INTERNATIONAL – Kenyan shilling fell to a five-year low on Tuesday against the US dollar saddled by high liquidity in the market and increased end-month demand for the greenback by importers.
The Central Bank of Kenya quoted the currency to the dollar in the Tuesday trading at 104.10, down from 104.02 at the close of Monday. Commercial banks, however, quoted the local unit on Tuesday at a much lower level of 104.25, which was last witnessed in February 2015.
The Kenyan currency has been under pressure from international currencies with the central bank last week being forced to use $179 million of its $9.75 billion reserve to prop it up.
Despite the fall of the reserves to 9.568 billion dollars, the central bank notes the forex exchange provides adequate cover and a buffer against short-term shocks in the foreign exchange market.
Last week, the shilling's downward trend was accelerated by graft charges facing former treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich, who was sacked.