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Kenya Central Bank lowers benchmark lending rate to 10 per cent

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s central bank (CBK) has reduced the benchmark lending rate or the Central Bank Rate by 50 basis points to 10 percent, following the interest rate caps.

The CBK’s Monetary Policy Committee said the reduction was expected to ease inflation, which it said was expected to decline within a short time.

"The committee observed that the demand pressures on inflation are moderate and inflation is expected to decline in the short term, but the committee remains concerned about the persistent slowdown in private sector growth," CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said in a statement.

Njoroge said the CBK will continue to monitor developments in the domestic and international economies and will use the instruments at its disposal to maintain overall price and financial sector stability.

The CBK says continued decline in the growth of private sector credit since July poses a risk to economic growth.

However, a survey conducted by the CBK Monetary Policy Committee earlier this month shows the private sector remains optimistic for an improved businesses environment in 2016.

This, the survey said, will be backed by macroeconomic stability, public investment in infrastructure, improved agricultural performance and a further recovery in tourism.

The CBK said it is closely monitoring the impact of the new law, which caps interest rates by commercial banks, on monetary policy and on the overall economy.

"The CBK will continue to put in place measures to sustainably reduce the cost of credit and improve liquidity management," Njoroge said.


Nairobi bourse turnover swells 68 per cent despite top stocks dip

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) turnover rose 68 per cent to 4.8 million U.S. dollars Tuesday on a volume of 21 million shares from 12 million shares worth 2.8 million dollars the previous day.

However, despite the surge in trading, Tuesday’s session was characterized by decline in prices of top stocks.

Some 14 stocks that make the indicative NSE 20 Share Index registered price drops, sending the indicator 27 points lower to 3,192.31.

On the other hand, Kenya Power, Sasini, Kenya Airways and Barclays Bank lost as much 10 per cent on their share prices.

Safaricom was the day’s biggest mover, with 5.3 million shares changing hands at an average of 0.19 dollars.

In the banking sector, some 11.4 million shares that represented 53 per cent of the day’s traded volume were traded.

Kenya Commercial Bank actively moved 4.8 million shares at 0.26 dollars, while Cooperative Bank was unchanged at 0.11 dollars to trade 3.5 million shares.

The commercial and services sector had 1.6 million shares traded while the energy sector traded 1.3 million shares.

The bond market had securities worth 14 million dollars transacted compared to 16 million dollars registered the previous session.

Some top stocks rise to lift Nairobi bourse key index amid low trading

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The bourse opened the week on a low, with a total of 12.8 million shares valued at 2.8 million U.S. dollars traded Monday, against 15 million shares worth 3.5 million dollars posted Friday.

Despite the low trading, some top stocks gained over 1 percent to push the NSE 20 Share Index up 12.76 points to stand at 3,218.88.

Similarly, the All Share Index ended 0.66 points higher to stand at 132.24 and the NSE 25 Share Index climbed up 28.63 points to settle at 3,487.42.

The top 20 stocks that gained include Kenya’s leading telecom Safaricom (1 percent), Equity Bank (1 percent), Kenya Commercial Bank (1 percent) and Centum Investment (1.2 percent).

Safaricom moved 2.1 million shares at 0.19 dollars to be the top trader at the bourse from 2.7 million in previous session.

The banking sector had 3.8 million shares traded to represent 30 percent of the day’s traded volume. Equity Bank saw 1.25 million shares exchange hands at a high of 0.26 dollars while KCB traded 570,000 shares at the same price.

In the investment sector, some 2.8 million shares traded to represent 23 percent of the day’s traded volume.

Home Afrika was the most heavily traded counter in the sector with 2.4 million shares at 0.01 dollars while Centum investment went up 1.2 percent to 0.43 dollars and moved 257,000 shares.

The commercial and allied sector had 1.1 million shares traded with Kenya Airways closing 2.7 percent lower to 0.03 dollars on a volume of 788,000 shares.


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