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Kenya’s public debt hits 70.8 bln USD on increased foreign loans

Kenya Public Debt Increased Photo Courtesy: Bloomberg

NAIROBI — Kenya’s public debt increased by 875.7 billion shillings (about 7.75 billion U.S. dollars) in the year to September to hit 70.8 billion U.S. dollars due to accelerated external and domestic borrowing, the National Treasury said in a report released on Wednesday.

Of the gross public debt that stood at 63.05 billion dollars at the end of September 2020, 50.8 percent was external and 49.2 percent domestic.

“In dollar terms, external public debt stock increased by 2.97 billion dollars to 36.7 billion dollars by the end of September. This comprised debt owed to multilateral lenders (41.9 percent), commercial banks (29.5 percent), bilateral sources (28.3 per cent) and suppliers credit (0.3 percent),” the Treasury said.

“The rise is attributed to increase in external loans disbursements and exchange rate fluctuations,” the Treasury added in the report dubbed Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review.

By the end of September, Treasury said the total cumulative debt service payments to external creditors amounted to 684 million dollars, comprising 61.2 percent principal and 38.8 percent interest.

Kenya’s top bilateral lenders are United Arab Emirates, Austria, Belgium, Canada and China while multilateral lenders are African Development Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, and European Investment Bank.

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