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M-Akiba bond sale rises after slow first week

A SCREENSHOT OF A USER ACCESSING THE M-AKIBA MOBILE TRADED BOND. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
A SCREENSHOT OF A USER ACCESSING THE M-AKIBA MOBILE TRADED BOND. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Sale of the Sh1 billion M-Akiba loan, Kenya’s first mobile-traded bond, has begun picking up, hitting Sh78 million as at yesterday after days of low volumes.

The first one week saw sluggish uptake with only Sh17 million being sold in the first six days, a scenario blamed on technology hitches and low publicity.

Data from the Treasury show that 68,836 more people have registered on the platform since the new bond was floated on June 30.

The uptake represents an average buy of Sh4.5 million, which is still less than half the average uptake of Sh11.5 million of the earlier offer floated in March.

The government floated an earlier Sh150 million mobile phone-based bond in which more than Sh1 million was purchased within the first hour and the offer exhausted five days before the target date.

Last evening numbers also show that daily registrations were on a growing trend with 3,910 new registrations being made, up from an average 500 recorded the first week. The registrations are yet to near the highs of 11,500 recorded in the last offer.

The bond traded exclusively on a mobile handset, is a first in financial technology for Kenya and is expected to broaden opportunities for small investors.

M-Akiba first went live on March 23 as the Treasury sought to test the new venture targeting to raise some Sh5 billion for infrastructure funding.

While the minimum purchase still remains Sh3,000 or a maximum of Sh140, 000 per day for mobile money users, a new mobile banking platform through PesaLink now allows bigger buyers to participate with Sh1 million buys per day now made possible.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary had hinted at plans to increase the daily mobile money transaction limits to attract bigger buys from the unbanked.

Mr Rotich also said the M-Akiba bond will form part of all infrastructure bond offers in the future.

“The government will issue it periodically - either bi-monthly or quarterly depending on the uptake and incorporate it into the basket of Treasury infrastructure bonds that are issued periodically,” said Mr Rotich.

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