UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling seen range bound on vote stalemate

Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:09am EDT

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* Shilling ends steady against the dollar
    * Investors eye outcome of election challenge

 (Adds markets close, stocks)
    By Kevin Mwanza
    NAIROBI, March 20 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling was
steady against the dollar on Wednesday, hampered by concern over
a constitutional challenge to the result of this month's
presidential elections, while shares were mixed.  
    A ruling in favour of defeated candidate and outgoing prime
minister Raila Odinga could lead to a re-run of the tightly
contested vote, won by Uhuru Kenyatta.
    The election avoided the sort of widespread violence seen
after the last polls in 2007 but players said the possibility of
a re-run was causing some anxiety in the market. 
    At the 1300 GMT market close, commercial banks quoted the
shilling at 85.60/80 to the dollar, barely change from Tuesday's
close of 85.65/85.
    "Some guys are on the sidelines waiting to see how the
petition will go," said Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at
Commercial Bank of Africa.
    "The shilling will be range bound until new information
comes into the market."
    The shilling has been stuck in a range between 85 and 86 to
the dollar since the election on March 4.
    So far this year, the shilling is up 0.6 percent against the
dollar, helped by a rally just before the vote as investors bet
the ballot would pass off peacefully and avoid a repeat of
violence which followed a disputed vote in 2007.
    At the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the benchmark NSE-20
share index inched down 0.05 percent to 4,719.05
points, while the Nairobi All Share Index edged up 0.3
percent to 113.52 points.
    The NSE-20 share index has shed more than 5 percent in the
past six sessions as investors book profits on concerns over the
election petition.
    It had surged 7 percent in the two sessions after Uhuru
Kenyatta was declared president-elect on March 9 in a largely
peaceful vote.
    "The petition is holding back support for the market.
Foreign investors are watching keenly what's going to happen,"
said Faith Atiti, an analyst at NIC Securities.
    Shares in retailer Uchumi rose 2.4 percent to
21.25 shillings each, while Equity Bank, the country's
largest bank by customers, rose 1.7 percent to 30.25 shilling
per share.
    In debt, government and corporate bonds worth 2.3 billion
shillings ($26.9 million) were traded, up from 1.5 billion
shillings on Tuesday.
               ...........................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 = 85.6500 Kenyan shillings)

 (Editing by Richard Lough)
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