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UPDATE 1-Kenyan shares edge up, Equity Bank jumps

* Equity Bank's shares jump 2.2 pct

* Gains follow new senior appointments

(Recasts with shares) By Beatrice Gachenge

NAIROBI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Kenya's stock market inched up on Thursday, driven by a jump in shares of Equity Bank

as

investors cheered the appointment of new senior managers to drive expansion and strategy.

The Kenyan shilling finished the day flat against the dollar.

The NSE-20 share index added 2.43 points to close at 3,961.05 points, rising for a second day in a row.

Equity Bank, Kenya's biggest bank in terms of the number of account holders and one of the most frequently traded shares on the bourse, rose 2.2 percent to finish at 23 shillings ($0.27) per share, after the bank named a new chief operating officer and a group finance director.

"There is confidence in the bank appointing new blood," said Brenda Kithinji, a research analyst at Standard Investment Bank.

"For banks, the next contest is regional expansion to grow earnings, which explains the appointments."

Equity's Chief Executive James Mwangi unveiled Samson Oduor, who previously worked with pan-African bank EcoBank Transnational

in Togo, as group finance director, to help with the bank's expansion into African markets outside of the east Africa region.

Julius Kipng'ethich, the immediate former chief executive of Kenya Wildlife Service was appointed into the new post of chief operating officer for the bank. He had served on the board of Equity since 2004.

Asked if the two were hired as part of his succession plan, Mwangi, who transformed the bank from a failing rural building society into the nation's biggest bank by depositors, said he was not yet ready to step down from his role as CEO.

In the foreign exchange market, the shilling

finished

the session at 84.85/85.05 per dollar, barely changed from Wednesday's close of 84.85/95.

Traders said they expected the shilling to firm marginally in the days ahead due to rising yields on government securities.

"We are expecting it to firm a bit since we saw interest rates rise," said Solomon Alubala, head of treasury at Co-operative Bank.

Typically, high yields pull offshore investors into the debt market, thus helping to raise dollar inflows and cushioning the shilling.

The central bank mopped up 4.95 billion shillings from the market in repurchase agreements (repos), having received bids worth 6.95 billion shillings for the 5 billion shillings it had offered.

The 7-day repos attracted a weighted average rate of 9.706 percent. The mop-ups are aimed at curbing liquidity in the market in order to keep the shilling from weakening.

The weighted average interbank rate rose to 8.94 percent on Wednesday, from 8.91 percent a day earlier, and from 6.40 percent on Sept. 10.

During Thursday's debt auction, the yield on the benchmark 91-day Treasury bills

rose to 8.439 percent from 8.093 percent previously, the central bank said.

In the secondary debt market, bonds worth 5.64 billion shillings were traded up from 3.05 billion shillings traded previously.

...........................Shilling spot rates

.....................Shilling forward rates

.......................Cross rates

..................................Local contributors

.......................Central Bank of Kenya Index

.....................Kenyan Bonds contributor pages

...............Treasury bill yields

..................Central bank open market operations

.........................Horizontal repo transactions

,

................Daily interbank lending rate

.............................Kenya Bond pricing

..................Real time Africa economic data

...........................African economic news

.................................NSE-20 Share Index

.................................NSE All Share Index

...........................FT NSE Kenya 15 Index

.......................... FT NSE Kenya 25 Index

SPEED GUIDES:

($1 = 84.8000 Kenyan shillings)

(Additional reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Susan Fenton)

((nairobi.newsroom@reuters.com)(Tel: +254202224717))

Keywords: KENYA MARKETS/