Kenyaand#039s Finance minister plays down recent interest rates surge

Kenya’s Finance minister Henry Rotich played down a recent surge in interest rates, telling lawmakers on Thursday that steady inflation and other factors were in place to ensure they came down.

The central bank has tightened monetary policy to support a weakening shilling, including raising its benchmark lending rate to 11.50 per cent. Yields on 91-day, 182-day and 364-day bills have climbed above 20 per cent in recent weeks.

READ: Anguish as Kenya banks raise interest rates

“The underlying factors to ensure those interest rates come down are stable,” Finance Minister Henry Rotich said, citing stable inflation which has been hovering at about 6 per cent.

The minister was addressing members of the National Assembly’s budget committee.

Businesses complain that high interest rates on commercial loans are preventing investment and expansion by local firms.