Kenya may bring forward a planned sale of at least $500 million (Dh1.83 billion) in Eurobonds to this fiscal year from 2012-13 to benefit from lower offshore borrowing costs.
"We are considering doing it this fiscal year," Henry Rotich, the Treasury's deputy director of economic affairs, said yesterday in a phone interview from Nairobi, the capital.
"Low interest rates in the US" have spurred the department to revisit its plan, and pricing will be determined when a lead manager is appointed and officials meet with investors, he said.
The US Federal Reserve in August pledged to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.25 per cent at least through mid-2013 to revive its economic recovery. Kenya raised its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year yesterday to help curb inflation which accelerated to 16.7 per cent in August, more than triple the 5 per cent target.
Kenya in June said it may revive plans to sell dollar- denominated debt international markets after shelving plans more than three years ago as the global financial crisis seized credit markets. The country joins other African nations such as Zambia, Angola and Rwanda that intend to raise capital in the global markets.
Kenya is rated B+ at both Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, the fourth-highest junk assessment by both companies, placing it on par with Cape Verde and Zambia.
Kenya needs financing to tackle the worst drought in 60 years, meet growing wage demands after hiring thousands of new teachers, and increase spending on service delivery in line with surging inflation, Finance Ministry Economic Secretary Geoffrey Mwau said on Wednesday. Kenya's debt-servicing costs budgeted for in the current fiscal year are proving to be "significantly higher" due to an unexpected weakening in the shilling and soaring interest rates, Mwau said.
The currency has slid 15 per cent against the dollar this year, making it the worst performer worldwide after Uganda's shilling. Kenya's currency climbed 0.3 per cent to 94.93 in Nairobi yesterday.
Six-month borrowing costs rose to 11.935 per cent at a treasury-bill auction on Wednesday, the highest in a decade.