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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya shilling slides against dollar in Christmas Eve trading 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan shilling slid 0.44 percent against the U.S. dollar on the eve of Christmas trading on Monday as demand for the greenback started to surge.

Commercial banks and the Central Bank quoted the local unit against the dollar at 101.85 on Monday, a decline from 101.40 at the end of last week on Friday.

Analysts attributed the decline to slight rise in dollar demand from importers as they ready for end of the year.  

Last week, the Kenyan shilling gained 1.1 percent against the dollar to hit a five-week high from 102.60 recorded the previous week due to thin dollar demand from oil importers amidst the continued tight liquidity.

However, despite the decline, the shilling is expected to close the year stronger as it is trading 1.8 percent higher against the dollar year-to-date, according to analysts.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenya urged to review capital market rules to boost investment

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has been advised to boost investment in the capital markets through privatization of state corporations and review of restrictive rules.

The changes, according to Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, would ensure active participation in the capital markets and encourage new listing, which has eluded the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the last several years.

“Despite Kenya’s sophisticated capital markets relative to its east African peers, ease of entry and exit is hampered by restrictive regulations and low market liquidity, which contributes to high transaction costs,” noted Cytonn in an investor report on Monday.

The firm called for enhancement of investor education and evaluation of tax and regulatory frameworks to encourage financial stability and transparency of financial information.

Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Paul Muthaura said recently the regulator is reviewing its listing rules, including requirements that firms must have been profitable in the past three or five years, and the standards on debt to equity levels.

Kenya’s capital markets are considered the most sophisticated in east Africa, with 62 listed companies and a market capitalization of 2.1 trillion shillings (20.6 billion U.S. dollars).

             

 

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