Safaricom may back out of M-Akiba deal over Govt delay

“Perhaps we should de-focus a little bit from M-Akiba and focus much more on stocks and shares”  Bob Collymore

Safaricom’s partnership deal with Kenyan Government to bring into the market a mobile traded bond became endangered thanks to reports that Treasury had postponed the launch of M-Akiba for the fourth time in 2016 citing high trading costs.

In an interview with CCTV, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore for the first time raised the possibility of backing out of the deal citing disappointment from the Government for delaying the Sh5 Billion M-Akiba launch for several occasions despite all systems already in place.

Collymore added that they were currently in talks with stock brokers to link the platform to the Nairobi Securities Exchange to give kenyans an opportunity to trade shares from the comfort of their mobile devices by the first quarter of 2017.

“It will be a little bit of a shame for the government because there is a lot of money out the in the informal sector and if that money gets swept into securities, stocks and shares, then there is less available for the government coffers,” said Bob Collymore. “We just need to get some partners and open up the conversation with the partners because we don’t want to be a stockbroker,” he added.

Earlier this month, The East African reported that Treasury had postpone the launch of the M-Akiba bond on concerns of high trading costs which would possibly erase investor returns.

About M-Akiba

This is a mobile phone-based purchase of govt bond proposed by the Nairobi Securities Exchange(NSE), the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the National Treasury. The most interesting fact is that it proposes to lower the minimum amount needed to purchase bonds from Sh50,000 to Sh3,000.