State in fi­nal phase of mo­bile bonds launch

M-Ak­iba is ex­pected to boost stag­nant national sav­ings to­wards Vi­sion 2030’s 30 per cent of the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct from the present 15 per cent

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - CON­STANT MUNDA @munda­con­stant

Sys­tem test­ing for the pro­posed mo­bile bond trad­ing has en­tered the fi­nal phase, setting the stage for more than 25 mil­lion Kenyans to lend to gov­ern­ment via mo­bile phones.

The tech­ni­cal teams from the National Trea­sury, Nairobi Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change and Cen­tral De­pos­i­tory and Set­tle­ment Cor­po­ra­tion have been con­fig­ur­ing the sys­tem to en­able se­condary trad­ing of M-Ak­iba.

The Trea­sury had planned to float the de­but Sh5 bil­lion mo­bile in­fra­struc­ture bond in Oc­to­ber last year, but in­fras­truc­tural chal­lenges has ham­pered what is to be world’s first cap­i­tal mar­kets prod­uct.

M-Ak­iba is ex­pected to boost stag­nant national sav­ings to­wards Vi­sion 2030’s 30 per cent of the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct from the present 15 per cent. This is be­sides mo­bil­is­ing cheap funds from Kenyans with Sa­fari­com’s M-Pesa, Airtel Money and Or­ange Money who can in­vest in the bond with­out vis­it­ing Cen­tral Bank’s of­fices in Nairobi, Mom­basa, Ny­eri and El­doret.

“The pri­mary (is­sue) side was ready but later on, we re­alised that not all peo­ple will hold the T-bonds to ma­tu­rity,” Trea­sury CS Henry Rotich said. “Ide­ally, peo­ple should have flex­i­bil­ity to dis­pose off (the bond) any time they feel. So that is the con­fig­u­ra­tion that had not been done. So I am told they have fin­ished. They are do­ing a testrun and as soon as that works, we will go be­cause we want to launch some­thing that works.”

The tech­ni­cal team made its progress re­port to Rotich on Mon­day last week. The CBK, NSE, CDSC and mo­bile net­work providers (third par­ties) will op­er­ate the sys­tem.

“We are at the fi­nal stage. We have one round of test­ing be­ing done by the sys­tem testers and from there, we will now wait for the gov­ern­ment to in­form us on a launch date,” CDSC chief ex­ec­u­tive Rose Mambo said last Thurs­day. “We have third-party com­pa­nies com­ing in to do stress-test­ing, sys­tem-test­ing, just con­firm­ing that ev­ery­thing is work­ing the way it should.”

/ENOS TECHE

Cen­tral Bank gover­nor Pa­trick Njoroge,Trea­sury CS Henry Rotich and CBK chair­man Mohammed Nyaoga dur­ing the bank’s 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions in Nairobi on Septem­ber 14

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