Nowadays, it’s easier to invest in government securities, especially treasury bills (T-Bills) and treasury bonds (T-Bonds), all thanks to the Central Securities Depository Dhow or CBK DhowCSD for short, which President William Ruto launched on July 31st, 2023
Immediately after the launch, over 7,000 new accounts were created as the president restated the importance of investing in government securities and how CSD was to offer the right platform for that.
Since then, there have been many developments, and DhowCSD is increasingly becoming a critical Central Securities Depository Investment infrastructure, setting the tone and transforming the country’s financial market.
DhowCSD continues to promote digital accessibility for local investors and grander financial inclusion. Overall, there’s a lot that one must know before setting up a DhowCSD account and making any investment.
Here’s what we shall cover:
- What is DhowCSD?
- What are the requirements for signing up for a DhowCSD account?
- How do you sign up for a DhowCSD account?
- What securities can you invest in at CBK DhowCSD?
- Why invest through CBK DhowCSD?
- How do you bid for government securities on DhowCSD?
- What can you do with the CBK DhowCSD app?
Let’s dive in!
In a rush? Below is an overview of the central securities Depository Dhow
CBK DhowCSD Overview
|Central Securities Depository Dhow
|Government securities investing platform
|July 31st 2023
|CBK website and DhowCSD app
|Government securities options
|Treasury bonds and treasury bills
|Individual, joint, and corporate/legal entity account
|Ksh 50,000 (for T-bonds) and Ksh 100,000 (for T-bills)
|Locals and from abroad
DhowCSD is a CBK initiative that makes it easy for willing investors to buy government securities, especially treasury bills and bonds.
Dhow refers to an old-style wooden boat traditionally used for ferrying merchandise along the coast. It shows that the Central Securities Depository (CSD) will facilitate local and cross-border government securities trading to improve Kenya’s integration with the global financial markets.
Dhow can also be translated to Dau in Swahili, a short form for ‘Mshika Dau,’ a stakeholder. That resonates with the investors who will be the primary beneficiaries of the DhowCSD operations.
What Are the Requirements for Signing Up for A CBK DhowCSD Account?
To register for a DhowCSD account online, one must meet these basic requirements:
- Possess an internet-enabled device (phone or computer)
- Possess a valid national ID or passport
- Have a KRA pin
- Provide a clear photo
- Provide a working email
- Be ready to complete the signup within seven days
How Do You Sign Up for A CBK DhowCSD Trading Account?
Generally, you can sign up for a trading account on the DhowCSD platform through the CBK website or the CBK DhowCSD app.
a) Individual Investment Account
Here are the quick steps to follow:
- Go to the investors portal on the website or app and tap on it
- Look for the Create Account section and click on it to start the signup
- Enter your email address, preferred username, and unique password, and accept the registration terms
- Click on Start Registration
- Choose the user type and input all other relevant personal info such as name, gender, date of birth, ID number, nationality, residency, KRA pin, economic sector, and contact details.
- Upload the mandatory documents such as the ID, photo, and KRA pin certificate.
- Input the email token you receive and wait for the notification email
- Log into your DhowCSD account using the email username and password you used during the account registration
b) Joint Account Registration
When opening a joint DhowCSD account, one must complete all the above steps for individual account registration. After that, one can go ahead with these steps to include the other members:
- Log into the DhowCSD account and go to Get Settings on the app or My Account on the website portal
- Tap on Settlement Details and then Add Joints Account
- Fill out all the needed details of the joint account
- Input the email of the other investors/jointers and tap on Add User
- Tap on Save to save the jointers information
- The jointers will then receive an email invitation, which they are to accept to complete their inclusion into the joint DhowCSD account.
After the above steps, investors can log into the joint account to confirm the registration details and start trading.
c) Creating a Signatory Account
A signatory refers to someone authorized to represent a corporate entity. Here are the steps for creating a signatory account:
- Visit the CBK DhowCSD portal for the mobile app and tap on the Investor Portal Link
- Tap on Create Account to initiate the account setup
- Input the email, username, and preferred password, and then accept the registration terms and conditions
- Tap on Start Registration
- Choose Signatory as the user type and fill in all the relevant information before clicking Next.
