Kenya launches the world’s first mobile-only sovereign bond

Trading floor of the future

MOBILE money is ubiquitous in Kenya. Someone tapping on their phone might be paying school fees, sending money home or donating to a church. Soon they might be trading bonds. On June 30th the Kenyan government was due to launch M-Akiba, the world’s first sovereign bond to be sold exclusively through mobile platforms.

The bond is marketed at small investors, who will not need a bank account to take part. They can register on their phone in a few minutes and invest as little as 3,000 shillings ($ 29), far less than the 50,000 shillings needed to buy other treasury bonds. “Akiba” means savings in Kiswahili. The government is keen to promote thrift and is offering a juicy 10% annual return on the three-year bond, about three percentage points above deposit rates at commercial banks. Coupon payments are made through mobile money.

A pilot offer in March lured over 100,000 people to register. But only 5,692 of them went…

The Economist: Finance and economics

Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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