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China fines Kenya $10m for defaulting on SGR loans

Kenya defaulted on repayment of the Chinese loans provided to build the standard gauge railway (SGR), highlighting the country’s struggles with the mounting public debt.

The Chinese banks fined Kenya Ksh1.312 billion ($10.8 million) in the year ended June for loan defaults, according to Treasury documents seen by Business Daily.

Kenya tapped over half a trillion shillings from Chinese lenders, led by the Export-Import Bank of China, to fund the construction of the SGR from Mombasa to Naivasha.

Taxpayers have been forced to shoulder the burden of the SGR loans because revenues generated from the passenger and cargo services on the track are not enough to meet the operation costs, which stood at Ksh18.5 billion ($152.8 million) in the year to June against sales of Ksh15 billion ($123.9 million).

“This (Ksh1.312 billion/ $10.8 million) relates to the cost of default on interest at one percent of the due amount,” say the disclosure documents seen by the Business Daily.

SGR posted an operation loss of Ksh3.4 billion ($28 million), and wired Ksh22.7 billion ($187.6 million) in loan repayments in the year to June.




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