NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – The Kenyan shilling has been in the middle of several storms in the last three years, as have many other currencies in the world.
But what times did the waves really rock the boat to the point of throwing everyone and everything into the sea? See below:
- When the Supreme Court ordered for a fresh presidential vote
In mid-October 2017, the shilling fell to a two-month low as demand for US dollar rose on the back of increased uncertainty over the fate of the presidential re-run.
The country was facing a political crisis after the Supreme Court nullified the August 8 Presidential election where Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected. The court asked for a fresh vote that would take place in October.
A few days to the elections, jitters took over, making the shilling shed at least 0.2 percent.
- When drought hit Kenya
In March 2015, tea growing areas were scaling back operations owing to hot, dry weather which cut tea deliveries by more than a half.
Kenya tea Development Agency reported that the amount of tea sold dropped by 27 percent from what was sold in 2014.
“The weaker foreign exchange receipts are, the more pressure the currency may well find itself under,” Jeff Gable, the head of macro- and fixed-income research at the Barclays Africa Group, said, adding, “Falling tea prices are one part of the puzzle.”
- When Treasury Cabinet Secretary was arrested on corruption charges
The shilling depreciated by 0.7 percent against the US dollar to close at Sh103.8 from 103.1 the previous week. It hit a three-year low of 104.0, with analysts saying it was partly driven by uncertainty caused by the announcement that the CS and his principal secretary would be charged with financial misconduct, coupled with a relatively liquid money market.
“We are not able to fully quantify by how much Rotich affected the outcome, but we do suspect it had everything to do with it. However, should there be an arrest, we are sure the shilling would perform very well as investors would show their confidence in the country,” a Commercial Bank of Africa analyst told Capital Business.