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March 18, 2018

Kenya secures Sh203 billion in new Eurobond

Treasury officials led by Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich during an announcement on a new $2 billion (Sh203billion) Eurobond transaction, February 22, 2018. /TREASURY
Treasury officials led by Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich during an announcement on a new $2 billion (Sh203billion) Eurobond transaction, February 22, 2018. /TREASURY

Kenya has announced the successful pricing of a new $2 billion (Sh203billion) Eurobond transaction.

In a statement on Thursday, Treasury CS Henry Rotich said the issue was oversubscribed seven timesThis means Kenya only wanted Sh203 billion but attracted Sh1.4 trillion.

"[A successful roadshow was] conducted with International investors. It covered a wide geography and has resulted in a significant level of interest," he said.

"The fact that we got $14 billion in investor appetite reflected the continued support the country receives and makes it one of the highest order books for an issue from Africa."

Joint Mandated arranger Citi, JPMorgan, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, legal counsel, the LSE and the Irish stock exchange executed the transaction.

Rotich said the funds will be for the government's development initiatives and liability management.

"We will continue to invest in the infrastructure and capacity to roll out programmes," he said.

Eurobond matters often revive the corruption conversation in Kenya, following controversies regarding one of Sh250 billion.

In May 2016, then-DPP Keriako Tobiko said there was no evidence to support the alleged theft of this cash.

But Tobiko directed the office of the Auditor General to carry a special review of the development projects that were implemented by ministries, departments, and agencies.

He noted the audit would ascertain if there was prudent use of Eurobond proceeds, and if the government received value for the money.

More on this: "No evidence" of Sh250 billion Eurobond theft claim - Tobiko

Early in the week, global rating agency Moody’s downgraded Kenya’s credit scores, citing pressure from the country’s rising debt levels and its weak financial muscle to service existing ones.

The agency downgraded Kenya’s issuer rating to B2 from B1.

The downgrade means the country is more vulnerable to defaults, a position likely to send investors in both local and international bonds into a panic.

More on this: Blow to Eurobond bid after Moody’s lowers Kenya’s rating

Read: Eurobond: A Billion-Dollar Heist And Four Smoking Guns (Part 1)

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