|Thursday 19th of February 2015
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Normal Board - The Whole shebang
Prompt Board Next day settlement
Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
Carlos Santana [is a genius]
"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is
ready, we shall never begin." -- Ivan Turgenev
"We sit in the mud my friend and reach for the stars" -- Ivan Turgenev
"O youth! youth! you go your way heedless, uncaring - as if you owned
all the treasures of the world; even grief elates you, even sorrow
sits well upon your brow. You are self-confident and insolent and you
say, 'I alone am alive - behold!' even while your own days fly past
and vanish without trace and without number, and everything within you
melts away like wax in the sun .. like snow .. and perhaps the whole
secret of your enchantment lies not, indeed, in your power to do
whatever you may will, but in your power to think that there is
nothing you will not do: it is this that you scatter to the winds -
gifts which you could never have used to any other purpose. Each of us
feels most deeply convinced that he has been too prodigal of his gifts
- that he has a right to cry, 'Oh, what could I not have done, if only
I had not wasted my time."
-- Ivan Turgenev, First Love
US admits withholding some Iran talks info from Israel @timesofisrael
Law & Politics
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration said Wednesday it is withholding
from Israel some sensitive details of its nuclear negotiations with
Iran because it is worried that Israeli government officials have
leaked information to try to scuttle the talks -- and will continue to
In extraordinary admissions that reflect increasingly strained ties
between the US and Israel, the White House and State Department said
they were not sharing everything from the negotiations with the
Israelis and complained that Israeli officials had misrepresented what
they had been told in the past.
Meanwhile, senior US officials privately blamed Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu himself for "changing the dynamic" of previously
robust information-sharing by politicizing it.
The comments came as a late March deadline to forge the outline of an
Iran nuclear deal looms. Netanyahu has angered the White House by his
open opposition to a deal he believes threatens Israel's existence,
and by accepting a Republican invitation to address Congress about
Iran in early March without consulting the White House, a breach of
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that sharing
all details of the negotiations with governments that are not at the
table would complicate efforts to get a deal that would prevent Iran
from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for sanctions relief. The
talks are being held among the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United
States -- Germany and Iran.
"The United States is not going to be in a position of negotiating
this agreement in public, particularly when we see that there is a
continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information
and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of
the United States," Earnest said, when asked whether the US was
limiting the amount of information it shared with Israel about the
In its January policy statement, the Fed gave a nod to turmoil in markets across the globe, saying it would take "financial and international developments" into account.
It was the first time since January 2013 that the Fed made an overt
reference to overseas economic events in its policy statement.
The Fed repeated in January that it would be "patient" in deciding
when to raise benchmark borrowing costs from zero, where they have
been since late 2008, and acknowledged a decline in certain inflation
measures. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in December that being "patient"
implied the Fed would not raise rates at least for the next two
The minutes from the January policy meeting show that many of its
participants feared that dropping "patient" - whenever the time comes
- risks shifting market expectations of a rate hike to an "unduly
narrow range of dates."
The reference to the narrow range of dates suggests the central bank
is worried that when "patient" is dropped, investors will put too much
weight on its meaning, and financial markets will overreact.
Dove-ish but the FED is also a Hostage to the Data ad I expect the
Data to strengthen.
@Nestlé to be the first major US confectioner to remove artificial colours and flavouring from its chocolate
Nestlé plans to be the first major confectioner in the US to remove
all artificial colours and flavouring from its chocolate products, the
firm has announced.
The Swiss food conglomerate said it would make the changes to more
than 250 chocolates before the end of 2015, prompted by market
research that showed US consumers were keen to see more natural
ingredients in their junk food. A recent Nielsen survey found that
more than 60 per cent of Americans considered the absence of
artificial colouring or flavouring an important factor in food
Nestlé, which made more than £4.5m in global confectionery sales in
the first nine months of last year, will replace the artificial
flavours and colours with natural ingredients in more than 75 recipes
used in products including Nestlé Crunch, Chunky, Butterfinger, Oh
Henry and Baby Ruth, Raisinets, Goobers and Sno Caps.
@JoyDoreenBiira @dadakim: Are efforts to limit presidential power in #Africa working?
Are efforts to limit presidential power in Africa working? Washington Post
Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's president, will wait six additional weeks
before he faces voters at the polls in his reelection campaign. The
electoral commission declared that the presidential and legislative
elections, originally scheduled for Feb. 14, will be postponed until
March so the military can launch an operation to secure the northeast
from Boko Haram and allow voters in the region to participate in the
But the government has proved incapable of securing the region for the
past six years - what will six weeks do? Critics claim this delay is
to Jonathan's advantage, given the extremely tight race forecast
against rival candidate Muhammadu Buhari.
