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Kenya's shilling drops to its lowest level in nearly two years


Kenya’s shilling dropped to 104.05 to 20 per dollar on Thursday, its lowest level in almost two years, traders said.

The East African nation attributed the drop to uncertainty caused by Monday’s announcement that the finance minister would be charged with financial misconduct.
The shilling has lost 0.8 percent since the charges were announced.

President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Labour Minister Ukur Yatani as acting finance minister on Wednesday, a day after incumbent Henry Rotich was charged with corruption.

Traders said banks had built up their dollar positions due to worries that the vacuum at the finance ministry could lead to further weakening of the currency.

“This has been driven by forwards, banks and clients are holding long dollar positions seeing the shilling could weaken further, so they are covering for their future demands,” said a senior currency trader at a commercial bank.

Shilling drops to its lowest level in nearly two years https://t.co/EofWBP0xl6 #KenyaShillings

— Raphael M. Nyūngū (@Rapharl_musn) July 25, 2019

The charges against the Rotich had also fuelled concerns that foreign investors could shun Kenyan assets, a trader said.

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