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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Treasury signs Sh82 billion syndicated loan - PS Thugge

Treasury Building where the Ministry of Finance and Planning is housed. /FILE
Treasury Building where the Ministry of Finance and Planning is housed. /FILE

Kenya has signed an $800 million (approx Sh82.4 billion) syndicated loan with four international lenders and the government has already drawn down the sum, Treasury PS Kamau Thugge said on Monday

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces re-election in August, has raised borrowing since taking power in April 2013.

Last week, he dismissed criticism of the higher borrowing, saying it was funding development in the country.

In January, the Nairobi government picked Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, Citi and Rand Merchant Bank to lead the syndicated loan.

"We signed and have already drawn down," Thugge told Reuters.

A market source earlier told Reuters the deal was signed last Thursday. The terms were not immediately known.

Kenya has said it will raise Sh150 billion ($1.46 billion) from external commercial sources, partly to plug a fiscal deficit equal to 9.7 per cent of gross domestic product in its budget for the fiscal year to June 2017.

In January, opposition leader Raila Odinga made claims that the government was planning to borrow Sh83 billion.

Raila said hours after Treasury CS Henry Rotich said the country was borrowing to encourage investments and meet expenditure.

But Rotich noted that the country's debt target does not exceed 50 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

More on this: Are you ready for higher taxes to pay doctors? Rotich asks Kenyans

"As we speak, Jubilee is syndicating $800 million to international bank loans, not for development but to plug the holes that their looting has created," he said.

Raila said the public can now see that companies are retrenching employees and that the stock market is in free fall.

"The chickens are now coming home to roost because we now have no money to pay debts. We are just borrowing," he said.

[VIDEO] "Corrupt, dictatorial" Jubilee borrowing too much - Rutto

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