The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has officially announced a new initiative to make it easier for Kenyans and the diaspora community to invest in government securities. The CBK DhowCSD is a digital platform that will allow users to access, buy, and sell treasury bills and bonds online, without the need for intermediaries or physical documents.
The CBK DhowCSD aims to enhance financial inclusion, deepen the capital market, and diversify the investor base for government securities. It will also reduce the transaction costs and risks associated with paper-based processes. The platform will be accessible through mobile phones, tablets via dedicated apps, and computers via a web portal, and will offer real-time information on available securities, prices, and yields.
“The Government remains committed to promoting diaspora investments back home by offering attractive investment opportunities, incentives and establishing financial instruments that facilitate diaspora investments.”PS of State Department for Diaspora Affairs Roseline Njogu
The CBK DhowCSD is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2023, following a pilot phase that will involve selected banks and investors. The CBK has invited interested parties to register for the pilot phase on its website. The CBK DhowCSD is part of the CBK’s broader strategy to modernize the payment system and promote financial stability in Kenya.
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How Much are these Government Securities?
On the DhowCSD platform, investors have the opportunity to purchase Treasury bills (T-Bills) and Treasury bonds (T-Bonds) starting today August 1st, following the official launch.
Treasury bills T-Bills
These are short-term borrowing instruments issued by the Government through the Central Bank of Kenya to raise funds on a short-term basis. These paperless securities offer varying interest rates based on their maturity terms, which can be 91, 182, or 360 days. The minimum investment amount for T-Bills is Kshs. 100,000.
Treasury Bonds T-Bonds
On the other hand, Treasury bonds are secure medium- to long-term investments issued by the government for purchase by investors. These bonds provide regular interest payments every six months until maturity.
The Central Bank holds auctions for Treasury bonds on a monthly basis, offering a range of bonds throughout the year. Most T-bonds in Kenya come with fixed interest rates, meaning the rate determined at auction remains constant throughout the bond’s life.
The minimum investment amount for Treasury Bonds is Kshs. 50,000.
How to access DhowCSD
The Central Bank of Kenya has built a web portal along with dedicated apps for Android and iOS for Kenyans and others to access these investment opportunities. Below are the links to the Play Store, App Store and the DhowCSD web portal.
- DhowCSD – Apps on Google Play
- DhowCSD on the App Store (apple.com)
- CSD Investor Portal (centralbank.go.ke)
To sign up, you will need your KRA PIN, a bank account number, and a scanned copy of your identification cards, KRA PIN Certificate, and Client Photo. With these you can create a DhowCSD account and proceed to access the T-Bonds and T-Bills.
The push by Central Bank to have these services online will ensure that Investors can take advantage of these investment options to build a diverse and balanced portfolio on the DhowCSD platform.