A treasury bill is a paperless short-term borrowing instrument issued by the Government through the Central Bank of Kenya (as a fiscal agent) to raise money on short term basis – for a period of up to 1 year. Treasury bills are issued in maturities of 91, 182 and 364 days. Treasury bills are sold at a discounted price to reflect investor’s return and redeemed at face (par) value.
Who Can Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya?
- Resident or non-resident individuals and/or corporate bodies who hold an account with a local commercial bank
- Resident or non-resident individuals and/or corporate bodies who may not have an account with a local commercial bank but invests as a nominee of a commercial bank or investment bank in Kenya
- Resident or non-resident individual and/or corporate bodies that has CDS Account with Central Bank of Kenya
- Must have minimum face value of Ksh.100, 000. Any additional amounts MUST be in multiples of Kshs. 50,000.
How and When do I Invest?
- Any potential investor must have an active and updated CDS account at Central Bank of Kenya.
- With exception of the 364-days paper which is on offer once every month, 91- and 182 -days Treasury bills are sold weekly. Each new offer is advertised in the Daily Nation Newspaper on Fridays and is available on here
- Investors MUST correctly and appropriately complete Treasury Bills application form available at the Central Bank of Kenya head office Nairobi or any of its branches in Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa or currency centres in Meru, Nyeri and Nakuru or can be downloaded on here. The duly completed application form must be submitted to Central Bank (or branches) on or before 2.00pm on Thursdays for 91-days and on Wednesdays for the 182- and 364-days papers.
- Investors may place their application either as competitive or non-competitive (average) bids. Competitive bidders MUST indicate the desired price/yield and usually monitor and understand the movements in interest rates and market conditions. However, such bids may either be accepted or rejected depending on interest rates and liquidity levels. Non-competitive bidders on the other hand only indicate ‘Average’ or ‘Non-Competitive’ in the place of offer price per Ksh 100 in the application forms. Since this category is a price-taker of market outcome (successful weighted average rate/price), their placement is guaranteed. However, maximum amount one can invest per CDS account per issue/tenor is Ksh 20,000,000.
- Application forms should be deposited in the blue tender boxes marked “Treasury bills” at any branch (or currency centre) of Central Bank by 2.00p.m on Wednesday for 182- and 364-days papers and on Thursday for the 91-days paper.
How Do I Determine my Return on a Treasury Bill?
Treasury bills are sold at discounted price (a price less than par price of Ksh 100) and therefore the discount is the only return an investor earns on Treasury bills. The price is computed per Kshs 100 depending on the interest rate/yield quoted by investor using the following formula:
P = Price per Ksh 100 which investor will pay
r = interest rate or yield per annum quoted by the investor
d = days to maturity or tenor (91, 182 and later 364 days)
When Do I Know what Amounts to Pay Central Bank after Application?
- The Auction Management Committee (AMC) meets every Thursday at 4.00pm to conduct the auction of the 91-days paper and on Wednesday for the 182- and 364-days papers.
- After considering all bids received, competitive and non-competitive, AMC arrives at a cut-off rate based on among other considerations, amounts advertised.
- The successful weighted average rate derived from competitive bids is applied to all non-competitive bids and is published with the results in Daily newspaper.
- The Central Bank reserves the right to allocate equal or lower amount of Treasury Bills applied for by an investor.
When Do I Make Payment and Where?
- Investors call or visit the Central Bank or its branches or currency centres a day after the auction date to know how much to pay for individual successful bids. Payment MUST be done not later than 2.00pm on the following Monday (Value Date), provided it is a working day. If Monday is NOT a working day, then Tuesday 2.00pm becomes the deadline for making payments.
- Successful bidder MUST pay total amount given to him/her by any officer from Central Bank by 2.00pm on the value date, usually on Mondays unless it is a holiday. Any Investor who defaults in payment may be suspended from participating in future auctions for some specified period.
- Payments can be made in Cash or Bankers cheques for amounts less than Kshs 1 mn, Direct debits (Banks only) or Rollover of funds on matured securities. Amounts equal to or more than Kshs 1 mn can only be paid by electronic transfer using Real Time Gross System (RTGS) known as Kenya Electronic Payment and Settlement System (KEPSS) through commercial banks. Please provide the following details with each payment: Name, Reference No., CDS Portfolio No. and the customer’s Virtual account No., and include ‘Government Treasury Bills Suspense A/c no. 01-070-0001′ when using RTGS.
What is the Evidence of Payment on the Part of the Investor?
Being paperless securities, implying no physical certificate is issued; investors receive a statement showing their holdings as registered on the Central Depository Securities (CDS) Registry at the Central Bank of Kenya. Physical CDS account Statements are sent to investors on quarterly basis and also at request provided the accounts show outstanding securities.
Can I Trade my Treasury Bill in the Secondary Market (Read Nairobi Stock Exchange)?
No. Treasury Bills are not traded at the Nairobi Stock Exchange. However, investors may pledge them as collateral (or for lien creation) security against credit facilities (loans), and may also be transferred among holders of CDS accounts. CDS Statements are adjusted accordingly to reflect these transactions. Commercial banks also use them as collateral for liquidity management through Repurchase Agreements (Repos) and Intraday Liquidity Facility (ILF). It is however important to note that the non-listed 364-days Treasury bill is tradable Over The Counter (OTC) with transactions processed at the CBK.
What Option do I have in Case I want my Money back Before Maturity of my Bills?
Investors who do not wish to hold their investments until maturity are allowed to sell back (rediscount) their Treasury Bills to Central Bank as a last resort. This is however punitive to the investor as a way of discouraging the practice. The following formula is used to calculate amounts receivable (A) by investor:
RP = Rediscount Price per Ksh 100 which investor will receive
R = Rediscount interest rate or yield per annum
d = days to maturity or tenor (91, 182 and later 364 days)
R is prevailing weighted average interest rate of the respective tenor plus 3% margin.
A = Amount receivable
F.V. = Face value Invested
RP = Rediscount Price
What Happens When my Treasury Bills Mature?
- The Central Bank remits electronically the face value of maturing bills directly to the investor’s commercial bank account on due date. The investor’s CDS account is debited by the same value of the security and statements are sent to the investor showing new position.
- Investors may however choose to rollover their securities into a new forthcoming issue and in this case, they have to complete application form giving rollover instructions and submit to Central Bank before set deadline specified in the results of the preceding auction. The maturity date of the maturing security (investment) and the value date of the new Treasury bill MUST match for rollover instruction to be successful. The Bank therefore does not remit maturing proceeds into investor’s bank account but rather send only refund amounts generated from the new investment.
If the security is still held under lien on maturity date, the Bank will remit funds in the account of the holder of the security (the lender of cash).
- Please note that a non-Kenyan investor who is NOT domiciled in Kenya can invest in Kenya Government Treasury bills as a NOMINEE of either a local commercial bank, investment bank or stock broker.
- Non-Kenyan investors domiciled in Kenya can however invest directly by opening CDS account at CBK.