Treasury Bills

A treasury bill is a paperless short-term borrowing instrument issued by the Government through the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to raise money on short term basis for a period of up to 1 year. Treasury bills are issued in maturities of 91, 182 and 364 days. Treasury bills are sold at a discounted price and therefore the discount is the only return to the investor.

General Information

  • Investors may be resident or non-resident individuals or corporate bodies
  • Minimum investment amount is Ksh.100, 000. Additional amounts in multiples of Kshs. 50,000
  • Maximum amount one can invest per CDS account per issue is Kshs. 20 Million
  • 91-days and 182-days Treasury bills are sold weekly
  • 364-days paper is on offer once every month
  • Each new offer is advertised in the Daily Nation Newspaper on Fridays
  • Treasury Bills are not traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange

Opening a Government CDS Account

  • Prepare a clear photocopy of your ID and your passport photograph.
  • Go to CBK (open between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. every weekday) or send someone to obtain a CDS mandate card from a counter in the CBK banking hall.
  • Obtain an explanation on how to fill the mandate card either from CBK counter or the CBK website
  • Fill out your information on the mandate card.
  • Go to your commercial bank (where you do your normal banking) for them to verify the details filled on the card as well as to stamp and sign both the mandate card and your passport photograph.
  • Go to CBK and present the filled and stamped card in person. They will require for your original ID card.
  • The CDS account application is processed and approved by CBK within seven working days of receipt of all requirements.

Purchase Treasury Bills

  • Once the CDS account has been successfully opened the investor should complete the Treasury Bills application form available at CBK Nairobi, CBK branches or downloaded from the CBK website.
  • The duly completed application form should be submitted to CBK or its branches before 2.00 p.m. on:
    • Wednesdays for 182- and 364-days papers
    • Thursdays for 91-days T Bill
  • Investors may place their application either as competitive or non-competitive (average) bids. Competitive bidders indicate the desired price (usually investors of above Kshs. 100 Million). Such bids may either be accepted or rejected depending on interest rates and liquidity levels. Other investors are non-competitive bidders and they get the market’s average or non-competitive price. Their placement is guaranteed.
  • The Auction Management Committee (AMC) meets at 4:00 p.m. on the day of receipt of the respective T Bill application forms to conduct the auction.
  • Investors should call or visit CBK or its branches a day after the auction for information on how much to pay for successful bids. Payment should be done before 2.00 p.m. on the following Monday.
  • Payments can be made as follows:
    • Amounts less than Kshs 1 Million – Cash, Bankers cheque
    • Amounts equal to or more than Kshs 1 Million - By electronic transfer using RTGS
    • Rollover of funds on matured securities
    • Direct debits – For banks only
  • Investors will then receive a statement showing their holdings as registered on the CBK’s Registry. Physical CDS account Statements are sent to investors on quarterly basis and at request.

Investor's Return

  • CBK remits the face value of maturing bills to the investor’s commercial bank account and statements are sent to the investor showing the new position.
  • Investors may choose to rollover their securities into a new forthcoming issue by completing an application form giving rollover instructions.


Treasury Bonds are medium to long term debt instruments, usually longer than one year issued by the government to raise money in local currency. Maturity periods of Treasury Bonds range from 1 to 30 years.

General Information

  • Investors may be resident or non-resident individuals or corporate bodies; or nominees.
  • The price of a bond is determined by the time to maturity, the coupon rate and the quoted yield to Treasury Bonds are traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
  • Minimum investment amount is Kshs. 50,000 and additional amounts in multiples of Kshs. 50,000
  • For infrastructure bonds, the minimum investment amount is Kshs. 100,000.
  • Treasury Bonds application form should be submitted to CBK or its branches before Tuesday 2.00 pm of the last week of Bond sale. The closing date of the sale period is usually indicated in the Bond
  • Fixed Coupon Bonds have a fixed interest which is paid semi-annually on the face value held during the life of the Bond. When bought at a discount, the investor benefits from a capital gain which is critical for secondary market trading and regular interest payment.
  • Zero Coupon Bonds do not have a fixed interest rate and investor's return is the discount amount equivalent to the yield quoted. These are mostly short term and are usually taken up by commercial banks.
  • Proceeds from Infrastructure Bonds are used to fund infrastructure projects specified in the prospectus.
  • There is an inverse relationship between Bond valuation and prevailing interest rates.
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