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The World Bank Group Supports Capital Markets Development in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya, November 16, 2009 —IFC and the World Bank, in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency , are helping train fund managers in Kenya as part of a program to strengthen securities markets in the country and increase the availability of long-term funding for infrastructure and other projects.
IFC and the World Bank, through the Efficient Securities Market Institutional Development Initiative (ESMID) Program, in collaboration with Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority, Retirement Benefits Authority and Insurance Regulatory Authority, conducted a two-day workshop in Nairobi with about 100 key local  fund managers to discuss alternative investment options, including infrastructure financing through capital markets, corporate bonds, asset backed securities, real estate investment trusts, property investing and the mortgage finance market.
Edward Odundo, CEO of Kenya’s Retirement Benefits Authority, said “This workshop demonstrates the desire of IFC and the World Bank jointly with Kenya’s regulatory authorities to work towards deepening the capital markets in our country, in order to foster access to long-term investment assets that support infrastructure development and increase economic growth”
The workshop, launched by the Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, helped fund managers explore available investment options, ways in which they can diversify their investment portfolios and in turn advance economic development in Kenya.
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “The ESMID program aims to deepen local securities markets with a goal of supporting key economic and social development needs, including infrastructure and housing development, private sector access to finance, investments for pension funds, and also financial crisis management in Africa”
The workshop, result of the intense collaborative effort between the World Bank Group and Kenya’s regulatory authorities, gathered experienced and reputable speakers from Australia, Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa and United Kingdom, who shared their experiences on alternative investment options.
In Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, ESMID supports the efforts of central banks, securities' regulators, stock exchanges and other stakeholders to simplify regulations and procedures for issuing and trading bonds, establish an appropriate market structure, strengthen secondary markets, build capacity of market participants and facilitate the regionalization of the markets.
ESMID advised Kenya’s government, central bank and Capital Markets Authority, on the launch of the first infrastructure bond in Kenya, issued in February 2009, which raised $300million for various infrastructure projects in Kenya.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries including by helping to improve securities markets and increase the availability of long-term funding for key development sectors.
About the Efficient Securities Market Institutional Development Initiative in Africa (ESMID)
The Efficient Securities Market Institutional Development Initiative (ESMID) - a joint initiative by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, IFC and the World Bank - aims to develop well functioning securities markets, in particular bond markets, to finance investments where long-term local currency funds are necessary such as housing and infrastructure.
ESMID project aims to develop well functioning securities markets in Africa. Under ESMID program, the three institutions will provide support to emerging African capital markets. Support is channeled to regulators and other market participants in order to build or strengthen marketplaces and institutions that form the core of the securities industry. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has provided US$5.5 million to support the program activities. ESMID supports securities markets regulators to improve their regulatory expertise, and to design effective regulatory environments for long term capital mobilization. On the supply side, the program supports potential issuers and intermediaries to bring transactions to the securities markets. The program initially targets five countries, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and aspires to expand to other countries in Africa.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit , , and .
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .