
recent highs," said Faith Atiti, an analyst at NIC Securities.
    Equity Bank, the country's biggest bank by
customers, dropped 3.2 percent to 30 shilling per share while
leading telecom service provider Safaricom fell 2.4
percent to 6.15 shilling.
    The two stocks were the most traded during Friday's session.
    In the debt market, bonds worth 3.67 billion shillings ($43
million) were traded, down from 1.25 billion shillings on
Thursday. 
               ...........................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 = 85.3500 Kenyan shillings)

 (Reporting by Kevin Mwanza)
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