The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Monthly Remittances Rise to Historical High in May

Monthly remittances from Kenyans living and working abroad clocked a historical high in May, according to Central Bank's 11-year data released yesterday.

The amount sent home by the diaspora totalled to $119.66 million (Sh10.5 billion) in the month, a 5.5 per cent increase over April's $113.41 million (Sh9.96 billion). Hitherto, March remittances held the all- time record at $119.59 million.

CBK collates data from formal channels such as commercial banks and authorised international remittance services providers in the country.

Five-month remittances were 9.6 per cent higher than a comparable period last year at $574.05 million from $523.87 million. North America remains the country's biggest source Friday, July 11, 2014 market for remittance inflows in the month with $56.62 million or 47.3 per cent.

Europe accounted for 28.7 per cent or $34.35 million. Kenyans living in other parts of the world chipped in with $28.69 million. "Remittance inflows from all regions remained resilient," the CBK said in a statement yesterday.

The shilling is the biggest beneficiary of the continued growth in remittances, which strengthen it against major world currencies.

Central Bank's rate- setting arm, the Monetary Policy Committee, on Tuesday said inflows from remittances and foreign investors have stabilised the currency.

"The exchange rate has remained stable supported mainly by foreign exchange inflows through diaspora remittances and increased foreign investor participation in the Nairobi Securities Exchange as well as enhanced confidence following successful issuance of the Sovereign Bond," the MPC said in a statement.

It said the shilling "fluctuated within a narrow range" of between 87.38 and 87.92 against the dollar in June compared to 86.87 and 87.86 in May. The shilling strengthened slightly yesterday to 87.78 from 87.86 on Wednesday.

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