|Friday 30th of January 2015
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I am looking forward to being the Speaker on Saturday 31st January
going to cover Oil Warfare Currency Puzzles Geopolitics Is
#Africarising EAC Boko Haram #CharlieHebdo Kenya
The Philosophy of #Mindspeak was informed by the Mevlana and an
Inscription which is written as You enter the Mausoleum in Konya which
"Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you
have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come ,
Sic transit gloria mundi
Sic transit gloria mundi is a Latin phrase that means "Thus passes the
glory of the world." It has been interpreted as "Worldly things are
The phrase was used in the ritual of papal coronation ceremonies
between 1409 (when it was used at the coronation of Alexander V)
and 1963. As the newly chosen pope proceeded from the sacristy of St.
Peter's Basilica in his sedia gestatoria, the procession stopped three
times. On each occasion a papal master of ceremonies would fall to his
knees before the pope, holding a silver or brass reed, bearing a tow
of smoldering flax. For three times in succession, as the cloth burned
away, he would say in a loud and mournful voice, "Pater Sancte, sic
transit gloria mundi!" ("Holy Father, so passes worldly glory!") These
words, thus addressed to the pope, served as a reminder of the
transitory nature of life and earthly honors. The stafflike instrument
used in the aforementioned ceremony is known as a "sic transit gloria
mundi", named for the master of ceremonies' words. A form of
the phrase appeared in Thomas à Kempis's 1418 work The Imitation of
Christ: "O quam cito transit gloria mundi" ("How quickly the glory of
the world passes away").
Emily Dickinson used the line in a whimsical valentine written to
William Howland in 1852 and subsequently published in the Springfield
Sic transit gloria mundi
How doth the busy bee,
Dum vivimus vivamus,
I stay my enemy!
.@BarackObama's Pivot to Iran Foreign Policy
Law & Politics
With President Barack Obama's welcome and warmly received trip to
India this week, commentators have dusted off the well-worn platitudes
associated with the administration's once-vaunted "pivot to Asia." The
week's other events, however -- from the president's decision to cut
his stay in Delhi short to attend King Abdullah's funeral in Riyadh to
the chaos in Yemen, from ongoing nuclear diplomacy with Iran to
Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to ensure his relationship with Obama
will be seen as the most toxic in the history of Israel and the United
States -- suggest this administration's foreign-policy legacy may
ultimately center on a different "strategic rebalancing." This one
will benefit, however, in ways once unimaginable in U.S.
foreign-policy circles, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
If the president thinks a brief drop-by in Saudi Arabia is going to
somehow offset the House of Saud's fury at an Iran deal, he's not
What's more, the United States is now providing the air power that is
enabling Iranian forces to gain and hold ground for their client,
effectively putting a big chunk of Iraq even deeper in Iran's pocket.
(It is an especially peculiar development of the past weeks that when
America's historic allies, the Israelis, launched an attack that
killed an Iranian general in Syria, they were in fact eliminating a
member of a military organization that is currently fighting
alongside, and in coordination with, the United States next door in
"It's not even close," he said, "Carter and Begin was bad. But this
is worse." That seems about right to me. While Obama has done plenty
to damage the relationship (and his staff hasn't helped with
descriptions of the Israeli prime minister as "chickenshit"), the most
recent downturn is all Bibi's fault (with a profoundly unconstructive
assist from House Speaker John Boehner). Netanyahu's decision to
accept Boehner's invitation to address the U.S. Congress on the
dangers of the Iran nuclear deal is a case of sending the wrong man at
the wrong time to give the wrong speech in the wrong place.
I think Havana was the Aperitif and the Tehran Rapprochement is real
and the main course.
28-OCT-2013 ::@BarackObama and @HassanRouhani The 2 Husseins
Law & Politics
THE recent rapprochement between President Barack Obama and Iran's
Hassan Rouhani has certainly snapped a losing sequence in US-Iran
relations that goes all the way back to the Iranian revolution in 1979
when Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of
Iran. The Shah was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi
and otherwise known as the peacock throne. Hussein [Barack Hussein
Obama] and Hassan [Rouhani] share the same name as did Prophet
Muhammed's revered grandsons. Those who pursue the study of
anthroponymy [personal names] especially in the Islamic World probably
view this as very fortuitous.
I was wandering around the Hirshhorn Gallery in Washington last year
and I came across this from the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei:
What's in a name?
A name is the first and final marker of individual rights, one fixed
part of the ever-changing human world. A name is the most basic
characteristic of our human rights: No matter how poor or how rich,
all living people have a name, and it is endowed with good wishes, the
expectant blessings of kindness and virtue.
