|Monday 09th of March 2015
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"The dollar is our currency, but it's your problem." This is what US Treasury Secretary John Connally said to his counterparts in the Rome G-10 meeting in November, 1971
"The dollar is our currency, but it's your problem." This is what US
Treasury Secretary John Connally said to his counterparts in the Rome
G-10 meeting in November, 1971, shortly after the Nixon administration
ended the dollar's convertibility into gold and shifted the
international monetary system into a global floating exchange rate
"I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it
all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost,
like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece
of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden
eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and
the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the
clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome
familiarity) to this feeling."
-- Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
When in perigee, the moon is around 50,000 km closer than when it is furthest away, or in apogee.
On 19 March, the moon will become full on the same day it is in
perigee, and appear in the sky as an enormous, glowing orb.
Unlike solar eclipses and other celestial treats, supermoons occur
every 13 months and 18 days.
However, these events are not always noticed, as they can be masked by
clouds and poor weather.
George Ward, the treasurer of Thanet Astronomy Group, told Mirror
Online he was looking forward to the "double event" of the Supermoon
and the eclipse.
"The Supermoon is well worth looking at," he said.
"It (the Supermoon) is a rarish event and with binoculars you can see
impressive details of the moon's surface that you can't during a full
moon because it's too bright
''And in their golden palaces, the Saudis tremble.''
Law & Politics
In their golden palaces, the Saudis fear.
They fear the Iranians. They fear the Shia. They fear Isis and
al-Qaeda. They fear the Muslim Brotherhood. They fear American
betrayal and Israeli plots. They even fear the "power" of tiny Qatar.
They fear their own Shia population. They fear themselves. For where
else will the revolution start in Sunni Muslim Saudi but within its
own royal family?
Remember that your kings are perpetually old and that your Foreign
Minister uses a walker when he moves around his palace or greets the
kingdom's visitors - as he did, rather pathetically, when John Kerry
Instead of creating a common European security system including Russia, the US-dominated alliance has expanded up to the Russian border - insisting that is merely the sovereign choice of the states concerned. It clearly isn't.
Law & Politics
It's also the product of an alliance system designed to entrench
American "leadership" on the European continent - laid out in Pentagon
planning drawn up after the collapse of the Soviet Union to "prevent
the re-emergence of a new rival".
Russia has now challenged that, and the consequences have been played
out in Ukraine for the past year: starting with the western-backed
ousting of the elected government, through the installation of a
Ukrainian nationalist regime, the Russian takeover of Crimea and
Moscow-backed uprising in the Donbass. On the ground, it has meant
thousands of dead, hundreds of thousands of refugees, indiscriminate
shelling of civilian areas and the rise of Ukrainian fascist militias
such as the Azov battalion, supported by Kiev and its western
sponsors, now preparing to "defend" Mariupol from its own people. For
the bulk of the western media, that's dismissed as Kremlin propaganda.
Russian covert military support for the rebels, on the other hand, is
denounced as aggression and "hybrid warfare" - by the same governments
that have waged covert wars from Nicaragua to Syria, quite apart from
outright aggressions and illegal campaigns in Kosovo, Libya and Iraq.
Shia fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State
militants in Salahuddin, Iraq.
MH370 search: Malaysian Airlines flight was flown off course deliberately - and search was hampered by airline's mistakes, report shows
Law & Politics
Whoever was at the controls of MH370 when it disappeared a year ago
wanted to evade detection. The interim report into the loss of the
Boeing 777 and its 239 occupants shows the culprit was inadvertently
helped by mistakes in the airline's duty office.
The transcript with air-traffic controllers in Kuala Lumpur is an
appendix to the interim report into the loss of MH370 with its 227
passengers and 12 crew. The transcript reveals how the events unfolded
through the early hours of 8 March last year, after the captain signed
off from Malaysian air-traffic controllers with the words "Goodnight
Malaysian Three Seven Zero" at 1.19am local time.
The aircraft was expected to continue flying north at 35,000 feet and
to make contact with controllers at Ho Chi Minh City. But its
transponder was turned off by someone on the flight deck, rendering
the plane invisible to civilian radar. One Vietnamese controller says:
"We just see him on the radar screen one time and after a few minutes
Forty-five minutes after the final contact, Vietnamese controllers are
growing increasingly concerned about the flight, but were told by
their Malaysian counterparts: "The aircraft is still flying, is over
somewhere over Cambodia". That information had come from the Malaysia
Airlines operations centre.
