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Kenya faces deepening debt trap as it targets new Eurobond to manage maturing loans

The National Treasury plans to issue a new Eurobond to handle the maturation of a Sh270 billion ($2 billion) 10-year bond next year.

This move exposes a worsening debt crisis in Kenya as the government continues to defer the problem. The Treasury’s decision comes amid ballooning debt-servicing costs, the weakened local currency, and the large maturing loan.

The country’s total debt reached Sh9.182 trillion in January and is projected to reach Sh9.41 trillion by June, just Sh590 billion shy of the Sh10 trillion debt ceiling.

Kenya’s debt crisis has seen the government delay salaries of public servants, and nearly 70% of shillings collected in tax revenue go towards servicing debt.

A weak local currency means that Kenya requires more shillings to pay back the same amount of debt, resulting in higher foreign loan repayment costs.

The Treasury’s goal is to issue a sovereign bond before the end of the fiscal year 2023/24 to ease the pressure on the US dollar on its economy.

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