DEBT MANAGEMENT

Retiring syndicated loans good overdue move

Good idea especially because economic growths slowing and public debt remains high

In Summary

• Kenya’s public and publicly guaranteed loans might hit Sh7 trillion by June next year. 

•Most of the borrowed cash was used to fund the President's Big Four: food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable healthcare.

Acting Treasury CS Ukur Yatani yesterday said the government is planning to retire expensive syndicated loans.

This is a good idea especially because economic growth is slowing and public debt remains high. Demographic changes and technological advances are reshaping the global economy.

Everyone’s opportunities — for a good education, job, healthcare and retirement income — income depend on tax and spending choices the government makes.

 

Commercial loans and other external short-term facilities are the reason Kenya has found itself in a debt trap, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and exerting unwarranted pressure on burdened taxpayers.

The time factor is not the only problem with these short-term international commercial loans.
Star Editor

Kenya has spent huge chunks of the three Eurobonds over five years to settle commercial debts from international banks in Europe and China.

In May, Treasury was forced back to the international debt market where it secured a Sh210 billion sovereign bond — ostensibly to use at least Sh75 billion or 35 per cent to service the first five-year tranche of the 2014 sovereign bond.

The time factor is only one problem with these short-term international commercial loans. Interest is high and pegged to currency fluctuations.

The more the shilling depreciates, the more Kena pays.

Whereas we support Yayani's move, he needs to provide a detailed way forward.