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Britain says more cooperation could help ease Kenya travel advisory via @MailOnline
Asked about Britain's advisory, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told
a business meeting in Nairobi that closer cooperation with Kenyan
security agencies would help Britain better understand the threats and
how they can be countered.
"I very much hope that that will allow us to look again at our travel
advice in a new light when we have all that information and all that
transparency available to us," he said, without offering details.
"All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind
together." -- Jack Kerouac
"It'll take you eternities to get rid of me,' she adds sadly, which
makes me jealous, I want her to say I'll never get rid of her - I
wanta be chased till eternity till I catch her." -- Jack Kerouac, Big
Growing U.S. oil export debate has now spread to geopolitics
Law & Politics
Lifting the longstanding ban on U.S. crude oil exports would boost the
country's economy and enhance its global leadership, a former senior
Obama administration official will tell senators on Thursday,
introducing a strategic dimension to the growing debate over selling
American oil abroad.
In testimony submitted ahead of a Senate energy committee hearing on
U.S. crude export policy, the Pentagon's former undersecretary of
defense for policy, Michele Flournoy, argues policymakers in the
United States should embrace these various benefits to our allies and
ourselves and liberalize our crude export rules.
"Market conditions merit such a step and security dividends will not
be fully realized without it," said Flournoy, co-founder of the Center
for a New American Security.
A host of economic and geopolitical factors, from plummeting oil
prices, near-capacity storage facilities and sanctions against Iran
and Russia, are forcing both sides of the debate to address strategic
"Members of Congress are starting to focus on this issue in a big
way," said George Baker, executive director of Producers for American
Crude Exports - a group representing independent companies demanding
an end to the export ban.
He said the possibility of using oil exports to address policy on Iran
or Russia is now invoked in his discussions on Capitol Hill or with
the Obama administration.
"The notion of selling oil into the international market comes up
frequently," Baker said.
This was establish total US control over the pricing of Crude Oil.
More Iran Oil May Flow Within Months of Deal, Officials Say
Law & Politics
Iran exports 1 million to 1.1 million barrels of crude per day, down
from 2.5 million a day before strict U.S. and European Union sanctions
went into effect in mid-2012.
Iranian officials have said they want to add 1 million barrels a day
in a few months to the world market if the sanctions are suspended.
Analysts said Iran could reach its pre-sanctions export levels,
perhaps within a year of signing a deal, though exceeding that level
quickly would be harder because of infrastructure issues.
Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
Euro 1.0677 The euro was at $1.0676, headed for a weekly climb of 1.8
percent, the first since the second week of February.
Dollar Index 98.91
Japan Yen 120.67 Against the yen, the dollar edged down about 0.1
percent to 120.72 JPY=, well above its Wednesday post-Fed low of
Swiss Franc 0.9894
India Rupee 62.565
South Korea Won 1122.99
Brazil Real 3.3138
Egypt Pound 7.6333
South Africa Rand 12.2654
Euro Dollar 5 day Chart INO 1.0694
The euro inched up about 0.2 percent on the day to $1.0678 EUR= on
Friday, but remained far from its high of $1.1062 hit on Wednesday
after the Fed's announcement when it marked its biggest one-day rise
against the dollar in six years.
This week's volatile swings saw the common currency plunge to a
12-year low of $1.0457 on Monday.
Crude Oil 1 Month Chart INO 45.615 [Target below $40.00]
West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed after sliding 1.6
percent Thursday, its seventh drop in eight days. The price settling
at $42.82 or lower would be 20 percent below this year's peak for WTI,
meeting the common definition of a bear market. U.S. oil, which is
down 1.9 percent this week, hasn't posted a weekly advance since early
Brent rose 0.4 percent to $54.64 a barrel in London.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose to the highest level in weekly records from
the Energy Department's statistical arm dating back to August 1982.
Output accelerated by 53,000 barrels a day to 9.42 million per day,
the fastest pace since at least January 1983.
In a World Awash With Crude Oil, Storage Companies Are Kings
In a world awash with cheap oil and plunging profits, one obscure
corner of the energy business is shining brightly: the owners of
While not nearly as famous as giant oil producers like Exxon Mobil
Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, storage companies including Vopak NV,
Kinder Morgan Inc., Oiltanking GmbH and Magellan Midstream Partners LP
are among those benefiting from rising demand for onshore tanks -- and
higher prices to rent limited space.
"Storage is king," said Jean Francois Lambert, global head of
commodity finance at HSBC Holdings Ltd. in London. "Good tanking at
the right location could make money."
