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Kenya seals third Ksh.210B Eurobond

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Kenya has successfully issued a third Eurobond priced at Ksh.210 billion (USD 2.1 billion) following a roadshow in United States and the U.K.

The newly acquired bond is composed of a dual-tranche–  7 and 12-year tenure priced at an amortisation rate of seven and eight percent respectively.

The low interest rates makes for a case of a strong investor appetite for Kenyan debt uptake by investors represented by a 452 percent over subscription with the issue having attracted bonds worth Ksh.950 billion (USD 9.5 billion)

“Throughout the roadshow, the investors appreciated and welcomed the strong and resilient economic growth that Kenya has welcomed and the expected growth in 2019,” noted Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

Proceeds from the issuance are expected to finance a number of development projects, fund the general budgetary expenditure and refinance part of the outstanding debt redemption obligation from the first Eurobond which totals to Ksh.75 billion (USD 750 million) as the June 24th 2019 maturity date closes in.

Both the 7-year and 12-year tenors are expected to be amortised equally at the rate of Ksh.30 billion and Ksh.40 billion in 3 years to the run-up of their maturity to avert a spike in repayments.

The issuance eases government cash-crunch with the State seeing an increased debt service obligation in the upcoming 2019/20 financial year which breaches Ksh.1 trillion for the first time.

The pricing of the new debt and the moderate interest rate is against a deterioration of Kenya’s credit risk with the IMF for instance reclassifying the county’s risk from low to moderate in October 2018.

The issuance also comes against the withdrawal of the IMF standy credit facility (SCF) following the expiry of its extension which run from March to September 2018.

While Kenya has seen a deterioration of its credit pricing, the economic fundamentals have held internally.

Usable foreign currency reserves have for instance remained well above the 4.5 month’s statutory threshold closing 2018 at Ksh.820 billion (USD8.2 billion) representative of a 5.3 months import cover.

The current account deficit has meanwhile narrowed to 5 percent over the same period from a balance of 6.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.

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The issuance has also been supported by a strong economic output as GDP growth came in at 6.3 percent in an year of the agricultural sector’s rebound under improved weather conditions.

The close of the third issue of the Eurobond represents the third entry of Kenya in the International Debt Capital Markets following the issuance of bonds worth Ksh.200 billion (USD2 billion) in June 2014 which tapped a further Ksh.75 billion (USD 750 million) and the recent dual-tranche issue of another Ksh.200 billion in February 2018.

The bond has since been listed on the London Securities Exchange (LSE) bourse following its successful marketing in London, Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

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Eldoret’s 64 Stadium just an open grazing field in world-famous

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By BERNARD ROTICH

Eldoret is normally referred to as ‘City of Champions’ but the 64 Stadium run by Uasin Gishu County government is an eyesore.

Parts of the perimeter wall of the stadium have come down, and it can be accessed from any point. The main gate is missing.

The main dais resembles a shanty and can be blown away by strong winds, leaving any VIP guests at the mercy of the elements.

The football pitch has no grass at the centre, putting local players who have been using the stadium for training in danger of picking injuries.

Perhaps those living in the nearby Eldoret West estate find it convenient to cross the stadium as they walk into Eldoret’s Central Business District because there is no perimeter wall round the stadium.

There are four ablution blocks  at the stadium, three of which have been run down and are being used by street children and homeless people.

Next to the dais are the ticketing booths which have no doors. Street families have taken advantage and are using it for sleeping.

The stadium is remembered for hosting high adrenaline Kenyan Premier League football matches featuring teams like Eldoret KCC and Rivatex in the 90s.

It has since been turned into a venue for political rallies.

Eldoret, revered as the mecca of global long distance running, hosted the Kenyan trials for 2016 Olympic Games.

It was also the main base for a month-long training for Team Kenya ahead of the quadrennial Games  but even this could change if training facilities are not improved.

Just a few metres along the length of what should have been the stadium, some members of the public can be seen taking a nap, perhaps after a long walk in town.

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Sports men and women in the region have been complaining about lack of training facilities, especially after construction work at Kipchoge Keino Stadium located  few kilometres away stalled.

The stadium used to be home ground for lower-tier team GFE 105, among other teams in the region. In its current condition, only upcoming footballers train at the facility.

