Treasury plans M-Akiba bond issue next year

Wednesday March 18 2020

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Treasury plans to sell mobile-based infrastructure bond, M-Akiba, before June next year after addressing “teething” challenges that led to dismal performance last year.

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich said Kenyans will be given another opportunity to invest in government securities from as little as Sh3,000 for a return of 10 per cent a year paid after every six months.

The two-week pilot Sh150 million M-Akiba bond sale in March last year was snapped up two days to the closure but subsequent sale that targeted up to Sh4.85 billion — comprising Sh1 billion offering with a green shoe option of up to Sh3.85 billion — underperformed raising Sh247.47 million.

“We have reviewed the way we performed last time; now we have fine-tuned the processes and very soon, taking into account what we experienced, we should now come to the market and ensure that we have an M-Akiba that will be sustainable,” Mr Rotich said Thursday.

“We have addressed the challenges. This was a new product and there are lessons learnt. We want to make it successful going forward.”

The planned M-Akiba offering is likely to be less than three years to “cater for investors who prefer the short end of the market while providing for the long investment demand,” Mr Rotich had said in June.

Some 303,534 investors showed interest in the bond by registering, but only about 5,980 sunk their cash in world’s first exclusive mobile phone bond.

That helped the Treasury raise Sh397.47 million out of the target Sh5 billion.