Treasury hits Sh150m M-Akiba bond offer target ahead of schedule


China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Wednesday once again pledged faster and ...
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Wednesday once again pledged faster and cheaper Internet for the public [PHOTO | FILE]

The National Treasury’s plans to mobilize money from the public through a mobile bond are off to a flyer with the initial Sh150 million offer sold out.

Demand for the M-Akiba bond, as it’s called, saw the offer close three days ahead of schedule.

“M-Akiba special limited offer sells out before closure date,” it announced on its official twitter page at 3pm Wednesday.

The money raised is the first tranche of a Sh5 billion bond the government plans to raise.

The bond attracted over 102,000 investors who registered but only 5,000 actively participated in buying.

The M-Akiba bond offer is seen as a game changer as it allows Kenyans to invest as little as Sh3,000.

Prior to the launch of the mobile based bond, investors had to part with a minimum of Sh50,000 to buy government securities.

Data from Treasury indicates that one investor forked out Sh1.14 million, the highest investment in the bond thus far.

In typical Kenyan fashion, the first day of the bond sale was off to a slow start, but quickly gathered steam as more information about the bond was released.

Of the 13 days the bond was on sale, day two registered the highest buys with Sh18,664,619 of the bond taken up, while day on registered the lowest buys at Sh4,787,700.

M-Akiba is issued through the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) under authority from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The pilot phase was used to iron out potential challenges with the mobile system ahead of the launch of the remaining Sh4.85 billion in June.

The surge in interest in M-Akiba saw the system temporarily crash on the first day.

The bond was initially supposed to be sold via Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform but was opened up to Airtel Kenya.

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) chief executive officer Geoffrey Odundo said there would be huge investor camp again to mobilize as many Kenyans to participate once the main bond is floated in June.

“I will not be surprised if these over 100,000 people come during the bigger launch. With the more education we put against this product, more discussions around it, the success of the product will elicit some interest even to those already registered,” Mr Odundo told Citizen Digital.

The Sh150 million raised in the first tranche of the M-Akiba bond will be listed at the NSE on April 11.

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Story By Mumbi Warui
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