NAIROBI, KENYA | Xinhua | The Kenyan shilling traded at a new low of 161.4 against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said on Tuesday, as it continued with its free fall against major global currencies.
The local currency crossed the psychological 160 mark against the dollar on Jan. 19, and there seems to be no end in sight for the depreciation.
The year-on-year decline currently stands at 27 percent, the worst in about 30 years.
However, while the CBK put the official exchange rate at 161.4 on Tuesday, commercial banks and forex dealers quoted it at a low of 162 to the dollar.
Against the British pound, the CBK put the shilling at a low of 205.3 and the euro at 175.8.
Njuguna Ndung’u, the cabinet secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning, in a statement on Jan. 19, attributed the currency woes to market fundamentals partly caused by the raising of benchmark interest rates in the developed economies.
Ndung’u, however, noted that the decline of the shilling had been slowed down by government interventions, including the buying of oil from the Middle East on credit to stem the high demand for dollars. ■
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