(Adds current account deficit, exchange rate)
NAIROBI May 3 Kenya's central bank held $8.309
billion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of last week, a
record high for a weekly close, the central bank data showed.
The bank said in its weekly bulletin, seen by Reuters on
Wednesday, that the reserves were enough to cover about
five-and-half months worth of imports.
There was no immediate explanation for the high reserves,
which are legally required to be at a minimum of four months
worth of imports.
The bank has struggled to build up reserves in the past, due
to low exports that are far outstripped by imports of items like
But the situation has been improving in recent years. The
current account deficit narrowed 11.9 percent last year to 5.2
percent of GDP, the statistics office said earlier this month.
The overall balance of payments swung to a small surplus
last year from a deficit in the previous year.
The East African nation, which goes to the polls in August,
also has a stand-by credit with the IMF of $1.5 billion, which
it can tap in case of unforeseen shocks.
The shilling has been broadly stable this year,
trading at 102.50-103.90 shillings per dollar, Reuters data
(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Angus MacSwan)