- Skip the Settlement Page and click Next
- Upload mandatory documents, including the photo and unique identifier
- Input the token you receive via email for verification and click Verify
- Wait for a notification email to confirm a successful signatory registration
But just like for individual investor accounts, the signatory account should be set up within seven days.
d) Legal or Entity Corporate Account Registration
CBK DhowCSD allows investors to invest as a legal entity or corporate. However, they must forest create all the signatory accounts using the above steps and, after that, follow these steps:
- Go to the DhowCSD online portal or use the mobile app
- Click on Create Account to initiate the registration and select Legal Entity under User Type
- Input all other relevant information, including full name, incorporation date, director’s name, tax status, residency, and pin, and then click Next.
- Put the contact details of your corporate or legal entity and the settlement details such as bank account number, approval mandate, and account title.
- Click on Add User to add the Signatory’s email.
- Upload the necessary documents, including the KRA pin certificate and registration document.
- Verify the account using the token you receive via email
- Log back into the account to check the pending approval
- Wait for the added signatories to accept their invitations and complete the registration
What Government Securities Can You Invest in on CBK DhowCDS?
CBK DhowCDS allows investors to invest in treasury bills (T-bills) and treasury bonds (T-bonds) government securities.
Treasury bills are debt instruments the government uses through the CBK to raise funds in the short term. Since they are short-term securities, they have a much higher return rate as their maturity terms extend.
Typically, T-bills have a 91-day, 182-day, or 360-day maturity, and you need a minimum investment of Ksh 100,000.
On the other hand, Treasury bonds are secure midterm and long-term investment securities by the government that pay interest every six months until the bond matures.
These securities are auctioned by CBK every month. T-bonds usually have a fixed return rate, and you need a minimum investment of Ksh 50,000, half of what you need to buy T-bills.
Why Invest Through CBK DhowCDS
While you can invest in government T-bills and T-bonds through other platforms, a few reasons make CBK DhowCSD a better choice.
First, DhowCSD allows a quick signup. Everything is digitized, so there aren’t long, tiring manual processes of registering and using a trading account to invest in government securities.
While it used to take up to 14 days to open a trading account and have it approved manually, it takes minutes to do it in the DhowCSD way. This reduced turnaround has been why many investors are joining DhowCSD and buying government securities.
Today, CBK records more than 250 new DhowCDS accounts daily – up from 100 accounts a month during the old days.
Investors no longer make manual bids as bids go through the CBK DhowCSD platform. Interestingly, investors originally on the manual system were automatically transferred to the digital platform to allow them to trade for securities online.
Everything is done through commercial banks when making payments, as CBK no longer accepts cheques and cash deposits.
The other advantage of DhowCSD is cross-border inclusion. The platform allows local investors and those from abroad to participate.
It’s also worth noting that the DhowCSD system facilitates the smooth trading of securities while allowing smaller banks to offer favorable interbank rates. In the long run, that could help balance the interbank market.
Overall, investors can engage in online auctions of government securities, access their portfolios, and view real-time results. Even better, investors from abroad won’t have to come to Kenya to buy government securities as they can now do everything from their phones.
How to Bid for Government Securities on The CBK DhowCSD Platform
It generally takes these steps to create a bid on the DhowCSD platform:
- Log into the investors portal and locate the Auction Menu
- Check out the listed government securities that are available for bidding
- Choose your preferred securities and click Create Bid, and that enables the Place New Bid template to pop up
- Create on the top left side the broker if applicable
- Select your source of funds (local vs. offshore) and choose the specific sources of funds
- Accept the terms to bid for the securities formally
What Can You Do With The CBK DhowCSD App?
Several times, I’ve mentioned the DhowCSD mobile app as an option for accessing the CBK DhowCSD portal. Here are things you can do with the mobile app:
- Open a CBK DhowCSD investment account
- Manage the investment account from anywhere in the world
- Bid for government securities (participate in the auctions)
- View updated investment portfolio statements
- View payment details and auction results
- Pledge instruction and initiate applicable secondary market
Overall, you are looking at an app that’s simple, user-friendly, secure, efficient and convenient.
The CBK DhowCSD is a fantastic platform for bidding and buying government securities. So, if you are interested in treasury bills or bonds as an investment option, you can set up your DhowCSD account today to start trading.
The process is straightforward and efficient through the platform. If you’ve questions about the investment vehicle or need clarification, contact us on social media, and we’ll gladly get back to you.