NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan public debt rose to a new high
of 58 billion U.S. dollars at the end of June, pushed up by 2.1
billion dollars in Eurobond borrowing.
The debt rose
from 56.1 billion dollars to 58.1 billion dollars, an increase
of 2 billion dollars, new Central Bank of Kenya data showed on
Of the public debt, 28 billion dollars is domestic while 30
billion dollars is external, with the latter having recorded the
highest jump, according to the central bank.
Kenya issued the Eurobond in May, which was the third,
raising 2.08 billion dollars in tranches of seven years at a
coupon of 7 percent and 12 years at a coupon of 8 percent.
The security was oversubscribed, with the country’s National
Treasury noting that the money would be used to finance
development projects, support the budget and refinance 750
million dollars in debt from the first Eurobond issue.
Capital market among
choices for Kenya’s infrastructure development financing
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s capital market is positioning itself as
one choice for the financing of infrastructure development, the
capital market regulator said on Monday.
The capital market shall begin offering products such as
infrastructure bonds, green bonds, social impact investment
bonds and blue bonds as channels through which government
entities and private-sector participants can leverage long-term
market-based financing, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) said
in a report.
"It may be of significant benefit for both the national and
county governments of Kenya to consider the capital markets as a
cheaper long-term financing option for integrated urbanization
initiatives including the development of smart cities to bolster
ongoing domestic and regional integration initiatives,"
according to the 11th edition of the Capital Markets Soundness
Report for the quarter ended June 2019.
The east African nation’s capital market hopes to emerge as a
platform through which Kenyans can increase their saving levels
by purchasing securities that retain and grow the value of their
investments, further creating a repository of capital supply
that can be invested in capital market products and services.
According to the survey, the government has historically
sourced for concessional and lately commercial loans, both local
and international, to finance its infrastructure development
agenda, and the capital markets has not been optimally used over
"The size of the Kenyan capital market remains comparatively
small in relation to its peers in the continent such as South
Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Nigeria, most of whom have a much
bigger role to play in mobilizing capital for the development of
domestic infrastructure projects," the report said.
Kenya plans taxation of
foreign online media services
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to begin taxing foreign online
streaming media services such as Youtube and Netflix, the
communication regulator said on Monday.
Francis Wangusi, director general of Communication Authority
of Kenya, told journalists in Nairobi that the government is
fast tracking the development of a policy that guide the
taxation of the over the top technology that provides content
over the internet thereby bypassing traditional distribution
"We can only enforce payment of tax on the strength of a
policy," Wangusi said during the launch of the Star Times local
Wangusi said that the proposed policy framework will require
the foreign entities to declare income derived from Kenyan
"We can force them to declare and pay and if not, we can shut
them down from being accessible in Kenya," the communications
He revealed that the government is able to monitor all online
transactions that take place in Kenya.
He observed that the only drawback will be to force foreign
companies without local presence from paying taxes for services
provided to Kenyans.
The communications regulator said that Kenya will benchmark
with developed countries to learn how to successfully implement
taxation so that can the country can share revenues accrued in
Kenya with the content owners.
Wangusi added that it may not be a problem technically to
enforce payment of tax by the foreign entities because other
countries are doing it.
He noted that the proposed policy framework will also ensure
that foreign advertisements that air in the Kenyan market are
also subjected to taxation.
StarTimes unveils new
investment to boost local content in Kenya
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
StarTimes, a pay-TV service provider, on Monday
launched a channel with nearly 2 million U.S. dollars of
investment, aiming to boost local content production in Kenya.
StarTimes chief executive officer Andy Wang told journalists
in Nairobi that it will invest 200 million shillings (1.93
million U.S. dollars) for the development of Rembo TV to air
content developed by Kenyans for Kenyans.
"The company has responded to the growing appeal for
authentic Kenyan content that subscribers can easily relate with
as it rolls out exciting fresh shows that are expected to
sustain the channel’s subscriber appeal moving forward," Wang
StarTimes has partnered with over 30 content developers in
the country towards the development of Rembo TV, an
entertainment channel with a key focus on reality television
shows targeting the women audience and with a language policy
comprising of 60 percent Kiswahili, 30 percent English and 10
"Our investment in Rembo TV is a statement of our long term
commitment to the Kenyan market. As the 24-hour channel goes
live, we intend to be home of uninterrupted entertainment
attending to our subscriber demand for reality TV shows," Wang
He noted that Rembo TV will be available across three East
African countries - Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda - thereby
presenting a enviable platform to market Kenyan productions
across the region.
The channel will be available on all StarTimes bouquet
options both on terrestrial and satellite platforms, with the
company eyeing growth in subscriber retention, as well as
listing new subscribers keen on the improved content towards
growing the pay television company’s market share.