(Bloomberg) — Kenya could return to the international market to refinance $2 billion in Eurobonds maturing in June 2024, helped by easing interest rates in the United States, according to Standard Chartered Bank. Kenya Ltd.
“Market conditions would have improved” if the Fed started cutting interest rates, Eva Wanjiku-Otieno, Africa strategist at the local unit of Standard Chartered Plc, said in an interview. This would increase “the likelihood that Kenya would be able to refinance its next maturity”, instead of tapping its foreign exchange reserves, she said.
Several measures of inflation in the United States have shown encouraging signs in recent weeks, including the decline in the consumer price index, which fell to 6.5% on the year until December, after its peak of 9% in June. In response, Treasuries surged as investors bet the Federal Reserve will stop raising rates and start cutting borrowing costs sooner than policymakers currently expect.
Read: Yellen sees ‘very helpful signs’ on the US inflation front
Lower borrowing costs in the United States will help frontier markets such as Kenya resume selling foreign bonds after being shut out of capital markets for more than a year. President William Ruto’s move to cut subsidies and control debt could also help attract investors.
Ruto pledged to stimulate the economy and create new jobs, while easing the country’s debt burden. Kenya, which the International Monetary Fund has classified as at high risk of debt distress, had government liabilities of 8.9 trillion shillings ($72 billion) in November, central bank data showed.
Read: Kenya aims to raise incomes, curb borrowing and sustain growth
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