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
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.”
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