Hussein and Hassan are going to cut through a great deal of
interference. In this situation, there are powerful vested interests
fully invested in the status quo. If the pax Americana in the Middle
East were a three legged stool with the US the most important leg,
then Israel and Saudi Arabia are the other two legs of that stool.
Neither Riyadh nor Tel Aviv are aligned with President Obama's Iranian
rapprochement and Saudi Arabia in particular has become increasingly
forthright and is even threatening its own pivot and away from the US.
Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
Dollar Index 94.56
Japan Yen 117.81
Swiss Franc 0.9200
Aussie 0.7791 Aussie dollar barely made any recovery on Friday, after
dropping nearly 2 percent to $0.7720 AUD=D4 on Thursday, a low unseen
since July 2009
India Rupee 61.746
South Korea Won 1093.31
Brazil Real 2.6032
Egypt Pound 7.5895
South Africa Rand 11.5283
@Diageo_News #Africa within the Earnings Release
"Our overall performance in Africa has improved, with net sales up 5%.
We have begun to lap the excise duty change on Senator in Kenya in the
half, performance in our Africa Regional Markets has improved as beer
in Ghana and Cameroon is in good growth, we have delivered strong
growth in spirits in Angola as a result of improved route to consumer
and our performance in Nigeria improved. Nigeria remains a challenging
market, though, as consumers continue to trade down into value beer.
However, the successful launch of Orijin and the improved performance
of Satzenbrau drove growth in beer despite softness in other brands
and destocking. In South Africa Smirnoff 1818 and Johnnie Walker
delivered very strong performances. Spirits in Africa were up 19% with
double digit growth in every market, driven by both mainstream
international spirits and our strong local spirits brands. Across
Africa we have continued to build our route to consumer and invested
in our brands, with marketing spend up 12%, driven by the global
Guinness platform 'Made of More' and our latest execution 'Made of
Black'. Reserve has gone from strength to strength with net sales up
25% and we have driven out costs from all of our markets. Operating
margin however was down 26 basis points. Mix in South Africa and price
and mix in East Africa drove margin improvement in these two markets,
but margin declined in Nigeria and despite strong margin expansion in
Ghana and Angola, net sales declines in other countries in Africa
Regional Markets eroded margin for that market."
Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn
Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified
the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have
become more contagious.
More than 22,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 8,795 have
died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Scientists are starting to analyse hundreds of blood samples from
Ebola patients in Guinea.
They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish
whether it's able to jump more easily from person to person
"We know the virus is changing quite a lot," said human geneticist Dr
A virus can change itself to less deadly, but more contagious and
that's something we are afraid of"
Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai
"That's important for diagnosing (new cases) and for treatment. We
need to know how the virus (is changing) to keep up with our enemy."
It's not unusual for viruses to change over a period time. Ebola is an
RNA virus - like HIV and influenza - which have a high rate of
mutation. That makes the virus more able to adapt and raises the
potential for it to become more contagious.
"We've now seen several cases that don't have any symptoms at all,
asymptomatic cases," said Anavaj Sakuntabhai.
"These people may be the people who can spread the virus better, but
we still don't know that yet. A virus can change itself to less
deadly, but more contagious and that's something we are afraid of."
@_AfricanUnion May Appoint Mugabe as Next Chairman @AFP Reports
The African Union may appoint Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as
it's next chairman, Agence France-Presse reported, citing diplomats it
Mugabe is "widely expected" to succeed Mauritanian President Mohamed
Ould Abdel Aziz at the continental bloc's two-day summit that begins
in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday, the news agency
The 90-year-old's appointment would send "mixed signals and an
extremely awkward message on international levels on how the AU stands
on principles of democracy and good governance," AFP quoted Jeggan
Gey-Johnson, spokesman for pan-African civil-society group The AU We
Want, as saying.
@AU_PSD 14h14 hours ago Happening now: #24thAUSummit - 484th meeting of #AUPSC at level of HoSG
January 27, 2015 Index: Economic Freedom Expands in Many Parts of
Sub-Saharan Africa's overall level of economic freedom remains low,
yet the region experienced the most widespread improvement over the
last year, according to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, published
by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation.
Sub-Saharan Africa lacks a "free" economy, and is home to only one
classified as "mostly free" (Mauritius). A majority of the region's
economies are either "mostly unfree" or "repressed." But six of the
world's 10 biggest score improvements (São Tomé and Príncipe,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Senegal, Burundi and Zimbabwe)
occurred there last year, and the region continues to move in the
Yet despite the "substantial growth momentum" evident in many
economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, "the region as a whole continues to
underperform in following through on policy changes that will help the
emergence of a more dynamic private sector," the editors write.
