Foreign exchange reserves held by the Central Bank have risen to an equivalent of 4.3 months cover of Kenya's import bill, the banking sector regulator revealed in its weekly report on Monday. It is the first time in a month that Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has published the forex cover data, which is used by currency dealers to price the shilling. The shilling was little changed following release of the data, trading at about 85.8 units to the dollar. "The delay in releasing the figures was to allow us to harmonise so that we differentiate gross reserves from the usable reserves," said Terry Ryan , a member of the CBK's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee . There had been a difference in figures released by CBK and those from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), said Prof Ryan, adding that central bank's data only showed the usable reserves while KNBS showed gross reserves that included the non-usable portion. Monday's weekly report showed the level of foreign exchange reserves had risen slightly to Sh526bn ( $6bn ), an increase of about Sh11bn or $127m compared to Sh515b ( $5.992bn ) held on December 19 when the last update was given.
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