How to Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya: Step-by-Step, Comprehensive Guide

Are you searching for a stable investment vehicle with a high return in Kenya? Treasury Bills, offered by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), are recommended to add to your portfolio. Investors in Kenya are still highly attracted to the Kenyan treasury bill rates, which remain enticing and readily available, thus creating a low-risk avenue to grow their money in the short term. Essentially, Treasury bills are short-term government securities that provide handy investment opportunities and safe returns.

In this comprehensive guide, we will show you how to invest in Treasury bills in Kenya, bring you up-to-date with the latest statistics, and introduce a free tool that can help you plan your savings and investments.

Treasury Bills on Offer at the Time of Writing

  • 91-Day T-Bill (Issue Number: 2572/091), Auction Date: April 4, 2024, Value Date: April 8, 2024, Previous Average Interest Rate: 16.7290%
  • 182-Day T-Bill (Issue Number: 2545/182), Auction Date: April 4, 2024, Value Date: April 8, 2024, Previous Average Interest Rate: 16.8877%
  • 364-Day T-Bill (Issue Number: 2499/364), Auction Date: April 4, 2024, Value Date: April 8, 2024, Previous Average Interest Rate: 16.9899%

These attractive interest rates make Treasury bills an appealing investment option, especially compared to traditional bank deposits and other low-risk instruments.

What are Treasury Bills?

Treasury bills, popularly known as T-bills, are short-term government securities issued by the Central Bank of Kenya on behalf of the Kenyan Government. They have the advantage of being the safest investment instruments because the Kenyan government has full faith in them and credits them back.

T-bills are sold at a discount of their face value, and investors get the promise of full face value upon maturity. The difference between the purchasing price and the face value is the investor’s interest gained. Maturities of T-bills vary between 91 days (3 months) and 364 days (1 year). To meet personal financial goals and liquidity requirements, investors choose the maturity period that is most suitable for them. For example, if you buy a 91-day Treasury bill at KES 98,000 with a face value of KES 100,000, then in maturity, you will get KES 100,000, earning you an interest rate of KES 2,000.

Investing in Treasury Bills: Step-by-Step Guide

Investing in Treasury bills is straightforward, but following the correct steps is essential to ensuring a smooth experience. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1:Open a Central Depository System (CDS) Account

How to Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya

A CDS account with the CBK is a requirement for those who wish to invest in Treasury bills. The account is a record that tracks all your government securities holdings. You can open a CDS account by visiting the nearest CBK branch or applying online through the Dhow CSD portal (

After establishing your CDS account, you must fill in a mandate card with your contact information and a record of your commercial bank account. The bank needs to authenticate and stick to the mandate card.

Along with the mandate card, you shall also need to provide the regulator with a passport-sized photograph certified by your bank, clear copies of your national ID or passport (whichever is required), and any other additional documents specified by CBK.

Step 2: Monitor Upcoming Auctions

How to Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya

The Central Bank of Kenya conducts weekly auctions for Treasury bills. Stay informed about upcoming auctions by regularly checking the CBK website and local newspapers or contacting your financial advisor.

Also Read: 6 Best Books on Investing for Beginners

Step 3: Submit Your Bid

How to Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya

Your CDS account with Treasury will become active, and you can participate in Treasury bill auctions by submitting a bid. You can opt for a competitive bid, where you define the interest rate you are comfortable with, or you can choose a non-competitive one, where you accept the weighted average rate determined by the auction.

If you decide to buy Treasury bills, first fill out the application form that is available on the CBK website. Instruct on the amount you want to contribute and if you want to make a competitive or non-competitive bid. Uncontested bids are being considered at the weighted arithmetic mean rate of the accepted competitive bids.

Step 4: Participate in the Auction

The Central Bank’s Auction Management Committee reviews all submitted bids and determines the cut-off and weighted average rates for accepted bids. Successful bidders are notified through their CDS accounts or designated communication channels.

Step 5: Make Payment

How to Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya

After being allocated Treasury bills, you must make payment by the specified deadline, typically the following Monday or Tuesday after the auction. Payment can be made through electronic fund transfers, direct debit, or other designated methods provided by the Central Bank.

Step 6: Receive Your Returns

How to Invest in Treasury Bills in Kenya

Upon maturity, the Central Bank will electronically remit the face value of your Treasury bills directly to your linked commercial bank account. The difference between the face value and your initial investment represents your interest earned.

Benefits of Investing in Treasury Bills

  1. Security: Treasury bills are considered risk-free investments, backed by the Kenyan government’s full faith and credit.
  2. Competitive Returns: As of April 2024, Treasury bills offer attractive interest rates ranging from 16.7290% to 16.9899%, depending on the tenor.
  3. Liquidity: Treasury bills have a short maturity period, allowing investors to access their funds quickly.
  4. Diversification: Treasury bills can be a stable component of a diversified investment portfolio, helping to balance risk and return.
  5. Accessibility: Individuals, corporate entities, and foreign investors can invest in Treasury bills through the Central Bank of Kenya or commercial banks.

Maximize Your Investment Returns with Our Free Savings and Investment Calculator

We’re excited to offer a free savings and investment calculator tool to help you effectively plan your savings and investments. This powerful tool allows you to calculate your potential returns based on your initial balance, monthly contributions, interest rate, and investment duration.

With our savings and investment calculator, you can:

  • Estimate your final balance after a specified investment period
  • Calculate the total contributions you’ll make
  • Determine the total interest earned on your investment

Input your initial balance, monthly contribution, interest rate, and the duration of your investment, and our calculator will provide you with a detailed breakdown of your potential earnings.

Try our free savings and investmentcalculator now and take the first step towards achieving your financial goals!

Must Read: 10 Assets that Make You Rich

Final Thoughts

Treasury bill investments are an avenue to diversify investments and earn returns on offer through security and good returns. Now that the most recent Treasury bill rates in Kenya as of April 2024 hang around the 16-17% bracket, this is a great time to contemplate including these low-risk assets in your financial strategy.

Remember that it’s important to do adequate research, know the risks, and seek professional help. Following the steps in this guide and taking advantage of the saving and investment calculator tool will give you the direction and information to build a solid investment plan.

Start exploring Treasury bills in Kenya today to initiate a course that will give you financial development and stability.

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