UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling steady, main share index up slightly

Tue Dec 3, 2013 9:43am EST

* Stocks break losing streak, edge higher
    * Centum Investment gains after offer for Rea Vipingo shares
    * Value of government bonds traded rises

 (Adds stocks, bonds, markets close)
    By George Obulutsa
    NAIROBI, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling held steady
on Tuesday, while Nairobi's main share index broke a two-session
losing streak to close slightly higher.
    At the 1300 GMT close of trade, commercial banks quoted the
shilling at 86.65/75 to the dollar, compared with
Monday's close of 86.75/85. The shilling had earlier firmed to
touch 86.50/60 before retreating.
    "It's stable; demand and supply seems very well matched,"
said Sameer Lagadia, head of trading at Diamond Trust Bank.
    Traders said the shilling had gained ground slightly earlier
in the session, helped by commercial banks trimming their long
dollar positions.
    "It has strengthened a bit, on the back of ... guys squaring
off long (dollar) positions that were built up yesterday," said
Sheikh Mehran, senior trader at KCB Bank. 
    "It's just profit-taking and a lack of corporate (dollar)
demand at the moment. We have seen some inflows from the
agricultural sector. We are going to see further inflows from
the tea sector."
    Any gains could however be curbed by dollar demand from
importers, in particular the energy sector, in the coming
sessions, some market players said. The shilling is 0.6 percent
weaker than the dollar in the year-to-date.
    Traders said they expected the Kenyan currency to trade in
the 86.50 to 87.50 range in coming days.
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share
Index inched up 0.07 percent, to close at 5,076.47,
breaking a two day-losing streak.
    Centum Investment rose 1.6 percent to close at
32.00 shillings, after surging 6.3 percent earlier in the
session to 33.50 shillings, on news that it had offered a
counter offer for shares of sisal producer Rea Vipingo.
 
    Centum said on Tuesday it had offered 3 billion shillings
($34.6 million) for a portion of the shares issued by Rea
Vipingo, topping a rival bid from Rea Vipingo's main
shareholder, Rea Trading. 
    "They are looking at the value that Rea Vipingo has. By
offering a higher price, they can potentially gain value for
their shareholders. So we saw the stock rallying a little bit,"
said Eric Musau, research analyst at Standard Investment Bank. 
    Rea Vipingo's shares have not been traded since last month
when the England and Wales incorporated Rea Trading made an
offer for the 43 percent or so of shares it does not already
own.
   On the secondary market, government bonds worth 1.14 billion
shillings were traded, up from 412.7 million shillings on
Monday.
    
               ...........................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:
                                    
            
 
 (Editing by Duncan Miriri and Susan Fenton)