Foreign Exchange Reserves

The CBK’s usable foreign exchange reserves remained adequate at USD 8,125 million (4.97 months of import cover). This meets CBK’s statutory requirement to endeavor to maintain at least 4.0-months of import cover, and the EAC region’s convergence criteria of 4.5-months of import cover.

Currency

The Kenyan Shilling depreciated against the Dollar, but appreciated against the Euro and the Sterling Pound. The depreciation against the Dollar is attributable to increased Dollar demand from oil and energy importers.

 Week BeforeWeek After
Dollar113.63113.67
Euro129.61129.22
Sterling Pound153.85153.30

Liquidity

Liquidity in the money markets tightened, supported by tax remittances which partly offset government payments. Remittance inflows in January 2022 increased by 21.7% to USD 338.7 million compared to USD 278.3 million in January 2021. Open market operations remained active.

 Week BeforeWeek After
Interbank rate4.45%4.48%
Interbank volume (billion)10.8711.77
Commercial banks’ excess reserves (billion)11.1026.20

Fixed Income

T-Bills

The T-Bills became over-subscribed during the week. The highest subscription was recorded in the 364 day paper, which offered higher yields.

T-BillYield (% Rate)Subscription Rate
Week BeforeWeek AfterWeek BeforeWeek After
Overall83.52%111.54
91 day 7.29%7.25%72.25% 37.23%
182 day8.11%8.08%63.98%101.49%
364 day9.67%9.725%107.58%151.31%
T-Bonds

The bonds market had low demand for the months bond offers. Bonds turnover decreased to Kshs 7.09 billion from Kshs 13.82 billion recorded in the previous week.

In the primary bond market, the Treasury issued a 19-year infrastructure bond IFB1/2022/019. Bids worth Sh 132.3 billion were received at a rate of 12.97% against a target of Sh 75 billion, a performance rate of 176.34%. The Treasury rejected expensive bids and accepted bids worth Sh 98.6 billion – an acceptance rate of 74.58%.

In the international market, yields on Kenya’s Eurobonds increased by an average of 31.1 basis points. The yield on the 10-year Eurobond for Ghana increased but that of Angola declined.

Equities

NASI and NSE 25 decreased by 0.58% and 0.07% while NSE 20 increased by 1.01%. Market capitalization also declined by 0.58% to 2.60 trillion. The performance was driven by losses recorded by large-cap stocks. Top losses were recorded in BK Group Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya and Safaricom Plc which decreased by 2.50%, 2.36% and 1.43% respectively.

The Banking sector had shares worth Kshs 622M transacted which accounted for 32.22% of the week’s traded value, Manufacturing & Allied sector had shares worth 173M transacted which represented 8.99% and Safaricom with shares worth Kshs 1B transacted, contributed 56.89%.

Top Gainers and Losers in the Equities Markets

Top GainersW-o-W
Sanlam Kenya36.36%
BAT Kenya10.28%
Olympia Capital Holdings9.42%
Car & General8.20%
BOC Kenya7.89%
Top LosersW-o-W
TP Serena-9.63%
Transcentury Limited-9.38%
Unga Group Holdings-9.37%
Home Afrika-5.13%
Sameer-4.98%

Alternative Investments

 Week BeforeWeek After% Change
Derivatives Turnover (million)4.473.73-16.60%
Derivatives Contracts152673.33%
I-REIT Turnover0.240.91279.65%
I-REIT Deals566210.71%

Global and Regional Markets

Global MarketsW-o-W
S&P 500-1.58%
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)-1.90%
FTSE 100 (FTSE)-1.92%
STOXX Europe 600-1.87%
Shanghai Composite (SSEC)0.80%
MSCI Emerging Markets-0.70%
MSCI World Index-1.83%
Continental MarketsW-o-W
FTSE ASEA Pan African Index0.44%
JSE All Share-0.04%
NSE All Share (NGSE)-0.13%
DSEI (Tanzania)1.43%
ALSIUG (Uganda)-1.06%

U.S stocks closed the week low, due to a decline in Technology, Healthcare and Oil & Gas stocks, supported by a escalating tensions in Ukraine and U.S warnings of a potential Russian invasion. Speculation about the Federal Reserve’s next move of hiking interest rates in March also weighed on equities.

European stocks closed the week lower as well, following the news that Russian-backed separatists were evacuating residents from breakaway regions in the country’s east, weighing down investor sentiment. Investors are still assessing the equity market that have since weakened on the outlook that rising interest rates will hurt growth stocks.

Asia Pacific stocks also closed the week mixed, as some countries cast doubt on Russian claims that its troops are withdrawing from the border with Ukraine. This was worsened by the news from the Federal Reserve that the central bank would hike interest rates soon and continue to monitor inflation levels.

On the global commodities markets, Crude Oil WTI closed the week low by 2.18% and the ICE Brent Crude decreased by 0.95%. Gold futures prices also increased by 3.13% to settle at $1,899.80.

Week’s Highlights

  • The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has retained fuel prices for the month between 15th February and March 14th, despite increased cost of crude oil globally and increased landing costs. Super petrol, diesel and kerosene will retail at Sh 129.72, Sh 110.60 and Sh 103.54 per litre respectively.
  • The amount of cash circulating outside the banking system grew by 6.2% to hit an all-time high of Sh 253.4 billion as Kenyans went into the festive period. There has been improved consumption brought about by the increased amount of disposable income and continued optimism about business activity and economic growth prospects for this year attributed to continued recovery of key sectors supported by government stimulus programs.
  • Cash saved by Kenyans in foreign currency denominations at local commercial banks increased by 8.5% to an all-time high of Sh803.6 billion in December last year, as Kenyans hedged against the depreciating shilling which has been under pressure since mid last year. Supply chain disruptions brought about by the pandemic uncertainties and global tensions pose as the main drivers leading people to hard currencies.
  • Tanzania’s exports to Kenya in the 11 months to November 2021 grew to Sh 50.1 billion from sh 24 billion in a similar period the preceding year on the back of improved business relations between the two countries. The growth pushed Tanzania to a record Sh9.77 billion deficit as exports grew at a slower pace to Sh40.39 billion.
  • Namibia has increased its key interest rate for the first time in six years to 4%, following a decision by South Africa’s Reserve Bank to raise borrowing costs by the same amount, in a bid to safeguard its currency peg with South Africa’s Rand. This comes after Rand Merchant Bank’s (RMB) Markets Research team, predicted Namibia’s economy will record a 3% growth on the back of new mining activities from Debmarine which are expected to boost offshore drilling plus diamond activity onshore will add to sectoral growth.

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