•Data from Treasury places domestic debt stock at the end of October 2022 at 50.2 percent, a five-year high, while external loans represent a paltry 49.8 percent of the total debt portfolio.
•The Treasury had in November last year announced plans to convert Sh87.8 billion worth of government securities that were due to mature in January into a medium-term infrastructure bond
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will be looking into the capital markets in future as one of its debt sustainability measures, governor Patrick Njoroge has said.
He said the country has had to grapple with increased debt since the onset of Covid-19, as the government resorted to multi-laterals loans to mitigate effects of the shocks.
The maturity of some of the loans and the weakening Kenyan shilling against the dollar, has been putting pressure on the National Treasury to seek additional billions for repayment of mounting foreign debt.
Data from Treasury places domestic debt stock at the end of October 2022 at 50.2 percent, a five-year high, while external loans represent 49.8 percent of the total debt portfolio.
“But then we did have this crisis and that led to some borrowing really multilateral for the most part and therefore more concessional, so from that perspective, debt levels did go up during this period and now they are poised to come down again,” said Njoroge.
He spoke during an interview on the sideline of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He said CBK is working with International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a programme that is supposed to bring down debt to sustainable levels.
Njoroge noted that Kenya does not have any plans of defaulting on its loans.
“So from a perspective of all debt, investors, really, they shouldn't have any concern because we are actually managing it quite well and repaying so there is no possibility whatsoever of some sort of, let's say break down in in that regard,” he said.
Treasury had in November last year announced plans to convert Sh87.8 billion worth of government securities, that were due to mature in January, into a medium-term infrastructure bond.
This was in order to avoid a cash crunch early in the year.
The breakdown in the performance of the financial markets in 2020 had a spill-over effect to emerging markets and indeed also the frontier economies.
“But it is a big concern for us because we are a capital market. We do go to the capital market markets on a regular basis. And we expect to do that in the future obviously, within in keeping to our underline objectives of debt sustainability,” said Njoroge.