Twenty-seven of Sub-Saharan Africa's 46 economies posted improved
Index scores last year. São Tomé and Príncipe's 4.5-point gain (the
world's biggest gain) moved it out of the "repressed" category to
"mostly unfree", while the Democratic Republic of Congo's 4.4-point
improvement lifted it out of the world's bottom 10 economies.
Mauritius, despite a slight decline in its score, remains the region's
leader, followed by Botswana, which lost 2.2 points, dropping it into
the "moderately free" category.
Swaziland's 1.3-point loss caused it to slide into the "mostly unfree"
category that prevails among the region's economies. Liberia and
Sierra Leone, despite the challenges of Ebola, have moved up from the
ranks of the "repressed" to "mostly unfree." Six others, including
Angola, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau and Seychelles, have registered
sustained growth in economic freedom over the past five years.
However, Sub-Saharan Africa has nine "repressed" economies, the
highest of any region. "It remains to be seen whether the region's
political leaders have the political will to undertake the fundamental
economic reforms that are needed to translate narratives of 'Africa
Rising' into reality," the Index editors write.
2015 Index of Economic Freedom
South Africa All Share Bloomberg +2.44% 2015
50,945.56 -255.01 -0.50%
Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 11.5293
@metesohtaoglu At least 44 dead, over 80 injured in attacks on #Egypt police HQ in #Sinai
Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 7.5894
Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +10.31% 2015
Staving Off Nigeria's Next Train Wreck Africa's biggest democracy is pushing ahead with its next election. Here's why that would be a mistake PRINCETON N. LYMAN
Nigeria is scheduled to hold elections in February 2015. They should
The country is heading into these elections with insufficient
preparation, extreme tensions, and wracked by Boko Haram, the brutal
Islamist insurgency whose murders and kidnappings have shocked the
world. Yet there is no national consensus in Nigeria on how to deal
with this insurgency, and no one seems prepared to confront it as the
national crisis it is.Yet there is no national consensus in Nigeria on
how to deal with this insurgency, and no one seems prepared to
confront it as the national crisis it is. Instead the matter has
become deeply politicized, as competing regional factions accuse each
other of active complicity with the terrorists.
Finally, the rapidly dropping price of oil -- which fuels political
patronage, serves as the basis of the national budget, and drives
foreign exchange earnings -- will intensify the competition for both
power and access to that resource, while likely worsening poverty for
the vast majority of Nigerians.
All this points to the likelihood of fraud, contention, and violence
in the wake of the election no matter who wins. The country will not
break apart, but large parts of it may become ungovernable, and the
depredations of Boko Haram and perhaps other militias will increase.
Nigeria's National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki recently called for a
postponement of the election in order to address some of these
But the political system in Nigeria today is dysfunctional, and this
reality, combined with the breakdown of law and order in the
northeast, is taking the country down. It is time for leaders from all
walks of life to step forward and change this direction.
Kenya: Counterterrorism Operations Undermine Rights No Justice for Security Force Abuses JANUARY 29, 2015 @HRW
"Kenyan authorities need to find lawful ways to address the country's
growing security problems," said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa
director. "Instead, from Mandera to Mombasa, Kenyan forces use tactics
that have resulted in abuses of thousands of people."
Rather than respond to criticisms of the security forces, Kenyan
lawmakers passed legislation that further empower security forces and
strengthen legislative controls over media, civil society, and other
sources of independent criticism.
The Asymmetric Threat remains potent and real and I think the
Government's response has been like using a Sledge Hammer to crack a
Nut. And the Assassination Policy invites Escalation and my home Town
Mombasa is bearing the brunt of the Blow-back with Tourism in serious
31-DEC-2014 Tourism will need a calm 2015 for full recovery @TheStarKenya
The 'tourist economy' which is worth well north of a $1billion a year
(which I am experiencing as I write this at the Swahili Beach Hotel in
the South Coast - listening to the Indian Ocean breeze and
anticipating my boat trip tomorrow to see the dolphins) is going to
remain a drag on 2015 Gross Domestic Product.
There is no silver bullet. Once upon a time we used to count elephants
on our road trips from Mombasa to Nairobi; this time we were counting
foreign tourists and they were very thin on the ground.
We have a fabulous offering but it has been shot down in the
insecurity crossfire. Israeli Prime Ministers would always talk of a
"period of calm" before entering into any negotiations with the
Palestinians. The tourism sector needs a 12 month period of calm
before it can recover.
''Places that depend on tourism, for example, are particularly
susceptible to perceived instability'' writes Nasim N. Taleb in the
latest edition of foreign policy in a piece titled ''The Calm Before
the Storm Why Volatility Signals Stability, and ?Vice Versa.'' The Key
words are ''perceived instability.'' Its all about the perception. We
live in an always on 24-hour world. I have yet to see the plan which
bends the perception curve.
