Kenya to start offering mobile-phone-based bond to investors

Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:54am GMT
 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya will start selling a mobile-phone based government bond this week, the Treasury said on Tuesday, the culmination of a lengthy plan to tap a new pool of investors into government securities.

The Treasury said the bond will go on sale on Thursday, without offering more information. Kenya pioneered the use of mobile money in 2007 with M-Pesa, a money transfer service, by telecoms operator Safaricom.

Known as M-Akiba, the new bond will be offered on M-Pesa and similar mobile phone financial services by other firms, a source in the telecoms industry said. Investors will be able to buy the bond through their phones, where a record of their holdings will be stored. Coupon payments will also be made through the phone.

M-Pesa allows users to transfer cash and make payments on even the most basic mobile phone. In partnership with local banks, Safaricom has since expanded the service to offer savings, lending and insurance products.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri, editing by Larry King)

An employee assists a customer to set-up M-Pesa money transfer servive on his handset inside a mobile phone care centre operated by Kenyan's telecom operator Safaricom; in the central business district of Kenya's capital Nairobi, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
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