Helb seeks advisers for Sh5 billion social bond – Business Daily
Student loan beneficiaries at Helb offices in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) is seeking transaction advisers to facilitate the floating of a social education bond targeted at sealing funding gaps and laptop purchase for university students.
The agency is planning to issue the first-ever social bond in a bid to supplement State funds that have failed to keep pace with student enrolment.
The top-most role of the hired consultant will be to develop a well-structured social education bond that will be issued in the Capital Markets.
“Helb is seeking to contract a recognised financial institution(s), regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya and or; Capital Markets Authority specialised in the provision of the comprehensive Transaction Advisor & Lead Arranger services with experience in raising funding for public entities in the bond markets to raise funds for higher education financing,” the institution says in a notice that said the applications should be filed by September 14.
“Helb intends to float a Social Education Bond of Sh5.5 billion to address the current funding gaps and facilitate acquisition of student laptops.” A consultant will be required to advise Helb on the bonds financing viability and optimal structure.
The adviser will also be mandated to develop a detailed financial model for the project including capital structure and funding structure with the project implementation schedule.
The number of government-sponsored students in public universities has grown rapidly over the recent past due to the lowering of the entry grade to public universities to C+, outpacing Helb’s funding from the State.
Allocation to Helb from the Treasury jumped from Sh7.5 billion in 2015 to Sh15.2 billion, but it has failed to keep pace with the rising student population, leading to a reduction in the average amount per beneficiary.
The agency funds needy students to the tune of between Sh35,000 and Sh60,000 per year, based on their economic background.