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Kenya says bond issue to go ahead despite mall attack

THE-TREASURYNAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – Plans by Kenya to raise close to $1.5 billion (1.1 billion euros) in a debut international bond issue are unaffected by an attack by Islamist gunmen against Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall, the government said Friday.

Kenya is seeking liquidity from the global capital markets to revamp crumbling colonial-era infrastructure and accelerate an underperforming economy.

The planned bond issue — which will be the largest debut by a sub-Saharan African nation — had been scheduled for late November.

“The Kenyan economy, just like the spirit of our people, is unshaken by the recent tragedy,” Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said in a statement.

He said “the fundamentals of our economy remain sound and solid”, and that “as such, our plan to issue a debut sovereign bond in the international market during this financial year remains on course.”

“We do not see any significant effect on the overall economic performance arising from the recent tragedy, and our growth objective for 2013 remains unchanged at around 5.5-6 percent,” he added.

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