Kenyans react as dollar value continues to depreciate

All eyes are on the value of the shilling against the dollar and Kenyans won’t stop talking on the internet.

Since February the Shilling has continued to significantly gain against the dollar. 

As of Thursday, March 14, the Kenyan Shilling was being exchanged at 137.49 per US dollar according to the Central Bank of Kenya.

Other retailers are selling the dollar from as low as Sh130 against the dollar.

Under the #SellYourDollars on X, Kenyans have expressed confidence that the Shilling will continue to gain urging others to sell the dollars.

User Laurence Kitema said: “USD Buying at 125 and Selling at 135! Sell Your Dollars.”

Dan Nyagah said: President William Ruto is fixing our economy. Please sell your dollars.”

“There is massive panic in the forex market today. On February 8, 2024, pacific_forex was buying USD at 161.5 and selling at 164. Today, the rate is now 133 buying and 137 selling. Sadistic but patriotic individuals will tell you to sell your dollars,” user Mihr Thakar.

Daggy said: “Kenya’s economy is on the rebound! The remarkable rise of the Kenyan Shilling against global currencies is a testament to our nation’s resilience and determination.”

The US dollar had risen from an average exchange rate of Sh125 against the shilling in the first quarter of 2023 to Sh162 posted in January 2024.

On January 15, the shilling officially crossed 160 unit points against the US dollar, the lowest level on record.

The Central Bank of Kenya blamed the depreciation of the shilling on the $2 billion (Sh300 billion) Eurobond.

The depreciation made imports more expensive while at the same time pushing up Kenya’s debt.

However, in February, the country successfully issued a new Eurobond worth $1.5 billion (Sh238 billion) to buy back the inaugural one due on June 24. 

The National Treasury said the new loan is divided into three instalments and has a weight average life of six years and is expected to mature in 2031.

The bond is priced at 10.37 per cent, the highest rate an African state has ever offered.

Last month, National Treasury Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said that Kenyans hoarding the dollar should take advantage of the current window to sell off their dollar or risk losing them even as he remains bullish that the shilling will continue to rally against the dollar.

“I want to encourage Kenyans, if you’re holding any dollar because you fear the Eurobond, please note that now the risk of failure to settle the Eurobond is gone and so you need to get back to business sell your dollars and get back to business don’t do any speculation anymore,” he added.

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