The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) just launched the swashbuckling CBK DhowCSD – a brand new bond trading platform that’s sailing into uncharted waters, granting both retail investors in Kenya and abroad unprecedented access to attractive returns via the trusty mobile phone! Arrr, it’s time to batten down the hatches and dive into this exciting new era of bond trading!

Avast ye, maties! CBK DhowCSD has been in the making for three long years, and now it’s finally here, allowing investors to open bond trading accounts online, right from the comfort of their own ship… err, I mean, home! With just a few clicks of the mouse (or taps of your mobile screen), you can start placing bids for your preferred securities during auctions. No need to navigate through treacherous waters or face fierce sea monsters – the CBK’s got your back!

Shiver me timbers! Bonds have been gaining popularity among retail investors in Kenya, and for a good reason! They offer better returns than other asset classes like equities, which have been showing negative returns like a ship caught in a storm. So, it’s no wonder that investors have been flocking to government debt, raising their holdings to a staggering Sh337.3 billion from Shiver me timbers! Just three years ago, it was only Sh136 billion. That’s some serious treasure to be discovered!

The CBK is putting an end to manual submissions and drop-offs for bids. Argh, gone are the days of physical visits to the regulator’s office and endorsement from your commercial bank. Everything will be done through the DhowCSD, smooth as silk!

Ahoy, landlubbers! Remember the M-Akiba bond pilot back in 2017? It allowed investors to dive into the world of bonds with just a minimum investment of Sh3,000! And by Davy Jones’ locker, it was a resounding success! The government saw that retailers were eager to invest in securities if the access was made friendlier. So here we are, with the CBK deepening the market and making it as transparent as a crystal-clear ocean to attract more funds and lower its own cost of borrowing. Smart move, I say!

Arrr, the government securities market has been dominated by banks and pension funds, hoarding a whopping 79.6 percent of the Sh4.76 trillion in the government’s domestic debt. But fear not, dear investors! The CBK DhowCSD is here to level the playing field! It’s like a fresh wind blowing through the market, bringing more liquidity and opportunities for everyone – especially smaller lenders who can now enjoy more favorable interbank rates. Pirates and investors alike rejoice!

There have been challenges, though. Retail investor access to the market has been like navigating through a treacherous maze, with lengthy and complicated processes. It’s been enough to make even the most seasoned sailors throw their hands up in despair. But fear not! The new platform opens up the gates to the market for everyone, whether you’re in the bustling city or on a faraway island. Kenyans abroad, you too can finally join the party! No need to come back to Kenya to make your investments – just grab your trusty mobile phone, and you’re good to go!

As we sail forth into this brave new world of bond trading, let us all raise our mugs to the CBK DhowCSD! It’s a game-changer, making it easier for all retail investors to join the bond market frenzy. The winds of change are blowing, and the CBK is seizing the opportunity to tap into the billions of dollars that Kenyans abroad remit home every year. It’s time to unleash the full potential of the government securities market, and with the DhowCSD at the helm, we’re well on our way!

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