NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s gross foreign exchange reserves rose to a
new high of over 8 billion U.S. dollars, boosted by inflows from
New data from the
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) show Monday that the reserves now
stand at a record 8.03 U.S. dollars, or an equivalent of 5.3
months of import cover.
This is an increase
of 295 million dollars in the last week as the government
continued to draw foreign loans from several lenders, including
At the end of last
month, the East African nation’s foreign exchange reserves stood
at 7.73 billion dollars, or an equivalent of 5.11 months of
The Treasury over a
week ago announced that it was borrowing 800 million dollars in
syndicated loan from four international banks and 500 million
dollars from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
Besides the loans,
Kenya also had a precautionary arrangement with the
International Monetary Fund, equivalent to 1.5 billion dollars.
“The increase is
largely due to inflows of planned external loans of the
government. These reserves continue to provide an adequate
buffer against short-term shocks,” said CBK Governor Patrick
Njoroge at the end of last month, when the benchmark lending
rate was kept at 10 percent.
The Kenyan shilling
last week was under pressure from foreign currencies, weakening
0.4 percent to close against the U.S. dollar at 103.4.
However, CBK data
indicated that the bank did not intervene in the money market by
selling dollars from its reserves.
Analysts expect that
the shilling would come under intense pressure due to global
strengthening of the dollar following a planned rate hike and
recovery of global oil prices.
“However, with the
current level of forex reserves, the CBK will be able to support
the shilling in the short term,” Cytonn, a Nairobi-based
investment firm, said Monday.