The Kenyan shilling is the official currency of east Africa's largest economy and is issued and circulated by the Central Bank of Kenya. The shilling's value has declined significantly over recent months following the global credit crisis of 2008 despite recent improvements in Kenya's ratings.
The Kenyan shilling's value compared to other major foreign currencies has been weakened by the 2008 meltdown in global financial markets and in rising prices for key imported commodities like fertilizer, which significantly reduced Kenya's balance of payments surplus. Between early December 2008 and mid-January 2009, for example, the shilling lost 24% of its value against the U.S. dollar, slugging import-based Kenyan businesses like car dealers.
The Kenyan shilling's forex value in late January 2009 continued its trading weakness from late 2008 despite the fact that ratings agency Fitch recently lifted Kenya's sovereign outlook from stable to negative while maintaining the shilling's foreign currency rating of B+. On January 20 the shilling was trading at 82.62 to the U.S. dollar, down from 77.62 from a week earlier.
- Kenya's economy seen growing 4.1 pct in 2009. Reuters.
- CMC Holdings of Kenya Full-Year Profit Increases 50%. Bloomberg.
- Kenya shilling eases vs dollar, ignores rating. Reuters.
- Currency in Kenya: Kenyan shilling (KES). GreenwichMeanTime.com.