East Africa commentary via @Diageo_News Half Year Earnings Release
East Africa's performance, with volume and net sales up 7% and 11%
respectively was driven by robust performances in both beer and
spirits. Double digit net sales growth of both Tusker and Guinness for
East Africa, along with value offerings Balozi in Kenya and Kibo Gold
in Tanzania, more than offset the continued decline of Senator that
resulted from excise duty changes in the comparable period and
accounted for 5pps of net sales growth. Spirits net sales growth was
driven by Kane Extra and Johnnie Walker, which benefitted from
increased distribution and new 'Tavern Packs' which combine 20 cl pack
sizes of Red Label with ginger beer and a cup and are targeted at
premium pubs and mainstream outlets that previously did not stock the
Bodes well for EABL's Earnings Release in February
The Nairobi All Share closed the week 0.57 points better to close at
165.80. The All Share is +1.786% in January.
The Nairobi NSE20 Index regained the 5,200 level to close 17.90 points
better at 5,212.11. The NSE20 is +1.94% in January and this is the
first time in the entire 36 month bull run that the NSE20 is
outperforming the All Share and that speaks to the outperformance of
previously bombed out stocks like Mumias Sugar which is +48.71% in
January and Kenya Airways is +25.86% over the same period.
Volume clocked 1.238b and this was busiest trading session of 2015
with yesterday the 2nd busiest trading session of the month.
The Equity Market has posted a very creditable performance in January.
Egypt leads, South Africa is ahead of Nairobi in January and this
compares with the Nigeria All Share which is down more than 14% over
the same period and the worst performing Index in the World in 2015.
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
Safaricom firmed 0.354% to close at 14.15 and was trading at 14.25
+1.06% at the Finale with 9.095m shares worth 128.938m shillings
changing hands. Safaricom is +0.7117% in 2015 and 5.666% below a
record closing high of 15.00 reached last year. My Price Target is
20.00 in 2015.
Kenya Airways rallied +2.816% to close at a Fresh 6 month High of
10.95 and was trading shares at 11.05 +3.76% at the finish and just
off session Highs. Kenya Airways traded volume significantly higher
than its Daily volume moving average with 882,200 shares changing
hands. Kenya Airways has surged +25.86% in January as Management Moves
and a worldwide airline stock rally combine to encourage Buyers.
.@KenyaAirways share price data here +25.86% 2015
Nation Media [which has been on the defensive of late] traded 6,900
shares all at 276.00 +2.22% and interestingly there were 10 Buyers for
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
Kenya Commercial Bank was the most actively traded share at the
Securities Exchange and closed unchanged at 58.50 and traded 3.101m
shares worth 181.658m. Kenya Commercial Bank is +2.631% in January and
Buyers outpaced Sellers by a 40 versus 26 Ratio signalling good
support 2.5% below a record Closing High.
.@KCBGroup share price data here +2.631% 2015
Standard Chartered firmed 0.58% to close at 341.00 and traded good
sized volume of 154,600 shares worth 52.862m. Standard Chartered is
+1.791% in January and has plenty of Price headroom.
Housing Finance which recently announced the Terms of its Rights issue
[1 share for every 2 held at a Price of 30.00] followed on yesterdays
12.5% tumble with another 6.547% lurch lower to close at 39.25 and
traded 238,200 shares worth 9.403m.
Centum eased 1.58% to close at 63.00 and traded 1.193m shares worth
74.208m. Centum is +3.27% in January and that follows on two
consecutive triple digit percentage gains in 2013 and in 2014.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
EABL's majority shareholder Diageo released First Half Earnings and we
learnt from the accompanying commentary;
''East Africa's performance, with volume and net sales up 7% and 11%
respectively was driven by robust performances in both beer and
spirits. Double digit net sales growth of both Tusker and Guinness for
This bodes well for EABL's Earnings Release next month. EABL firmed
0.3225% to close at 311.00 and was trading at 315.00 +1.61% at the
Closing Bell. Trading was thin with 28,900 shares traded and 4 Buyers
for every Seller signalling short term upside traction.
Mumias Sugar rallied +5.454% to close at 2.90 and was locked at limit
up 3.00 +9.09% for most of the session. Mumias Sugar traded good
volume of 9.094m shares. Mumias Sugar is the best performing share at
the Securities in January and has rallied +48.71% in 2015.
Mumias Sugar share price data here +48.71% in 2015
KenolKobil rallied +2.08% to close at 9.80 on heavy volume of 3.554m
shares. KenolKobil has rallied +12.264% in January.
BAT traded 60,800 shares worth 54.72m all at 900.00 unchanged.