Kenya: Remittances From Expats Up 9.9% to Sh49.32 Billion in May

Nairobi — Remittances from Kenyan expats abroad increased by 9.9 percent to Sh49.32 billion last month, pushing up the country’s foreign current reserve.

The latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows that money sent home was Sh4.5 billion in June, up from Sh44.83 billion in April.

“The remittance inflows continue to support the current account and the foreign exchange market,” CBK said on Friday.

“The US remains the largest source of remittances to Kenya, accounting for 54 percent in May 2023,” it added.

Inflows helped strengthen the country’s usable foreign exchange reserve to Sh1.04 trillion as of June 15, enough to cover 4.11 months of imports.

“This meets the CBK’s statutory requirement to endeavor to maintain at least 4 months of import cover.”

In March this year, Kenya’s forex reserve faced stiff pressure on debt repayment as well as a decline in dollar inflows that reduced the nation’s reserve of the greenback to Sh852.2 billion, which was enough to cover 3.67 months.

The above breached the CBK Act (Section 26), which requires that CBK “at all times use its best endeavours to maintain a reserve of external assets at an aggregate amount of not less than the value of four months’ imports as recorded and averaged for the last three preceding years.

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