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Kenyan shilling falls to a four year low over coronavirus fears

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Elevated demand of the U.S. dollar coupled with a decrease in tourism numbers and export earnings has seen the Kenyan shilling fall to a four-year low of Ksh. 105.987 at the close of market on Friday.

The shilling has been on a steady fall since Kenya registered the first coronavirus patient on March 13, 2019.

Kenyan shilling was quoted at 105.70/90 per dollar, a fresh low since late 2015, and down from 105.50/70 at Thursday’s close.

The spontaneous weakening of the shilling forced President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday to lift a ban on government’s entities from holding conferences and seminars in private hotels so as to keep the hospitality sector vibrant.

“We have lifted that temporarily until this is over so that our hotel beds get occupancy and you, in turn, are able to keep your workers employed,” he said.

The intervention came at a time when hotels in Kwale County were on the verge of closing shop following the dwindling numbers of guests over coronavirus fears.

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