Wealthy Kenyans bank Ksh779 billion in dollars to protect fortune during Covid-19 era

US dollar bills. [Photo: courtesy]

While hundreds of thousands of Kenyans struggle with life in the Covid-pandemic era, wealthy Kenyans stockpiled a total of Ksh779 billion converted into dollars to protect their investments.

According to data by the Central Bank on Kenya (CBK), the wealthy Kenyans made the deposits in the last 11 months leading to February 2021.

Compared to a similar time period in 2019, there was an increase in the number of foreign deposits made by wealthy Kenyans from 625.9 billion.

This is indicative of the investment protection already in play but the wealthy since the pandemic struck in March 2020 throwing the economy into a spin.

Economic analysts say that this cushions investors from a weakening shilling against the dollar. The dollar withstands global pressure and does not fall so much although it has also taken a beating in the last couple of months due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The shilling slumped against the dollar by 5.73 percent in March 2020. This hurt Kenyan investors whose fortunes waned.

A weakened shilling strengthened the dollar and informed the move to have more wealthy Kenyans stock pile their monetary fortune in dollars.

“The confidence in local currency is even weaker than it was about a year ago especially looking at nuances such as growing debt level,” Senior associate for debt and equity at AIB-AXYS Africa Kenneth Minjire told Business Daily.

In a recent report by Africa’s wealthiest people by Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank,  250 out of the 330 wealthy Kenyans with a net worth of more then 1 billion are reportedly said to reside in Nairobi.