A general view shows the Central Bank of Kenya headquarters building along Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi, Kenya November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi/

NAIROBI, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Kenya’s government said on Thursday that it would buy back more than $1.4 billion of its $2 billion international bond maturing in June, announcing the results of a tender offer it launched last week.

The East African country has been on the radar of investors because they feared it might not be able to repay due to its strained public finances.

This week Kenya sold a new $1.5 billion Eurobond at great cost to fund the buyback of a large portion of the $2 billion bond.

The government said in a regulatory notice that it would buy $1.443 billion in aggregate principal amount of the bond, slightly more than the maximum tender offer it had announced on Tuesday.

It will buy investors’ holdings back at par, or face value.

An accrued interest payment will be paid in addition to the purchase price, the notice said.

Confidence that the Eurobond would be repaid has lifted the local shilling currency KES= in recent days, helping it recover to its strongest level against the dollar since June 2023 on Thursday.


However the double-digit yield Kenya was forced to pay on the $1.5 billion bond sold this week is an indication that it is still seen as risky by investors.

The pressure on the Kenyan government’s finances has forced it to try to squeeze every shilling it can from taxpayers, angering voters who had supported the current government on the premise it would lower the cost of living.

But it benefits from international backing, including from the International Monetary Fund, which boosted its support programme by $941 million in January.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa and Alexander Winning; Additional reporting by Rachel Savage; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Andrew Heavens and Alex Richardson)