Athletes in need of training facilities have to travel to the Moi University School of Law (Annex Campus) or to the University of Eldoret. But the two facilities cannot meet the growing demand among youth who are venturing into athletics, especially  road races.

Since 2017, the county government led by governor Jackson Mandago has been promising to improve the facility in vain.

The County Government has allocated Sh250 million for first phase of work on 64 Stadium, which is expected to transform it into a modern sports facility.

The chief executive in charge of sports, Joseph Kurgat, told Nation Sport that the delay in start of the work has been occasioned by lack of adequate funds but the county was preparing bid documents for a contractor to start construction work immediately.

“Next month, we shall award the tender for work at the facility. Phase one of the work should start immediately before we can open the facility for the public as the other work continues. It will be an ultra-modern facility. We also look forward to hosting major sporting events here once it’s complete,” said Kurgat.

Work at the stadium will include construction of a VIP pavilion, changing rooms, and 20,000-seater terraces.

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Coast stakeholders want caretaker committee to run football

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By PHILIP ONYANGO

Coast region football stakeholders now want the government to put in place a normalization committee to take over the running of the sport ahead of the overdue Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections.

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Led by former Coast FKF Secretary, Ismael Mohammed, the stakeholders who included current and former administrators, referees and players said they have had enough of the musical chairs at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) and now want the Sports ministry to step in and take action.

According to them, the current FKF regime’s term of office expired in February as per the constitution and that ought to be respected.

SDT nullified FKF county and national polls in December and March citing irregularities in the way both exercises were conducted.

“The Sports Disputes Tribunal has been doing a good job so far, but made an error by allowing FKF president Nick Mwendwa to stay in office because any work that is remaining at the federation should be done by the Secretariat and not the presidency “, Mohammed, who was speaking at the Mombasa Municipal Stadium Wednesday , said.

According to him, having a normalization committee will restore confidence in all those interested in elective posts and allow stakeholders to choose leaders of their choice without fear of victimization. 

According to Mohammad, Kenya has had four normalization committees in the past and does not therefore see anything strange with the government putting one in place with Kenyan football at crossroads. 

Mohammed said the decision by Nick Mwendwa to skip the SDT virtual hearing on Tuesday was a clear pointer that he was no longer interested in peaceful transition and should therefore be ignored.

“Mwendwa should first clear his name with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation on several scandals surrounding his tenure at the federation before thinking of any elective positions in future, because as things stand now, no one is interested in his leadership”, Mohammed said.

Mohammed said Mwendwa’s continued stay in office poses real danger to the FKF finances, which he still has access to.

“It is laughable when we are told that Mwendwa should stay on to wait to hand over. That is not his work, because any NEC member and the secretariat can easily hand handover when that time comes”, he said.

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Cash-strapped Gor Mahia put up Paybill number to raise funds

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By DAVID KWALIMWA

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By CECIL ODONGO

As a financial crisis bites through the local football scene, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has reached out to landlords of members of his team’s playing unit to exercise patience.

And in a related development, the 18-time Kenyan champions have, through Gor Mahia Augmentin Fund (GMAF), set up a Paybill number which members, supporters, and well-wishers can contribute money to the club in form of cash and ‘Bonga points.’

Bonga points is a loyalty scheme for all of Safaricom’s pre-paid and post-paid customers.

The points can be used to redeem prizes and goods at selected supermarkets.

Rachier has sought to strike a deal with the landlords of his players following consistent delay in rent payment by the players. This has been occasioned by financial crisis at the club that has caused salary delays.

“We have not paid salaries for five months,” Rachier said Wednesday.

“I keep writing to their landlords just to understand and I want to thank those landlords that have extended a good time for them (players) to be able to pay when we are able to pay,” he said.

Rachier spoke at an event where a section of club supporters and players, led by Lawrence Juma, Joakim Oluoch and Samuel Onyango as well as members of group called ‘Kulundeng original’ donated foodstuff worth Sh100,000 to the Fikisha Rehabilitation Centre. 

The function was held at the Lutheran Centre in Kawangware, Nairobi.

Gor players each received a Sh10,000 monthly stipend from the government last week in a bid to cushion them from the effects of coronavirus pandemic which has paralysed football activities in the country.

Most of the Kenyan Premier League clubs have benefited from the scheme launched by the government in conjunction with various partners.

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