Kenyans lend government Sh150million in a record 13 days

Kenya has fully sold its debut mobile phone-based bond worth 150 million shillings ($1.45 million), with investor demand forcing the issue to be closed ahead of time, the Treasury said on Wednesday.

The East African nation started selling the three-year bond, called M-Akiba, on March 23, becoming the first to issue a mobile phone-based bond in the world.

The offer was open for three weeks but it closed on Wednesday when the target amount was reached.

The 150 million shillings raised is the first tranche of the bond; the balance of 4.85 billion shillings goes on sale in June. The bond sale is a further advance in financial technology for the country that pioneered mobile money with M-Pesa in 2007.

Some 102,000 people registered on their phones to invest in the bond, but only 5,000 of those made actual purchases, ranging from the minimum 3,000 shillings up to 1 million shillings - the maximum bought by a single investor, the Finance Ministry said.

"This makes the average investment in M-Akiba to be 20,000 shillings," a ministry statement said.

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