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Kenya’s Repayment Debt Doubles

Beijing remained the biggest gainer from Kenya’s external debt repayment in the six months to December 2018 compared to a similar period of the previous year, data by the Treasury showed, signalling the rising concessional and semi-concessional loans China has been injecting into Kenya’s infrastructure development.

India and South Korea also posted significant gains in the value of debt repayment by Kenya over the period defying a general trend of a dip in the value of repayments to other traditional key lenders to Nairobi.

China gobbled up more than a fifth of the overall amount Nairobi spent on servicing its external debt in six months through December, the Treasury statistics show, signalling the cost of concessional and semi-concessional loans China has been injecting into Kenya’s infrastructure development.

Kenya spent nearly Sh15.43 billion on servicing loans from China in the July-December 2018 period, the Treasury says in its latest report, an equivalent of 22.05 percent of the Sh69.45 billion spend on total foreign debt.

Repayments to China have more than doubled from Sh6.3 billion, or 15.41 percent of the total spend on servicing the external debt, in a similar period in 2016 and Sh12.72 billion, or 18.53 percent of the total foreign debt costs, in 2017.

The amount paid to China, Kenya’s largest lender, which comprised Sh12.80 billion interest and Sh2.63 billion principal sum, also accounted for 60.79 percent of the Sh25.37 billion costs on the bilateral debt.

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