This is not the first attempt by Jonathan to change the rules of the
game to lengthen his time in power. Nigeria's Constitution limits
presidents to two four-year terms. Because Jonathan ascended to the
presidency in 2010 upon the death of incumbent Umaru Yar'Adua, and
then won the regularly scheduled election in 2011, there were legal
challenges to his eligibility to run again in 2015. The high court
ruled in his favor, which obviated the need for Jonathan to pursue
alternative mechanisms he had suggested - such as limiting the
president's term to one, longer, term. This was a tactic attempted by
former president Olusegun Obasanjo, although it was ultimately
defeated in the legislature.
Nigeria is not the only country where limits to staying in power are
being tested. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, ruling President
Joseph Kabila has delayed setting a date for a presidential election
in 2016. Last month, he attempted to pass an electoral reform bill
that would have allowed him to stay in power, but this was dropped by
lawmakers following massive popular protests and 42 civilian deaths.
In November 2014, Burkina Faso's former president Blaise Compaoré's
attempt to push legislation through the National Assembly to repeal
presidential term limits resulted in his ousting by a popular
insurrection. The power void this created led to a military takeover,
followed by a fragile transitional civilian-military government,
attempting to organize elections for October 2015.
When they are upheld, presidential term limits across the African
continent have played a key role in creating critical opportunities
for alternation in power. And attempts by sitting presidents to
extend or remove term limits have resulted in conflicts and political
disorder, democratic transition, or authoritarian stability.
Term limits are focal points for political change because they
challenge the legitimacy of the incumbent's right to maintain power.
Term limit repeal attempts can unite previously fragmented opposition
political parties and individual leaders against the incumbent. Civil
society organizations also mobilize around upholding term limits,
seeing the opportunity to advance the rule of law and democratic
rights as separate from partisan politics that frequently limits their
coordination with the opposition. Term limits also provide distinct
legal mechanisms that can bolster the autonomy and credibility of the
judicial system. Additionally, public opinion is often mobilized
around upholding term limits, providing an opportunity for collective
action to protest the offenses of the ruling regime. And term limits
provide an opening for international pressure, to support neutral
application of the law and democratic elections.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 34 constitutions have been implemented since
the 1990s that have term limits in place. Of these, 20 percent have
had full compliance. In Benin, for example, President Mathieu Kerekou
is reported to have offered members of parliament substantial bribes
to support a third term, but civil society mobilization and opposition
politicians successfully agitated and the attempt was abandoned. In
12 percent of the countries, legislative amendments were introduced
and failed, such that term limits were upheld through
institutionalized means. This was the case for Nigeria's Obasanjo, as
well as in Malawi and Zambia.
The most frequent outcome, however, is for term limits to be repealed.
President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda highlighted the bargains often
struck with other political elite: combining a constitutional change
to allow multiparty competition was bundled with repealing term
limits. Other countries where this has happened include Cameroon,
Chad, Gabon, Namibia and Niger.
What is striking from these cases is the divergence of possible
pathways. Where term limits are repealed, the general result is
continuing authoritarian stability. But where term limits are
contested and even maintained, the outcome is much more uncertain. To
establish or sustain democracy, it is not sufficient for term limits
simply to be upheld. For example, in Burkina Faso, upholding term
limits led to the dissolution of the government in 2014, an interim
military-civilian transition, and the possibility of instability and
conflict, military rule, or democratic elections on the horizon.
Crucially, a plurality of the cases (35 percent) have not yet had an
opportunity to test the term limit debate. This is why each case, as
it unfolds, is so critical. Presidents are watching. Opposition
politicians and civil society organizations are waiting.
International pressures can play a critical role in determining which
path is taken, from upholding term limits to fostering credible and
Adherence to the rule of law is not a matter of restricting voter
choices - as some critics of term limits claim. Term limits provide
an opportunity for contestation, participation, representation and
limiting the concentration of power around one individual. But they
are most assuredly not a panacea for democracy and stability. As
usual, Nigeria is emblematic of the challenges and opportunities ahead
for the continent.
In recent public opinion surveys, most favor constitutional term
limits to presidential power. Data: Afrobarometer Round 5 (2010-2012).