Driven by record production from shale fields, the oil glut is bigger
in the U.S. than any other region, and particularly large around the
hub of Cushing, the Oklahoma town that calls itself the "pipeline
crossroad of the world." The International Energy Agency anticipates
that total U.S. stocks levels, already at a 80-year high of 459
million barrels, may soon test the limits of the country's tank
In the U.S. and beyond, traders are filling tanks to take advantage of
contango -- a relatively rare situation where forward prices are
higher than current prices, allowing people to buy oil cheap, store
the commodity in tanks and sell later, all the while locking in their
income through the use of derivatives.
The price difference between a West Texas Intermediate oil contract
for immediate delivery, the benchmark for U.S. prices, and the
one-year forward -- a measure of the contango -- stood at minus $12.86
a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since crude prices started falling
DP World Sees 2016 Profit Jump as Latest Ports Open to Ships
DP World Ltd., the operator of ports from China to Peru, said earnings
growth should accelerate from next year as terminal developments in
Rotterdam, Turkey and its home base of Dubai spur an increase in
DP World aims to boost capacity about 4 percent to 42 million
twenty-foot equivalent units this year as it seeks to lift the total
to 55 million by 2020, it said today. For so-called gross capacity,
including facilities run by partners and affiliates, the five-year
target is 100 million TEUs, it added.
Net income rose 12 percent to $675 million in 2014, higher than the
$657 million expected by analysts, swelled by contributions from
Brazil's Embraport and the London Gateway development, which both
opened the previous year. Volume growth in 2015 should be in line with
or slightly ahead of the market, Chief Executive Officer Mohammed
Sharaf said in a statement.
Earlier this week, DP World completed the purchase of Dubai
industrial-parks operator Economic Zones World FZE for $2.6 billion
from its own parent Dubai World, rather than see the complex sold to a
rival. 2015 will be a "busy year" for new projects, with 8 million
TEUs of gross capacity to be added at Yarimca, near Istanbul, Mumbai's
port of Nhava Sheva, Europe's biggest port at Rotterdam, and Dubai's
Jebel Ali Terminal 3.
DP World, which lifted sales 11 percent to $3.41 billion last year, is
"getting closer" to a decision on investing in Ecuador, and is "very
interested" in developing a free zone in Senegal, where it's awaiting
government approvals, Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said at an
Capital expenditure, including port expansion, is expected to range
between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion this year.
DP World financed the FZE deal with a combination of cash and a
draw-down of about $500 million from a revolving facility, said Yuvraj
Narayan, its chief financial officer.
The company has yet to utilize a $1.3 billion five-year revolving
credit, $1 billion remaining from a $3 billion loan, and $610 million
from a five-year Islamic murabaha facility.
The drop in oil prices has meant lower costs for DP World and should
also stimulate growth in economies where many of its 65 marine
terminals are located, Sulayem, said.
DP World will pay an annual dividend of 23.5 cents a share, up from 23
cents a year earlier.
@alykhansatchu I must say that the Camera @samsung's #Note4 is
just a marvel Dubai in the Afternoon
Morning from Dubai The Burj Khalifa
Thousands gather at Salva Kiir rally in South Sudan @AJEnglish
Juba, South Sudan - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir spoke on
Wednesday at a public rally for the first time since peace talks with
his rival Riek Machar failed just over two weeks ago.
Addressing thousands gathered in the capital city Juba, Kiir
emphasised that he will not be forced into a premature peace deal and
rejected the UN threat of sanctions against his country, which he said
would further hammer the crumbling economy.
"When I left [for the peace talks] some people thought that I would be
forced to sign a bad agreement," he said.
"But that signing was to be done by someone who wants things done
quickly ... in that way, I came to you without peace."
The president declared that even if he were to sign a deal with his
rival and former Vice President Riek Machar, it would do little to
improve the economic situation in the country in the short term given
that oil revenue in South Sudan - it's primary resource - is now
Therefore, he said: "We need to look at what we can do for ourselves -
our land, this very fertile land. As long as there is rain in South
Sudan we can make use of that land and forgetting about anything being
brought in from [the] outside."
"I am disappointed in the mobilisation to impose sanctions rather than
encourage peace. Sanctions at this time will not only devastate the
economy but increase pressures on the people of South Sudan who are
already desperate," declared Kiir.
For his part, the UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, Toby
Lanzer, on Tuesday expressed disappointment that peace talks between
Kiir and Machar had once again collapsed.
Lanzer highlighted that 2.5 million people in South Sudan are severely
food insecure while 400,000 children have not attended school since
the civil war broke out in December 2013.
