Kenya’s foreign reserves hit record high

  • As Britain vows not pay 100bn euros for Brexit, minister says

Kenya’s central bank held 8.309 billion dollars in foreign reserves at the end of last week, a record high for a weekly close.

The bank said on Wednesday in its weekly bulletin that the reserves were enough to cover about five-and-half month’s worth of imports.

There was no immediate explanation for the high reserves which were legally required to be at a minimum of four months’ worth of imports.

The bank struggled to build up reserves in the past due to low exports that was outstripped by imports of items like petrol.

The East African nation, which goes to the polls in August, also has a stand-by credit with the IMF of 1.5 billion dollars which it can tap in case of unforeseen shocks.

Meantime, Britain will not pay the 100 billion euros (110 billion dollars) that the European Union is reportedly demanding as a final settlement for Brexit, a senior minister said on Wednesday.

The British government will meet its legal obligations for payment, “not just what the EU wants,” Brexit Secretary David Davis told broadcaster ITV after the Financial Times and other media reported the new demand.

Davis said Britain had “not seen any number” for the final Brexit bill, but he accused the European Union of playing “rough and tough.”

“We have said we will meet our international obligations, but there will be our international obligations including assets and liabilities and there will be the ones that are correct in law, not just the ones the [European] Commission want,” he told the broadcaster.

Previous reports had estimated the EU’s final bill for Brexit at some 60 billion euros.

Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which allows a nation to leave the EU after up to two years of negotiations, on March 29.

In mid-April, she announced plans for a general election, asking voters to back her leadership and her Brexit plan, which involves withdrawing Britain from the EU single market.