JOHANNESBURG Dec 22 The currencies of Uganda,
Kenya and Zambia are seen trading sideways in the week to next
Thursday as most investors closed positions ahead of the end of
the year while Nigeria's naira is seen weaker as a dollar
shortage persists, traders said.
The Uganda shilling is set to trade weaker over the next few
days as commercial banks exert demand to square positions as the
year nears its close.
At 0811 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at
3,562/3,572, stronger than last Thursday's close of 3,590/3,600.
"In the last days of the year you normally see banks moving
to cover short positions, so I expect some demand in that
sense," said a trader at a leading commercial bank.
Nigeria's naira is seen depreciating further and could hit
the 500 mark to the dollar on the black market by next week as
greenback scarcity persists and the central bank cuts supply to
The local currency was trading around 495 to the dollar on
the black market on Thursday, compared to 485 per dollar last
week due to dollar shortages, traders said.
The naira was quoted at 310.5 to the dollar on the official
interbank window on Thursday by commercial lenders.
"There is an acute shortage of dollars in the market because
of supply being slashed by half to bureau de change from
international money transfer agents, pushing the naira down,"
one trader said.
Bureau de change operators are now getting $8,000 each per
week from Travelex against the usual $15,000 each per week.
The Kenyan shilling will likely to hold its position
over the next week amid continued vigilance from the central
bank, traders said.
At 0900 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at
102.35/45 to the dollar, slightly weaker than last Thursday's
close of 102.00/102.10.
"Liquidity is a big thing at the moment, we do expect some
consolidation and we expect the central bank to hold a strong
dollar value against the shilling," said one trader at a
The kwacha is expected to hold firm with a dampening
in demand for hard currency and large corporates converting hard
cash to settle their month end obligations.
At 1005 GMT on Thursday, the currency of Africa's No.2
copper producer was quoted at 10.8050 compared to a close of
9.8500 a week ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"We continue to see some conversions of hard currency by
major corporates for kwacha obligations. The local unit is
expected to remain firm against the greenback in the interim,"
the Zambian unit of Atlas Mara, BankABC said in a note.
(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema, Katharine Houreld, Oludare
Mayowa and Chris Mfula; Compiled by Mfuneko Toyana; Edited by Ed