March 20, 2017 / 12:38 PM / 10 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Kenya borrows total of $1.55 billion in three syndicated loans

(Corrects earlier loan agreed with TDB to $250 mln from $200 mln in paragraph 2)

By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI, March 20 (Reuters) - Kenya borrowed $800 million in a syndicated loan from four international commercial lenders, part of a package totalling $1.55 billion.

The country also got a $500 million syndicated loan with Cairo-based African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank) and the Trade Development Bank (TDB), Afreximbank said. Another $250 million syndicated loan was agreed earlier with TDB.

“The facility, for which Afreximbank and TDB acted as joint mandated lead arrangers, is part of a $1.55 billion debt package of three facilities being arranged and raised in parallel,” Afreximbank said in a statement issued on Monday.

Kenya had set out to raise 150 billion shillings ($1.46 billion), partly to plug a fiscal deficit equal to 9.7 percent of gross domestic product in its budget for the fiscal year to June 2017.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces re-election in August, dismissed criticism last week of his accelerated borrowing, saying the money was funding development.

In January, the Nairobi government picked Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, Citi and Rand Merchant Bank to lead the $800 million syndicated loan.

“We signed and have already drawn down” the money, Kamau Thugge, principal secretary at the ministry of finance, told Reuters.

The various tranches of the total loans of $1.55 billion comes with different maturities of two to 10 years, Afreximbank said.

It said the Kenyan government had “achieved unprecedented borrowing benchmarks with new tenors at the 2, 3, 5, and 10 year marks from different investor groups.” (Editing by Larry King)

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