(Emily Hamilton/The Monkey Cage)
10-NOV-2014 :: Ouagadougou's Signal to Sub-Saharan Africa
In a gesture similar to the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, or Muammar
Gaddafi in 2011, Beautiful Blaise Compaoré's statue in Bobo-Dioulassou
was also torn down.
The tipping point for this accelerated sequence of events was
President Compaoré stacking parliament in order to extend the
presidential term limit. There are plenty of African presidents who
are seeking to pull off the same magic trick and events in Ouagadougou
have surely put them on notice.
Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: "After the Arab
Spring, this is the Black Spring".
During the Arab Spring [now in the bleak mid-Winter], nearly all
commentators spoke of how this North African wildfire could not leap
the Sahara and head to sub-Saharan Africa. The reasons were that the
State [incumbents] had a monopoly on the tools of violence and would
bring overwhelming force and violence to bear.
We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone
cold dead in such a situation - 100, 1,000, 10,000? This is another
point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can't go. Where
that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.
Therefore, the preeminent point to note is that protests in Burkina
Faso achieved escape velocity. Overthrowing incumbents is all about
acceleration, momentum and speed best characterised by the Ger- man
Out of a population of 17 million people in Burkina Faso, over 60 per
cent are aged between 17 and 24 years, according to the World Bank,
and this is another point to note. The country's youth flexed their
muscles. What's clear is that a very young, very informed and very
connected African youth demographic [many characterise this as a
'demographic dividend'] - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a
demographic terminator - is set to alter the existing equilibrium
between the rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun
Ccy Security B Px A Px B YTM A YTM B ZS A ZS PChgD PChgW
USD GHANA 8 1/8 01/18/26 96.250-97.250 8.66/8.52 649/634
USD TNZNIA 0 03/08/20 103.000-104.000 5.70/5.47 504/486 0.00/+1.00
USD RWANDA 6 5/8 05/02/23 101.000-102.000 6.46/6.31 441/426 0.00/+0.50
USD IVYCST 5 3/8 07/23/24 94.750-95.500 6.12/6.01 397/386 -0.25/+0.88
USD IVYCST 3 3/4 12/31/32 94.500-95.250 6.49/6.39 429/418 -0.25/+0.63
USD REPCON 3 06/30/29 87.000-92.000 6.95/6.38 461/403 0.00/0.00
USD KENINT 5 7/8 06/24/19 101.750-102.500 5.42/5.22 381/362 -0.13/+0.25
USD KENINT 6 7/8 06/24/24 104.000-105.000 6.30/6.16 417/403 -0.50/0.00
USD ETHOPI 6 5/8 12/11/24 97.880-98.880 6.92/6.78 477/463 -0.75/-0.12
USD ZAMBIN 8 1/2 04/14/24 108.000-109.000 7.28/7.14 520/505 0.00/+1.00
USD NGERIA 5 1/8 07/12/18 96.000-96.750 6.45/6.20 506/481 0.00/0.00
USD NGERIA 6 3/4 01/28/21 97.250-98.000 7.33/7.17 549/533 0.00/+0.25
USD NGERIA 6 3/8 07/12/23 93.500-94.500 7.43/7.26 536/520 0.00/+1.50
Sanctions-hit Russian group wins $4bn Uganda refinery deal @KatrinaManson
The Ugandan government and RT will now negotiate the terms of a joint
venture to engineer and finance the $2.5bn refinery plus a product
pipeline and associated infrastructure.
The decision to award the contract to the Russian company cements
growing ties between Moscow and the east African country, which
increasingly characterises the west as a neo-colonial aggressor.
Sergei Chemezov, Rostec's chief executive, is a former KGB officer and
close ally of President Vladimir Putin. He has been subject to US
sanctions -- blocking his assets and prohibiting US companies from
dealing with him -- since April 2014 in response to Russia's military
involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In September, the EU
Although Uganda is under no legal compulsion to comply with the
sanctions, the decision will further threaten its international
standing, already knocked last year by the introduction of anti-gay
legislation that drew global censure and led some western donors to
halt aid until the law was overturned.
Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's president, has struck up a personal
friendship with Mr Putin in recent years; a person close to Mr
Museveni says both share an appreciation for strongman diplomacy
directed against the west.
The decision to do business with a Russian military contractor whose
chief executive is subject to sanctions "sounds typical Museveni" said
one senior western diplomat.
"The west won't dictate to us who we do business with, even if the
chief executive [of Rostec] is under US sanctions," Ofwono Opondo, a
Ugandan government spokesman, told the FT on Tuesday. "We have very
cordial, diplomatic relations with Russia -- they supply us military
equipment, they train our officers. We are not going to allow anybody
to choose for us our friends. If the west has problems with Putin that
is their problem."
