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Kenyans’ remittances home rise 8%

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th September 2009 03:00 AM

NAIROBI

The amount of money sent home by Kenyans living abroad in July was $50.372m, up 8.7% from $44.137m in the same month of 2008, the Central Bank of Kenya said on Thursday.

NAIROBI

The amount of money sent home by Kenyans living abroad in July was $50.372m, up 8.7% from $44.137m in the same month of 2008, the Central Bank of Kenya said on Thursday.

NAIROBI

The amount of money sent home by Kenyans living abroad in July was $50.372m, up 8.7% from $44.137m in the same month of 2008, the Central Bank of Kenya said on Thursday.

Total remittances in the first seven months of 2009 stood at $342.3m, down 8.4% from the same period of 2008, but up 10.3% from January-July 2007.

“The surge in 2008 remittance inflows was attributed to the Safaricom IPO and post-election violence, which attracted large funds for investment and consumption smoothing respectively,” the bank said in a statement issued early on Thursday.

Remittances to east Africa’s biggest economy are a key source of foreign exchange. They totalled $611.2m in 2008, up from $573.6m in 2007.

More than half of annual remittances have come from North America in each of the past five years, the bank said. Meanwhile, the Kenya shilling strengthened against the dollar on Thursday, helped by someflows from the farm sector and the central bank refraining from buying the US currency.

Commercial banks quoted the local unit at 76.25/35 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 76.45/55.

Dealers said the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had stayed out of the market, giving the shilling a boost.

“There were some little inflows from the agricultural sector and (with) CBK staying out of the market and not much demand in the market, people had to sell off,” said Stephen Lagat, a dealer at CFC Stanbic.

Dealers said it was likely that some market players had bought the US currency in anticipation of central bank buying, but had to offload it when the bank kept out.

The shilling was expected to trade in the 75.50-76.60 range over the coming days, dealers said. In addition to sectors like agriculture and tourism, the shilling’s strength is boosted by remittances from abroad.

Kenya is a cash-based economy, thus most of business transactions including remittances are done in cash.

The country does not have a legislation governing funds transfer apart from Part VI and Legal Notice No 23 of February 1996 of the Central Bank Kenya Act.
Reuters

Kenyans’ remittances home rise 8%

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