Kenya to buy back US$1.4bn bond
The double-digit yield Kenya was forced to pay on the US$1.5 billion bond sold last week is an indication that it is still seen as risky by investors. Photo Reuters

Kenya to buy back US$1.4bn bond

Kenya's government said it would buy back more than US$1.4 billion of its US$2 billion international bond maturing in June, announcing the results of a tender offer it launched last week.

The East African country has been on the radar of investors because they feared it might not be able to repay due to its strained public finances.

Last week Kenya sold a new US$1.5 billion Eurobond at great cost to fund the buyback of a large portion of the US$2 billion bond.

The government said in a regulatory notice that it would buy US$1.443 billion in aggregate principal amount of the bond, slightly more than the maximum tender offer it had announced on Tuesday.

It will buy investors' holdings back at par, or face value.

An accrued interest payment will be paid in addition to the purchase price, the notice said.



Pressure

Confidence that the Eurobond would be repaid has lifted the local shilling currency in recent days, helping it recover to its strongest level against the US dollar since June 2023 on Thursday.

However the double-digit yield Kenya was forced to pay on the US$1.5 billion bond sold last week is an indication that it is still seen as risky by investors.

The pressure on the Kenyan government's finances has forced it to try to squeeze every shilling it can from taxpayers, angering voters who had supported the current government on the premise it would lower the cost of living.

But it benefits from international backing, including from the International Monetary Fund, which boosted its support programme by US941 million in January. - Reuters

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