NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan lawmakers voted on Tuesday to double the government’s limit on borrowing from foreign sources to 2.5 trillion shillings ($28 billion).
Finance Minister Henry Rotich sought the doubling of the limit last month as the east African nation plans major infrastructure projects such as roads and energy plants.
The increase was backed by 79 votes with 42 against.
Aden Duale, majority leader in the National Assembly, said in a sitting aired on live television that raising the ceiling was essential “to help the government achieve development objectives.
Kenya’s debt had been estimated at more than 50 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) until September, but that rate fell after revised data showed its economy 25 percent bigger than previously estimated.
The country borrowed $2 billion with its maiden sovereign bond in June, to take some pressure off local markets and lower lending rates.
Last week, it raised another $750 million through a tap sale of the Eurobond. It also plans to issue an Islamic bond, called a Sukuk, in the financial year starting in July 2015.
($1 = 90.4500 Kenyan shillings)
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