"The situation is very grave and in the absence of peace, there is
every possibility of it becoming more serious," he said.
"We need real signals from the political leadership that it is going
to get better."
Mercenaries in Africa Leash the dogs of war Economist
DURING the 1980s Leon Lotz fought for the "Koevoet" ("crowbar" in
Afrikaans), a South African apartheid-era paramilitary unit charged
with rooting out nationalist guerrillas in what is now Namibia--acting
as "the crowbar which prises terrorists out of the bushveld like nails
from rotten wood," in the words of South Africa's then minister of law
and order, Louis le Grange.
Such skills should today serve handily on the front line of Nigeria's
campaign against Boko Haram, whose fighters hide in the difficult
bushland of the country's remote north-east. Mr Lotz died there this
month, reportedly killed by "friendly fire" from a Nigerian tank,
along with an unnamed Namibian man, said to be his Ovambo driver.
There are believed to be hundreds of foreigners--from South Africa,
Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics--engaged in Nigeria as private
soldiers. It is unclear whether they are taking active roles in
fighting, as several reports say, or simply providing training and
technical support for foreign-bought weapons, as the Nigerian
government claims. South African-made armoured vehicles have been
sighted in and around the city of Maiduguri.
Bringing in experienced hired guns may be a clever move by Nigeria's
army. It has performed abysmally against Boko Haram. But in a renewed
campaign over recent weeks, which delayed the presidential election
now set for March 28th, the army has made significant headway in the
war. The Nigerian government credits its own forces, but much of the
progress seems to have been helped by foreign contractors, as well as
military intervention by neighbouring armies, especially Chad's,
backed by aerial intelligence from France and the United States. "They
wanted results," said Jakkie Cilliers of the Institute for Security
Studies, a think-tank in Pretoria. "This is about working in an
environment with very limited infrastructure. It's about tracking and
bushcraft." The South Africans "have many skills in that regard".
Sometimes foreign mercenaries have been saviours--for instance in
Sierra Leone, when a privately hired helicopter-gunship crew helped to
save the capital, Freetown, from falling into the hands of
hand-chopping rebels in 2000. Soldiers of fortune will always find
their way to war. Regulating them, rather than trying to ban them,
might be a better solution on a continent that has too few effective
regular soldiers of its own.
The strike, carried out last Thursday as Mr. Garar who is believed to
have planned the 2013 attack on the Westgate mall in Kenya, the
Defense Department said.
The strike, carried out last Thursday as Mr. Garar traveled near
Diinsoor, Somalia, "dealt another significant blow" to the Shabab
group and killed Mr. Garar, who is believed to have planned the 2013
attack on the Westgate mall in Kenya, the Defense Department said.
SocGen to buy majority stake in Mauritius Commercial Bank Mozambique
South Africa All Share Bloomberg +6.67% 2015 [1.13% below a record
High reached 6th March]
52,741.02 +553.54 +1.06%
Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 12.2654
Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 7.6333
Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +6.67% 2015
Ghana Downgraded Deeper Into Junk by Moody's as Oil Slide Bites
Ghana had its credit rating cut by Moody's Investors Service after the
West African nation warned that tumbling oil prices will worsen its
government budget deficit.
The sovereign's foreign-currency rating was lowered one step to B3,
six levels below investment grade, Moody's said Thursday. The outlook
on the grade is negative. Standard and Poor's assesses Ghana at an
equivalent B-, while Fitch Ratings has it one grade higher, at B.
The move was the second downgrade by Moody's in less than a year for a
nation that's seeking a $1 billion loan from the International
Monetary Fund. The second-biggest economy in West Africa is struggling
to rein in inflation and grappling with a sliding currency that's the
continent's worst performer so far this year.
"The negative outlook reflects further downside risk to the country's
debt dynamics and liquidity pressure in the short-term if the
country's policies fail to successfully contain its fiscal deficit,
stabilize its currency and address current impediments to higher
economic growth," Moody's said.
The IMF has pledged to help bolster Ghana's currency, the cedi, on
condition the government reduces spending on salaries of civil
LNG from East Africa. How the odds are stacked
How much gas?
Vast amounts. Mozambique alone is estimated to have gas reserves
exceeding 170 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in the Rovuma Basin alone
whilst Tanzania has potentially as much as 50 TCF. But in a global
economy where commodity prices, consumer demand and 'timing to market'
are crucial, there is no guarantee that even these amounts can be
commercialised in the foreseeable future, particularly when one
considers the recent fall in the price of gas. However, for both
countries the prize is great. In an article written by Nadja Kogdenko
- East Africa: The Newest LNG Frontier - according to the Mozambique
Natural Gas Master Plan the country could potentially earn up to
US$5.2bn per annum by 2026 from LNG exports, creating more than 70,000
jobs in the gas sector. If fully monetised Tanzania could also expect
a large inflow of revenue into its treasury.
