UPDATE 2-Exporters boost Kenyan shilling, stocks flat

Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:05pm GMT
 

* Central bank mops up $78 mln for fifth day
    * Traders say excess liquidity could weigh next week
    * Portland Cement lead stocks up

 (Adds markets close, stocks)	
    By Kevin Mwanza and Beatrice Gachenge	
    NAIROBI, April 13 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling 
firmed against the dollar on Friday as exporters sold the
greenback and banks squared off positions ahead of the weekend,
while stocks were flat. 	
    The central bank mopped up 6.5 billion shillings ($78
million) during the session, at a weighted average rate of 15.5
percent through repurchase agreements, in a bid to stabilise the
interbank rate and see off downside risks to the currency.
 	
    At the market close at 1300 GMT commercial banks quoted the
shilling at 83.10/20 per dollar, 0.4 percent firmer than
Thursday's close of 83.40/50.	
    "The shilling gained on exporters' selling after yesterday's
dip and a bit of some position squaring ahead of the weekend," a
trader at a commercial bank said.	
    The shilling lost 0.3 percent on Thursday due to demand for
dollars from oil importers and excess shilling liquidity in the
market, which has prompted the central bank to mop up 31.1
billion shillings in repurchase agreements over five sessions.	
    The average interbank rate rose to 13.4 percent on Thursday
from 12.5 percent a day earlier, after falling to as low as 10.3
percent on April 5 due to a sudden surge in liquidity caused by
the government paying its bills and investors redeeming debt.   	
    "The excess liquidity in the market might have triggered
guys to hold long dollar positions and that could weigh on the
shilling," said Robert Gatobu, a trader at Bank of Africa.	
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the benchmark NSE-20
Share Index edged up just 0.1 percent to 3,456.35
points, steadying after two days of gains.	
    Shares in cement maker East African Portland Cement
 jumped 7.1 percent a day after resuming trade
following a two-month suspension from the bourse over a bitter
dispute between its directors and the government - which holds a
25 percent stake. 	
    "Investors are banking on improved operational efficiency
and demand for cement to support its top line and bring the
cement manufacturer back to profitability," said Ronald Lugalia,
an analysts at Afrika Investment Bank.	
    The stock attracts very low trading volumes. It had barely
moved on Thursday and Friday's jump was exacerbated by thin
trade. 	
               ...........................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 George Obulutsa and Susan Fenton)
 
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