Kenya’s forex reserves hit six-month low as shilling falls

The Central Bank of Kenya has issued new generation banknotes following promulgation of a new Constitution which ushered hope for a Newly Reborn and Prosperous Kenya.
The Kenyan central bank. (Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Kenya’s foreign exchange reserves fell to a six-month low of 8.6 trillion shillings (about 7.93 billion U.S. dollars) on Friday in a week the local currency declined considerably against the greenback.

The Central Bank of Kenya in its weekly update said that the reserves fell from 8.14 billion dollars on Nov. 12 to the present level, a decline of 214 million dollars during the period.

The new dollar reserve position covers 4.87 months of import cover, down from 4.94 months of import cover. The last time the forex reserves stood at such a low was on May 20.

During the week, the shilling declined against the dollar to hit an all-time low of 109.50.

The apex bank is said to have sold an unspecified amount of dollars to prop up the currency to a level that does not destabilize the markets.

Despite the considerable fall, the bank said the usable foreign exchange reserves remained adequate to cover imports.

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