Zambia's kwacha fell more than 2.3 percent to a new record low against the dollar on Thursday, after a worsening foreign currency crunch fuelled panic buying in Africa's second-biggest copper producer.
The unit traded fell to 7.6500 per dollar, down sharply from 7.2000 a week ago.
"The supply of dollars is very limited and it is unlikely that there
will be a very significant change going into next week," a
Lusaka-based commercial bank trader said.
The kwacha has fallen about 20 percent since the start of the year,
mainly hit by lower copper prices and weak demand for the metal from
big importer China.
IMF puts Tanzania's economic growth above 7 pct in 2014
IMF Staff Holds Review Mission to Tanzania Press Release No. 15/125
March 19, 2015
"Recent macroeconomic developments have continued to be favorable.
Growth is estimated to have been slightly over 7 percent in 2014,
while inflation has dropped below the authorities' target of 5
percent. The recent international oil price decline will provide a
boost to the economy in 2015 and help contain inflation. The revised
national accounts, which incorporate recent surveys and methodological
improvements, suggest that the size of Tanzania's economy is about 30
percent bigger than earlier thought.
Abraaj Group and Helios Investment Partners are among potential
bidders for Actis's payment services firm Emerging Markets Payments
Group, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
A formal bidding process for EMP, which may fetch about $400 million,
could start as soon as this month, the people said, asking not to be
identified as the information is private. The sale may also draw
rivals that want to expand in emerging markets, they said.
Abraaj already has investments in the payments-services industry,
after it acquired a 49 percent stake in credit-card processor Network
International for about $540 million in 2011, from Dubai-based lender
Emirates NBD PJSC.
EMP provides services to more than 130 banks and 30,000 retailers and
other merchants across 45 countries in the Middle East and Africa,
according to its website.
The making of an African narco-state: Drugs, crime and dirty money are new big threats @MailandGuardian
NAIROBI city governor Evans Kidero raised eyebrows in Kenya this week
when he said that drug cartels are using proceeds from the illicit
trade to "take over" water provision services in the city.
The governor claimed that unnamed individuals connected to the illegal
trade are providing services that are the preserve of the city
Kidero's main grouse, it seems, is that the drug cartels are using
their money muscle out the city government - and so, denying the city
tax revenues and ultimately buying their way into positions of power
Although it's been seen as a diversionary tactic by the governor -
Kidero himself is under fire for corruption allegations dating back to
when he was the head of a partly state-owned sugar company - evidence
suggests that the broader trend he alludes to deserves more than a
Such "state capture" by organised crime networks has been done to
great effect in parts of Latin America, including Colombia and
Africa's drug cartel problem has not yet reached that level, except in
Guinea-Bissau that has been called "Africa's first narco-state", in
the sense that state institutions have virtually taken over by drug
And particularly in the Kenyan context, the imminent threat - even if
it is has less of the sound-bite punch of narco-jihad - is the slow
hollowing out of the state by the entrenchment of illicit money from
"While to the onlooker Kenya appears to be in a relatively healthy
state, it is in fact weakening due to a process of internal decay,"
says this damning report by the International Peace Institute (IPI).
"Endemic corruption and powerful transnational criminal networks are
'white-anting' state institutions and public confidence in them.
Termites are at work, hollowing out state institutions from the
Although not (yet) a major transit hub like in West Africa, the
country's attractiveness to smugglers is growing. Two drug busts in
November netted 712kg of heroin; last year's total haul off the Kenyan
coast was a record 3,500kg.
And Kenya seems to be more deeply entrenched as a hub for money
laundering, where the proceeds of drug trade and other organised crime
are re-invested into the legal economy, but end up distorting normal
Safaricom will start selling its digital set-top boxes next month as the telecoms operator eyes a piece of the broadcasting sector.
"We have gotten the approval for the set-top box and a vendor's
licence, which now allows us to start selling the devices in Kenya. We
are still in talks with the regulator for the award of a broadcasting
licence. Hopefully it will come through soon," Mr Waita said by
By entering the broadcasting sector, the company is targeting a piece
of the Kenyan TV space, but with a greater focus on offering Internet
connectivity to every home with a television set.
The set-top box will operate as a hotspot, which members of a
household can use to connect to the web.
The company told the Nation that it had already received approval for
the model of its gadget from the Communications Authority of Kenya and
was about to ship in the first batch.