Uganda has spent more than $700m on Russian fighter jets since 2011,
bought from Rosoboronexport, another Rostec subsidiary, and sent
Russian-made tanks across the border to defend neighbouring South
Sudan's government in its civil war.
The refinery has long been a cause of tension holding back oil
production in the first east African country to discover the
hydrocarbon on its territory. Oil companies including China's CNOOC,
France's Total and the UK's Tullow spent years fighting Kampala's
plans for a big domestic refinery in favour of an export pipeline.
Both sides eventually compromised on a smaller-scale project last
A spokeswoman for Uganda's ministry for energy said the refinery was
expected to commence production with 30,000 barrels a day in 2018 -- a
dozen years after oil was first discovered in the landlocked country.
It is due to reach60,000 barrels a day, two-thirds less than the
initial 180,000bpd Ugandan officials first had in mind.
George Boden, oil expert at UK-based campaigning group Global Witness,
said the contract agreements must all be published. "The refinery deal
is going to be absolutely crucial for how much revenue Uganda collects
-- a poor deal would leave the government subsidising an inefficient
refinery and could be left counting the environmental and social
cost," he said.
Billionaire Ibrahim Defies African 'Basket Case' Cliches
Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born billionaire philanthropist, says the Ebola
outbreak in West Africa has once again painted the entire continent as
a disaster zone.
There is a tendency to make general judgments: 'Africa is a basket
case,' or 'Africa is rising.' We always lurch from one extreme to the
other. What people need to do is spend a little time looking at the
granularity of what's happening in Africa.
If you go to some parts of the Congo, you might say, 'This is jungle;
this is ungovernable.'
Other countries are fracturing -- look at what's happening in Libya.
That's a complete failure. Go to other nations, such as Botswana or
Mauritius, and you'll see a pleasant place with a sensible government.
Namibia is a very well-run country. It's huge, with a lot of potential
resources, and it has good roads and railways. This is a country
investors should look at.
I love Africa and have always been gunning for people to invest. I
prefer to be an African realist. To do that, we need facts.
South Africa All Share Bloomberg +5.65% 2015 [has corrected 459 points
off a record High 16th Feb]
Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 11.6103
Putin And The Mideast's Middleman. Egypt's Strategic Game
l-Sisi is playing a very strategic game in balancing his relations
between Washington and Moscow, with the aim that closer ties with the
latter will lead to a better arrangement with the former. The world is
arguably in the throes of a 'New Cold War', just this time, instead of
being between capitalism and communism, it's being played out between
unipolarity and multipolarity. The US used to hold the cards in Cairo
under Mubarak, but after betraying their old and aging ally in the
interests of guiding an inevitable leadership transition, they ended
up on the wrong side of history when their Muslim Brotherhood proxy
was overthrown by al-Sisi.
Understandably, the current president harbors no illusions about the
US' treacherous nature, yet he also knows that it's not wise (nor
possible) to completely break ties with the country, especially when
he's being patronized by the pro-US Gulf States. Under these
conditions and in the context of the unfolding 'New Cold War', al-Sisi
has sought to engage in a more pragmatic and balanced relationship
with all major regional and global players, hoping that this policy
can reap the greatest dividends for his country. This makes Egypt but
one of many pivotal countries currently engaging in multipolar
policies, placing it among the likes of Vietnam, India, and Turkey,
Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 7.6290
Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +6.88% 2015
Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -15.81% 2015 [has bounced 5.771% since 13th Feb]
29,177.58 +724.98 +2.55%
UPDATE 2-Nigeria fixes naira at 198/dollar in de facto devaluation @ReutersAfrica
Nigeria's central bank scrapped its bi-weekly currency auctions on
Wednesday and a market body said it would sell dollars only at 198
naira, a move that amounts to a de facto devaluation of the currency
of Africa's biggest economy.
With elections due in less than six weeks, the changes let the central
bank rein in its defence of the naira, on which it was spending more
than $100 million a day, while avoiding the politically unpalatable
FMDQ, a group comprising Nigeria's main commercial banks and the
central bank, said commercial banks had also been banned from
re-selling central bank dollars among themselves, another attempt to
end speculation in the naira.
The currency has lost more than 20 percent in the past three months as
oil prices collapsed and concern grew about political stability after
the six-week postponement of the Feb. 14 presidential elections.
Nigeria is Africa's top oil producer.
