UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling steady, stocks edge lower

Wed May 28, 2014 10:35am EDT

* Pressure seen from importer dollar demand
    * Shares edge lower on profit-taking

 (Adds markets close, stocks, bonds)
    By George Obulutsa
    NAIROBI, May 28 (Reuters) - Kenya's shilling held
steady on Wednesday but it was still under pressure from dollar
demand driven by telecoms and energy sector importers, while
stocks dipped.
    At the 1300 GMT close of trade, commercial banks quoted the
shilling at 87.80/90 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday's
close of 87.85/95.
    Nahashon Mungai, a trader at Kenya Commercial Bank, said the
telecom and energy firms were buying dollars to meet their
end-month obligations to their suppliers abroad.
    "We are not getting as much inflows from the tea sector as
we're typically used to. That used to be a buffer. So the lack
of those flows means there is nothing to balance this sort of
demand," Mungai said.
    The shilling has been on the back foot this year, hurt by
lower than expected dollar inflows into the tourism and tea
sectors. More recently, a spate of bombings has added to worries
that if a slump in tourism continues and deepens it could shave
a percentage point or more off growth.
    The central bank has shored up the shilling this year with
frequent liquidity mop-ups. It acted more aggressively on Friday
when it sold an undisclosed amount of dollars, and traders said
on Tuesday there was talk in the market that it had sold more.
    A senior trader at one commercial bank said there was a
possibility of the shilling gaining ground once the monthly
importer dollar demand was filled.
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share
Index fell slightly by 3.07 points to at 4,885.29
points.
    Among the companies whose share prices went down was telecom
operator Safaricom, down 0.4 percent to end at 12.95
shillings.
    "I guess it's just a situation of profit-taking. There's 
nothing really fundamental," Linet Muriungi, research analyst at
Kestrel Capital, said.
    On the secondary market, government bonds valued at 2.61
billion shillings were traded, compared with Tuesday's 2.72
billion shillings.
               ...........................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 Toby Chopra)