Further reassurance is given around 2.35am when controllers in Kuala
Lumpur tell Ho Chi Minh City staff that Malaysia Airlines is still in
communication with the jet: "Affirm Malaysian 370 still flying
aircraft keep sending position report to the airline." The reported
position, though, changes to latitude 14.9N and 109E, placing the jet
somewhere east of Vietnam.
Diversion from Filed Flight Plan Route (The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13
Safety Investigation Team for MH370) Diversion from Filed Flight Plan
Route (The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for
MH370) At the Malaysia Airlines operations centre, a hurried and
misspelt message is sent to flight MH370 asking the pilots to contact
air-traffic controllers at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam:
"Urgent request. Pls contact Ho Chi Ming ATC ASAP. They complain
cannot track you on their radar."
This message was never received.
Dollar Index 3 Month Chart INO 97.745 [King Dollar]
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency
against 10 major counterparts, rallied 2.3 percent to 1,198.93, the
highest in data going back to 2004. It was the third weekly gain for
gauge, which has risen 6 percent in 2015.
It was 12th straight month payrolls have increased by at least
200,000, the best run since March 1995. Payrolls rose 3.1 million in
2014, the most in 15 years.
Euro versus the Dollar 3 Month Chart 1.0840
The euro sank 3.1 percent to $1.0844 this week in New York and touched
$1.0840, the lowest level since September 2003. It was the third
straight weekly loss.
Eighty-four of the 346 securities in the Bloomberg Eurozone Sovereign
Bond Index have rates below zero, data compiled by Bloomberg showed on
Friday, meaning buyers would get less back when the debt matures than
they paid to buy them. That includes all German government bonds due
in six years or less.
Falling commodity prices, political upheaval and simmering conflict are exposing the differing fortunes of Africa's economies, undermining the idea that the continent of a billion people is on one collective ascent. @Reuters
Sub-Saharan Africa has achieved annual growth of more than 5 percent
over the last decade, and foreign investment has more than quadrupled
over the same period, feeding the popular catch phrase that Africa is
However, the regional cooperation, infrastructure development and
political reforms needed to diversify economies and even out growth
are taking longer than expected, speakers at a Reuters Investment
Summit said this week.
"'Africa Rising' served a purpose because it alerted people who
weren't interested in Africa before to the opportunities," said Simon
Freemantle, senior economist at Johannesburg-based Standard Bank,
Africa's largest bank by assets.
"It is useful to move away from that now and give each country
individual attention and accept that some will build on success and
others will fall back."
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into four resource-rich countries -
South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique - totaled $23 billion in
2013, more than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa combined, according to
data from the 2014 United Nations World Investment Report.
Brazil still receives more FDI than the whole of Africa.
Despite countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia tapping
international debt markets in recent years and growing their stock
markets, 70 percent of Africa's total portfolio investment remains in
"There is this expectation that South African retailers are going to
be doing half their business in the rest of Africa in two to three
years. I don't believe that will happen," Doug Murray, chief executive
of South African fashion retailer Foschini Group (TFGJ.J) told
"It's a very long term growth story."
Rise of Africa's luxury loving super rich - from Nigeria's champagne love affair to South Africa's cosmetics obsession
The new gold rush for the African consumer generally targets the
continent's burgeoning middle class as they begin to embrace more
high-end mobile phones, pricy restaurant meals and trips down
supermarket aisles with their new disposable incomes. Consultancy firm
McKinsey predicts that this consumer spending will reach $1.4 trillion
in 2020, from about $860 billion in 2008.
Continent for rich men
Though many African countries are growing from a low base - and income
distribution is often very unequal - the number of wealthy,
status-conscious people is set to double in the next ten years and the
number of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) - people with $30m
to burn - has ballooned. The size of the HNWI population increased by
3.7% in 2013 to 0.1 million, while wealth witnessed an increase of
7.3% to $1.3 trillion.
This is set to grow, and the number of Africans with $30m in assets
will increase by 53% to 2,858 by 2023, far outstripping the average
pace of growth across the rest of the world. The number of
centa-millionaires is set to rise by 51%, and by 2023 there will be 38
billionaires based on the continent.