The scrapped dollar auctions made up only 10 percent of all FX trade,
and abandoning them meant the central bank had effectively ditched its
official 160-176/dollar target band, said Segun Agbaje, chief
executive of GT Bank and an FMDQ director.
Under new trading rules, banks will only be able to purchase foreign
exchange if they have a prior order from a corporate customer, such as
a fuel importer or foreign mobile phone company looking to repatriate
profits or dividends.
Boko Haram threatens to disrupt Nigeria poll
In the video, released on social media on Tuesday and obtained by US
based SITE intelligence group, Shekau issued a warning to the Goodluck
Jonathan's government that next month's elections would be disrupted
"Allah will not leave you to proceed with these elections even after
us, because you are saying that authority is from people to people,
which means that people should rule each other, but Allah says that
the authority is only to him, only his rule is the one which applies
on this land," he said.
"And finally we say that these elections that you are planning to do,
will not happen in peace, even if that costs us our lives.
In the video message, titled "A message to the leaders of the
disbelievers", the contents of which Al Jazeera has not been able to
independently verify, Shekau also takes aim at the leadership of
regional countries who are co-ordinating efforts against the group.
"You are claiming that we don't know how to fight, but we forced your
forces to flee from their bases and we freed our imprisoned brothers
from the prisons that you oppressed them in, only praise be to Allah."
Nigeria's presidential election was to be originally held on February
14, but was postponed due to security concerns.
Why Africa may be on the verge of an Internet boom @FortuneMagazine
A string of startups aimed at the Nigerian market have attracted huge
VC backing, and many believe their success could spur on the region.
At a processing center outside of Portland, Oregon, Christine Wigham
preps boxes of Brooks Brothers dress shoes and Macy's M -0.19%
handbags for shipment to Nigeria. She is one of 15 U.S. employees
working for Mall for Africa, an e-commerce startup that sells American
products to Nigeria's growing middle- and upper-class consumers.
Founded by Nigerian-born brothers, Chris and Tope Folayan, in 2011,
Mall for Africa racked up $17 million in sales in 2014, partnering
with U.S. retailers like Barney's, Bloomingdales, and Best Buy They're
not the only e-commerce startups focused on Nigeria. Jumia and Konga
also are trying to master the maiden market with digital platforms
that could scale to Africa's rising consumers. Collectively backed by
over $300 million in VC funding, the venture that overcomes Nigeria's
business challenges and brings in big sales could create the
continent's first big tech headlines.
Due to a decade of rapid economic growth in Africa, consumer spending
is estimated to exceed $1 trillion annually by 2020-$400 billion of it
already occurring in Nigeria, according to McKinsey's Global
Institute. Meeting the demands of these newly-empowered shoppers,
whose wants are outpacing Africa's traditional marketplaces, will
generate some $75 billion in ecommerce revenue by 2025, McKinsey
Along with Africa's greater discretionary spending, its populations
are urbanizing, IT infrastructure is improving, and the continent's
smartphone penetration is rising.
"The energy is already out there," said Sim Shagaya, CEO of Konga,
which was founded in 2012. "Africa does not lack an abundance of
people to buy things, sell things, or move them around. What Africa
lacks is a 21st century operating system to make it all work."
While Mall for Africa caters to a niche digital market, the contest
for e-commerce scale is occurring between Konga and Jumia. Jumia has
received $200 million in funding; it operates in 8 countries. Konga is
not far behind, with $100 million in VC funding and plans to expand
outside of Nigeria this year.
"Everyone talks about profitability, but these guys are in the very
early innings," said Eghosa Omoigui, Founding Partner of EchoVC, a
Silicon Valley fund investing in African startups. "For now, Konga and
Jumia need to build their digital marketplace infrastructure, master
their logistics, and establish compelling brand value. It's going to
be expensive and take time. Whoever's recurrently generating the
highest gross merchandise value will lead."
However it plays out, "what's happening with Konga and Jumia in
Nigeria is a precursor for African tech," said EchoVC's Omoiugui.
"Following their lead, you'll definitely see greater VC funding to the
continent. And don't be surprised by exits, acquisitions, and IPOs in
Africa's not so distant tech future."
Pygmy attacks on Bantu rivals in DR Congo leave 27 dead: UN @YahooNews
Since 2013, Bantu landowners have been locked in conflict with the
hunter-gatherer Pygmies in the district of Taganyika, particularly
around Manono, often fighting with traditional weapons like bows and
arrows and machetes.
The killings mark a resurgence in the violence in the Bantu majority
region which had subsided over the past few months.