Kenyan forex reserves steady at $9.1bn on high inflows


KENYA’S forex reserves have stabilised at an average of $9.1bn on steady inflows from agriculture, offshore investors and diaspora remittances.

The gross reserves have for over one month stayed above the $9.1bn mark, an equivalent of 6.2 months of import cover, despite increased dollar demand from importers.

During the period, inflows from the agriculture sector, in particular horticulture, investors buying Treasury bonds and diaspora remittances have been high.

The country’s horticulture export inflows, according to analysts, have been driven by increasing production and improving global prices.

On the other hand, remittances from Kenyans overseas have risen 51 percent as compared to last year, helping to bolster the reserves.

‘Diaspora remittances increased by 50.6 percent to 222 million dollars in March, from 148 million dollars in March 2017,’ Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, said early this week.

In 2017, diaspora remittances were the east African nation’s largest foreign exchange earner, at $2.03bn, exceeding tea exports and tourism receipts, which earned $1.2bn and $1.4bn respectively.

On the debt market, the Central Bank notes that government securities, namely Treasury bills and bonds, have maintained good performance for the past week.

Subscriptions for the securities have increased for the past four straight weeks, hitting 170 percent last week.



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