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Economy

China remains Kenya’s top lender at Sh520bn

China gave Kenya loans to build standard gauge railway. FILE PHOTO | NMG
China gave Kenya loans to build standard gauge railway. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

China has retained its pole position as the top source of bilateral loans to Kenya as the Asian nation splurges additional yuans to back up a diplomatic shift that began in the Kibaki administration, latest data from the Treasury shows.

China disbursed an equivalent of Sh520 billion ($5,202.37 million) to Kenya in the period ending December 2017.

The Treasury data shows that Chinese loans to the Kenyan government have been growing since December 2015 when it advanced the government a total of Sh273 billion ($2,734.72 million).

Other major lenders are Japan Sh82.48 billion, France Sh62.25 billion, Germany Sh32.46 billion, and Belgium Sh10 billion.

In total, foreign countries advanced a total of Sh758 billion to Kenya last year.

The Chinese loan surpassed the IDA/IFAD facilities for the first time. The multilateral institutions advanced the government Sh518 billion for the period ending December 2017.

“The external public debt stock increased by Sh42.5 billion from Sh185 billion in December 2016 to Sh227 billion by end of December last year,” the Treasury report indicated.

The debt stock comprised bilateral debt (33.3 per cent), multilateral debt (35.8 per cent), commercial banks’ (30.1 per cent), and suppliers’ credit (0.7 per cent).
This increase was attributed to disbursements made during the period.

Other multilateral institutions which advanced huge amounts to the government included Asian Development Bank (ADB/ADF) advancing a total of $1.98 billion, IMF ($711.8 million), EEC/EIB ($197.56 million), BA DEA ($29.63 million), and other institutions $50.79 million. 

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