Kenya Reopens Bond Sales in Bid to Keep Funding Costs in Check

Kenya’s central bank reopened a sale of treasury bonds offered last week in a move aimed at keeping a lid on financing costs after investors demanded higher yields, Bloomberg News reported. The Central Bank of Kenya said Tuesday it would seek to raise 21 billion shillings ($145.4 million) from a tap sale of the two-year and five-year treasury bonds sold on Aug. 16. The auction comes after the central bank pushed back at investors demanding higher yields at its auction last week as it allotted only 19 billion shillings out of 53 billion shillings tendered for its debt sale. The risk is that the investors will continue to keep pressing for a higher return, which could impact demand for future auctions. “A tap sale is pretty much signaling that CBK will want to see a much more subdued rate environment,” Churchill Ogutu, an economist at IC Asset Managers (Mauritius). “Short-term rates adjust faster to reflect where the monetary policy or monetary policy shift has been.” At its sale last week, investors lodged bids for reopened five-year debt at an average rate of 18.1646%. The central bank ended up accepting weighted-average bids of 17.9538%. Kenya announced on Aug. 10 that it had cut its net domestic borrowing for the current fiscal year by 46% to 316 billion shillings after the National Treasury identified fresh sources of external financing. Read more.