NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The amount of foreign currency in Kenyan banks
has risen considerably as institutions diversify their reserves
by embracing the Chinese yuan.
The East African
nation’s banks foreign currency deposits rose from 5.14 billion
U.S. dollars in May to 5.74 billion dollars in June, Central
Bank of Kenya data showed Wednesday.
The foreign reserves
have been on an upward trend in the second quarter where they
crossed the 5 billion dollars mark in May. In April, the
reserves stood at 4.7 billion dollars.
banks kept their foreign reserves mainly in dollars, British
pound and euro.
bilateral ties between Kenya and China has seen a number of the
42 commercial banks in the East African nation adopt the yuan,
which analysts cite as part of the reason for the surge in
Last month, the
Kenyan Bankers Association (KBA) asked members to raise their
stock of the Chinese currency to cater for the increased
KBA chief executive
Habil Olaka said the yuan has become important in settling
financial transactions, prompting Kenyan banks to set up
China-dedicated desks and increase stock.
Banks with yuan
desks include Equity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank
and National Bank.
“There is a lot of
trade now and the Chinese currency is becoming medium of
transacting between entities,” he said. Other sources of the
foreign exchange deposits by banks include diaspora remittances.