November 8, 2011 / 6:24 AM / 8 years ago

Kenya remittances up 45 pct yr/yr in Sept

One Euro coins are pictured after being minted at the Austrian national mint in Vienna, April 8, 2009. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyans abroad sent home $84.9 million in September, up 45 percent from the year-ago period, while remittances in the first nine months of 2011 hit a record $643.8 million, surpassing 2010’s full-year total of $641.9 million, the central bank said on Tuesday.

In August, remittances stood at $79.6 million, while the figure stood at $58.56 million in September 2010.

Remittances are the fourth-largest source of foreign exchange in east Africa’s biggest economy after revenue from tea, horticulture and tourism.

The September figure was the highest monthly remittances received this year, and since central bank started keeping a record of the flows in 2004.

“The monthly remittance flows have remained strong in 2011,” the central bank said in a statement on its website.

Typically, Kenyans living abroad send money home to help their families and for investment in various sectors, including real estate.

North America and Europe were the main sources of the remittances to Kenya, accounting for 49 percent and 28 percent of total remittances, respectively.

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