IMF staff visiting Kenya amid loan programme increase request

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff started a visit to Kenya on Monday, a spokesperson said, after the East African country’s central bank governor said it was discussing getting more money from the fund via its existing loan programme.

Kamau Thugge told Reuters earlier this month that the country was talking with the IMF about a possible “augmentation” of its loan programme, potentially by asking the Fund for “exceptional access”, as it seeks to manage its debts, including a $2 billion Eurobond maturing in June 2024.

The spokesperson did not give any further details about the visit, which had been previously scheduled under the sixth review of its loan programme.

Exceptional access would allow Kenya to ask for more than its limit of IMF funding. If more IMF funds are approved, it would be the third increase to the loan programme, which was originally set at $2.3 billion in 2021.

(Reporting by Rachel Savage, Editing by Tomasz Janowski)