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Safaricom Starts 4.49 Billion-Shilling Bond Sale

Safaricom Ltd., the mobile-phone operator that is Kenya’s biggest company by market value, started the sale of 4.49 billion shillings ($56 million) of five-year bonds today.

The fixed-rate securities will pay a coupon of 7.75 percent a year, the Nairobi-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. The bonds will start trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange on Jan. 17.

The floating-rate coupon is the prevailing 182-day treasury-bill rate plus 185 basis points, Safaricom Public Relations Officer Wachira Kang’aru said by phone from Nairobi today. The weighted average rate of accepted bids was 2.464 percent at the most recent auction, while the cut-off rate was 2.8 percent, the Central Bank of Kenya said on Nov. 25.

“Interest will be paid semi-annually in arrears beginning May 2, 2011,” the statement said.

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