Investing in government securities is a simple process that you can undertake through the Central Bank directly or through a commercial bank or an investment bank.
Government Securities in Kenya
Invest in Treasury Bills
Invest in Treasury Bonds
Investors make money on Treasury bills because they are sold at a discount. For example, if you invest in a 91-day Treasury bill, you will pay less than the bill’s face value, but after 91 days you will receive the full face value.
If you’d like to purchase a Treasury bill, you must invest a minimum of Kshs. 100,000.
Investors buying Treasury bonds are loaning the government money for a specified period of time, which is the bond’s maturity. With most bonds, investors will receive interest payments every six months throughout that period of time, and at the end of that period they receive the face value amount that they invested.
If you’d like to purchase a Treasury bond, you must invest a minimum of Kshs. 50,000.
Who can Invest
While commercial banks, corporate entities and pension schemes are some of the largest investors in government securities, individuals can invest directly through the Central Bank.
If you’re interested in investing in government securities you must have a bank account with a commercial bank in Kenya, and you must open a CDS account with the Central Bank. Kenyans and foreign investors who meet these qualifications are free to invest in government securities directly with the Central Bank.
Those who do not wish to open a CDS account with the Central Bank can still invest by opening a client account with their commercial bank, which will invest on their behalf. However, while opening a CDS account is free, commercial banks typically have fees associated with client accounts.
Kenyans living abroad can invest in government securities as long as they have an active Kenyan bank account. They can open a CDS account and submit all required forms to the Central Bank via email.
Investment Information for Kenyans Living Abroad
Download a Step-by-Step Guide for Investing in Government Securities for Kenyan Diaspora HERE.
CDS Account Opening Form (Individual)
If you are an individual investor, print the CDS Account Opening Form and fill in all details. Ensure that all the required fields are properly completed. Instructions for completing the form can be found on the Invest in Treasury Bills and Invest in Treasury Bonds pages.
Download CDS Account Opening Form HERE.
CDS Account Opening Form (Corporate)
If you are a corporate investor, print the CDS Account Opening Form and fill in all details. Ensure that all the required fields are properly completed. Instructions for completing the form can be found on the Invest in Treasury Bills and Invest in Treasury Bonds pages.
Download CDS Account Opening Form HERE.
Treasury Bills Application Form
To bid for Treasury Bills, please download the Treasury Bills Application form, found HERE. Print the form, ensure that all the required fields are properly filled in, then scan the completed form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treasury Bonds Application Form, Including Infrastructure Bonds
To bid for Treasury Bonds, please download the Treasury Bonds Application form, found HERE. Print the form, ensure that all the required fields are properly filled in, then scan the completed form and email it to email@example.com.
For enquiries please contact Central Bank of Kenya, Financial Markets Department on 2860000/3640/3641 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessing Funds Before Maturity
Investors who need to redeem their securities before they mature can rediscount those securities as a last resort. The Central Bank will buy the securities back, but do so at a punitive rate to discourage investors from doing this, and recommends that investors hold their securities until maturity if at all possible.
Treasury bonds are traded on the secondary market, giving bond holders the opportunity to receive money for their security without rediscounting. Treasury bills, however, are not traded on the secondary market. Both types of securities can be transferred to other parties.
The scope of Treasury bills rediscount is to avail funds to Treasury bills investors who may wish to recall their investments before maturity. It is a last resort facility. To rediscount a Treasury bill, send a written request to the Bank with the following documents: CDS statements, a photocopy of the identity document, pay-in slip. For a company, a letter of incorporation is required. The investor submits a duly filled sale confirmation form.
Treasury bond rediscounting avails funds to Bond investors who may wish to recall their investments before maturity and at the same time have failed to secure a buyer of the same in the secondary market. It is available at CBK as a last resort.
A letter is required from the Nairobi Stock Exchange together with the following documents: CDS statements, a photocopy of the identity document, pay-in slip and certificate of incorporation in case of companies.