January 7, 2014 / 3:06 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kenyan shares rise to 1-month closing high

* Nairobi index closes at highest since Dec. 5
    * Shilling little changed

 (Adds market close, stocks, bonds)
    By George Obulutsa
    NAIROBI, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The main share index on Kenya's
stock exchange ended up 1 percent at a one-month closing high on
Tuesday, boosted by gains in banking stocks, while the shilling
 held steady.
    The Nairobi Securities Exchange's main NSE-20 Share Index
 ended at 4,993.12 points, its highest close since the
5,005.45 points reached on Dec. 5.
    Banking stocks were led by Equity Bank, which was
up 5.3 percent to close at 34.75 shillings after jumping to an
intraday high of 35.00 shillings.
    Co-operative Bank closed 1.1 percent higher at
17.70 shillings after hitting 18.00 shillings earlier in the
session.
    "For the banks I would say people are taking positions... on
expectations of how the full-year numbers will be," Emma Mareri,
research analyst at African Alliance, said.
    Commercial banks listed on the exchange have to report their
full-year results by the end of March.
    Safaricom, typically the most traded share, closed
the session 0.45 percent higher at 11.10 shillings.
    "I think people are picking the stock up after
profit-taking. In December there was quite a bit of
profit-taking, but because the company's outlook remains quite
positive, people are picking it up," Mareri said.
    At the close of trade at 1300 GMT, commercial banks quoted
the shilling at 86.90/87.00 to the dollar, compared with
Monday's close of 86.95/87.05.
    Traders said the shilling was expected to hold in a tight
range, with demand for the dollar from the energy sector
counterbalanced by exporters selling the U.S. currency.
    "There is still demand in the market from the energy and
corporate sectors. For now it will be range-bound. I think
exporters are happy at these levels," said Sameer Lagadia, head
of trading at Diamond Trust Bank.
    Traders said those expected to return to the market to sell
dollars included non-governmental organisations and agricultural
sector exporters.
    Traders said they expected the shilling to trade in the
86.50 to 87.75 range.
    On the secondary market, government bonds valued at 451.2
million shillings were traded, up from 100.3 million shillings
traded a day earlier.
               ...........................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
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 (Editing by James Macharia, John Stonestreet)

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