Debt crunch looms for Kenya
Kenya's government faces increased refinancing or roll-over risks as more domestic bonds mature within the next year than in the past year, the Finance Ministry said.
The International Monetary Fund bumped up the East African nation’s debt distress risk to moderate from low in October, citing rising external commercial borrowing and growing interest payments on public debt.
The maturing of domestic debt is due to shorten, with 43 percent of the debt maturing in less than a year, up from 38 percent the previous year, the Treasury said in a debt management strategy document yesterday after being sent to Parliament by the Treasury on Thursday.
Market conditions had not been “supportive” of the government’s aim of lengthening the maturity profile of the debt through issuance of longer-dated bonds in the 2017/18 (July-June) financial year, the ministry said.
The 2019 local debt maturities account for $10.37 billion (R145.61bn) out of the total outstanding local debt of $24.21bn, the ministry said. Kenya’s domestic debt stands at 24.7 percent of GDP, roughly half of the total public debt of 50.3 percent of annual economic output, with the balance being made up of external financing from creditors such as the World Bank and commercial lenders.