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M-Akiba begins trade on Nairobi Securities Exchange

Kenya , 12 Apr 2017

M-Akiba begins trade on Nairobi Securities Exchange

The first mobile issued government bond, M-Akiba has been listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and will be publicly traded through mobile phone technology.

The bond, which was fully subscribed a week before its deadline, made Kshs 150 million for the government in its first three weeks after subscriptions opened.

Mobile subscription to the bond stands at 102,632 users, but only 5,692 users actually bought the bonds over the three weeks, according to the Treasury. The number of traditional bond investors stands at 20,000.

Only 30% of the investors entered at the minimum amount of Kshs 3,000, while another 31% spent between Kshs 3,000 and Kshs 10,000; and 10% bought bonds worth between Kshs 10,000 and Kshs 20,000. The rest invested amounts larger than Kshs 20,000.

"This demonstrates the appetite and zeal of Kenyans to adopt and use innovation and technology to boost their economic wellbeing. The lowest buy amount was Kshs 3,000 while the largest was Kshs 1,000,000, while the Kenyan Diaspora has also actively participated," The Treasury said, while promising to give more data in future updates.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, is quoted in a statement as saying, "The World's first Mobile-based Government bond, M-Akiba, completes a full cycle as I have the honour to 'Ring the Bell' here at the NSE to mark the start of the Secondary market in the Special Limited Offer M-Akiba Bond."

"Let me emphasise this, for you to derive the maximum benefit as an investor in M-Akiba is to hold it to maturity. That way, you get the benefit of a tax-exempt revenue stream and your money back at the end of the investment period," Rotich added.

Geoffrey Odundo, CEO of the NSE, said, "M-Akiba will trade like a normal bond, it is trading on the same Automated Trading System that we have, under the same rules."

The Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) is the liquidity provider, where they will take up the bonds that are being sold and offer opportunities to those who want to buy over the next three years.

CBA is also the banking agent for Safaricom's mobile banking solution, MShwari.

The final Kshs 4.85 billion will be raised in June this year when President Uhuru Kenyatta will officially open the mobile bond.

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