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Counties

Over half of M-Akiba investors were from Nairobi

The Treasury’s two-week pilot Sh150 million
The Treasury’s two-week pilot Sh150 million M-Akiba bond sale last year was snapped up two days to closure. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Over half of investors who bought the mobile-based infrastructure bond M-Akiba last year were in Nairobi, a survey suggests, reflecting the availability of disposable income in the city.

Findings of a survey by UK government-backed Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa shows that 51 per cent of the 5,692 investors from 45 counties who bought M-Akiba were from the capital city which controls nearly 70 per cent of Kenya’s wealth. Samburu and Isiolo were the only counties which did not register any buyer for the bond, the survey shows.

The Treasury raised Sh397.47 million last year out of the Sh5 billion it targeted to borrow from the masses for infrastructure development through the three-year bond.

Kenya became the first country in the world to raise cash for budgetary support from its citizens through a mobile platform, offering investors an annual return of 10 per cent payable after every six months for investments from Sh3,000.

“Buyers were distributed across virtually all of Kenya’s 47 counties,” FSD Africa says in the report released last week.

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“However, 51 per cent of the buyers were from Nairobi and those who bought the bond were likely to have a higher education and be employed in the formal sector.” The Treasury’s two-week pilot Sh150 million M-Akiba bond sale last year was snapped up two days to closure.

However, the subsequent sale targeting up to Sh4.85 billion underperformed, raising Sh247.47 million.

Some 303,534 investors had shown interest in the bond after they registered, but only about1.97 per cent of those sunk in their cash.\

The survey, based on feedback from 1,029 persons who either registered or bought the M-Akiba bond, suggests that 61.40 per cent of those who bought the bond were salaried persons while 58.82 per cent of them had at least a university degree.

“The interest in M-Akiba by the employed was emphasised by the agents used in mobilising registration,” FSD says.

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