UPDATE 1-Banks help Kenyan shares higher, shilling weakens

Thu May 15, 2014 10:24am EDT

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* Banks account for a quarter of share volumes
    * Shilling under pressure from corporate dollar demand

 (Adds equity market report, closing shilling price)
    NAIROBI, May 15 (Reuters) - Kenya's index of leading shares
edged higher on Thursday, buoyed by some foreign interest in
banking stocks, while the shilling weakened modestly.
    The benchmark NSE 20 closed up 4.34 points at
4,945.33, while the broader all share index shed 0.55
points to end at 150.73.
    Banks accounted for almost 25 percent of the traded volume
with 18 million shares changing hands, the stock exchange said
in its daily report.
    Barclays Bank of Kenya finished at 17.05 shillings
from 17.00 shillings, while Kenya Commercial Bank rose
to 47.50 shillings from 47.00 shillings.
    "The Kenyan banking sector has been resilient despite the
ups and downs in the economy," said Ronald Lugalia, an analyst
at Nairobi-based AIB Capital. "That is why we see foreign
investors have strong interest."
    On the currency market, the shilling ended at 87.35/45 to
the dollar, weaker than the previous session's 87.25/35 close.
    The shilling has been under pressure because of increased
demand for dollars this month as Kenyan firms pay annual
dividends to their foreign shareholders.
    One trader at a commercial bank said that, if it broke the
87.50 support level, it could slide to 87.80. Failing that, it
could recover to the 86.80 mark, he added.
    The currency's prospects have been dimmed by sluggish
tourist arrivals, due to persistent gun and grenade attacks in
Kenya, as well as lower prices for coffee and tea exports, vital
sources of hard currency.
    
               ...........................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:
                                    
            
 
 (Additional reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Robin
Pomeroy)
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