Kenya says has drawn down $800 mln syndicated loan

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UPDATE 1-Kenya says has drawn down $800 mln syndicated loan

(Updates with official confirmation)
    NAIROBI, March 20 (Reuters) - Kenya has signed an $800
million syndicated loan with four international lenders and the
government has already drawn down the sum, a senior Treasury
official said on Monday
    President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces re-election in August,
has raised borrowing since taking power in April 2013. Last
week, he dismissed criticism of the higher borrowing, saying it
was funding development in the East African nation.[nL5N1GS4SR]
    In January, the Nairobi government picked Standard
Chartered, Standard Bank, Citi and Rand Merchant Bank to lead
the syndicated loan.
    "We signed and have already drawn down," Kamau Thugge,
principal secretary at the ministry of finance, told Reuters.
    A market source earlier told Reuters the deal was signed
last Thursday. The terms were not immediately known.
    Kenya has said it will raise 150 billion shillings ($1.46
billion) from external commercial sources, partly to plug a
fiscal deficit equal to 9.7 percent of gross domestic product in
its budget for the fiscal year to June 2017.

 (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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