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Kenyan shilling falls to five-year low against United States dollar

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan shilling fell to a five-year low on Tuesday against the U.S. dollar saddled by high liquidity in the market and increased end-month demand for the greenback by importers.

The Central Bank of Kenya quoted the currency to the dollar in the Tuesday trading at 104.10, down from 104.02 at the close of Monday.

Commercial banks, however, quoted the local unit on Tuesday at a much lower level of 104.25, which was last witnessed in February 2015.

The Kenyan currency has been under pressure from international currencies with the central bank last week being forced to use 179 million dollars of its 9.75 billion dollars reserve to prop it up.

Despite the fall of the reserves to 9.568 billion dollars, the central bank notes the forex exchange provides adequate cover and a buffer against short-term shocks in the foreign exchange market.

Last week, the shilling’s downward trend was accelerated by graft charges facing former treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich, who was sacked.


Kenya overall inflation rate rises to 6.27 per cent in July

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s overall inflation rate rose to 6.27 percent in July, up from 5.7 percent in June, despite a decrease in the cost of some food products, the government data agency said on Wednesday.

Zachary Mwangi, director general of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), said the consumer price indices (CPI) fell 0.36 percent, from 204.34 in June to 203.61 in July.

"In July 2019, the food and non-alcohol drink’s index decreased by 1.04 percent, compared to a decline of 1.6 percent in June 2019," Mwangi said in a statement issued from Nairobi.

The KNBS noted that the alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics index surged 0.82 percent due to an increase in the price of cigarettes.

In July, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index rose 0.14 percent as a result of higher electricity prices.

The statistics bureau added that the transport index increased by 0.22 percent, on account of increases in pump prices of petrol despite a drop in the pump prices of diesel.

The prices were obtained from selected retail outlets in 25 data collection zones in Nairobi and 13 other urban centers.


Kenya and Abu Dhabi Global Market sign MoU on sustainable finance

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in sustainable finance in each other’s market.

Paul Muthaura, chief executive of CMA, said in Nairobi that the partnership was formed following close discussions and continuous coordination between the two parties to scale up the development of sustainable finance in both jurisdictions.

"The MoU provides a framework for CMA and FSRA to exchange information pertinent to products, services and initiatives as well as to develop legislative, regulatory and institutional frameworks to enable the two sides to facilitate and support sustainable finance," said Muthaura.

He said the strategic partnership between CMA and FSRA underscores the importance of sustainable finance and the intangible value drivers within environmental, social and governance perspectives.

"This initiative has come at an opportune time as sustainable finance is expected to play an important but niche role in driving the growth of Kenya’s capital markets.

"This is in line with the Marrakech Pledge which calls for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology from developed to developing countries," Muthaura said

Richard Teng, CEO of the FSRA, said that his organization will work closely with the CMA team and more like-minded partners to foster responsible and sustainable methods that support the development and growth of respective economies.

He noted that the partnership and relationship with CMA began in 2017 on financial technology where there was sharing of mutual objectives of fostering innovation, financial inclusion and regulator cooperation.

Kenya adds 79MW electricity to national grid with new plant

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s electricity utility said Tuesday it has added 79 megawatts (MW) of power to the national grid following the completion of a new plant dubbed Unit 1 of Olkaria V geothermal power plant.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) said the new plant was first synchronized to the grid on June 28 and thereafter subjected to commissioning tests.

Currently, 70 percent of Kenya’s installed electricity is derived from renewable sources, which is more than three times the global average.

Besides electricity generation, KenGen has announced plans to start offering expert services in energy matters such as sale of steam, provision of consultancy services, commercial drilling, heating and other services across Africa.

"Consistent with our long-term plan, we are continuously working on increasing our renewable energy to provide affordable energy to Kenyans while safeguarding the environment.

"This, in turn, will lead to the provision of stable energy to power households and industries across the country," Rebecca Miano, managing director of KenGen said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Miano said the additional capacity would play a significant role in supporting Kenya’s power needs while enhancing the amount of green energy in the national grid.

She said the completion of the Unit 1 of Olkaria V geothermal power plant and subsequently injecting 79 MW to the national grid brings to 612MW the total amount of installed geothermal power capacity by KenGen.

Miano said the total amount of installed geothermal power capacity will be significant in ensuring that the country’s power needs are met through the continuous use of green energy solutions.

Currently in its last stages of development, Olkaria V geothermal power plant is expected to inject a total of 158 MW to the grid once Unit 2 is synchronized to the grid at the end of August.

This will further enhance KenGen’s position as the leading electricity generating company in East Africa and greatly support the country’s Big Four Agenda and the Vision 2030 development blueprint.



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