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Budget: Kenyan govt’s borrowing exceeds target

By Kunle SHONUGA

Heavy borrowing from the domestic market to meet budget deficit has seen the Kenyan government exceed its target for this financial year as it nears the end, the Treasury department said on Tuesday.

According to the department, domestic borrowing currently stands at 2.87 billion U.S. dollars for the financial year 2017 to 2018, an excess of 181 million dollars,

The government had targeted to borrow some 2.75 billion dollars by the end of this financial year. The excess borrowing can be attributed to last year’s two elections, which led to heavy spending.

The government is also funding several infrastructure projects that include road construction. The borrowing is expected to rise in the next two weeks before end of the financial year.

The government is currently selling a 400 million dollars bond, besides the weekly Treasury bills amid high investor appetite.

“Borrowing from domestic market is projected at 2.93 billion dollars at the end of June and external borrowing at 3.2 billion dollars,” said the Treasury in a debt brief.

According to the Central Bank, current domestic debt stands at 24.4 billion dollars. On the other hand, external debt stands at 25 billion dollars.

Overall public debt is estimated at about 49 billion dollars, an equivalent of at least 50 percent of the gross domestic product.

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