As this wealth increases, so too will levels of spending on luxury goods.
South Africa was usually seen as the only entrenched market for luxury
goods in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, in luxury cosmetics South
Africa was one of the world's strongest growth markets. Its total
premium cosmetics market was valued at around $773 million in 2011.
This love of expensive cosmetics was driven by the high number of
wealthy individuals - a recent report by the consultancy Bain noted
that South Africa has 71,000 dollar millionaires, 60% of the total
number in sub-Saharan Africa. That is more than Saudi Arabia or the
United Arab Emirates.
But South Africa is not the only African country with very rich
people. The rest of the continent is increasingly demonstrating its
attractiveness as a high-potential region for luxury goods, with 11%
growth and expansion into new markets such as Angola and Nigeria
beyond its traditional strongholds of Morocco and South Africa.
These highly wealthy Africans have expensive tastes and a habit of
unapologetically flaunting their wealth in ways that would make some
Arab Sheikhs look modest. This spending habit was captured by
KnightFrank's Wealth Report which showed that on average, salesmen of
luxury items reckon their clients will carry on spending more in 2014,
with sentiment most bullish in Africa (46%) and most cautious spending
in Europe (30%).
Nigerians pop the bottles
A clear example of this is the Nigeria-Champagne love affair. In 2012
Nigeria spent $59m on the consumption of champagne alone. This places
Nigeria as having the world's second-highest growth in new champagne
consumption from 2011-2016, trailing only France. The study showed
that there was 849,000 litres in new consumption during that timeframe
Also in Nigeria the appearance of "Quintessentially" - the luxury
lifestyle management and concierge service - on the scene clearly
demonstrates the high expectations of the country's super rich. After
all these are people who "who believe that life is too short to waste
time on the mundane or second-best". In this country the upper-middle
class, often made rich off oil and gas, are growing and they like to
This spending on luxury goods is sometimes called "investments of
passion", which include purchases of super-cars and collectable art,
and the luxury industry is picking up on this.
South African luxury yacht importer, Boating World, is looking to meet
the growing demand for multi-million dollar luxury vessels in the
expanding African market. This year the company was able to even sell
a $2.3m 65 Fairline squadron yacht, the first of its kind to be sold
through South Africa into Angola.
But it's not all about expensive boats, there is a huge demand for
expensive cars too. German automaker Porsche already has a dealership
in Nigeria, couldn't keep up with the demand of luxury cars in Luanda,
Angola, and is now eyeing up the Kenya market - whose UNHWIs will
increase from the current 110 to 191 over 10 years.
In the "top ten forecast growth in wealthy individuals", five
countries were African - between 2013-2023 the number of super-rich
people is set to increase in Cote d'Ivoire by 116%, in Tanzania by
97%, in Ethiopia by 97%, Ghana by 93% and in Nigeria by 92%. In terms
of African cities ranked by wealthy individual population growth,
Nairobi came in top for Africa with a growth of 78%, followed by
Marrakesh with a growth of 60%, then Johannesburg with a growth of
Going are the days when Africa's rich shopped abroad for their luxury
items, despite making up a tiny percentage of the population, Africa's
super-rich are developing such a pull that brands are now opening
doors on the continent.
Burger King Worldwide Inc. plans to enter new African counties before the end of the year as it follows Yum! Brands Inc.'s KFC chain in tapping demand from the continent's middle class.
"Our African expansion plans are progressing at a very vigorous rate,"
Jaye Sinclair, chief executive officer of Burger King South Africa,
said by phone from Cape Town, where the Miami-based fast-food chain
opened the first outlet in the country in May, 2013.
The maker of the Whopper burger operates the South African unit with
Johannesburg-based leisure company Grand Parade Investments Ltd. and
has rights to open outlets in Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,
Namibia and Mauritius, Sinclair said. The company has also asked for
permission to open stores in Angola, Africa's second-biggest oil
Restaurant chains, retailers and consumer-goods companies are
expanding in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of middle-class
households has tripled since 2010, according to Johannesburg-based
Standard Bank Group Ltd. The lender classifies as middle class those
who consume $15 to $115 a day. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart
Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, plans to increase African
store space outside South Africa by 45 percent over the next two
McDonald's Corp., the world's biggest restaurant chain, is also
looking at potential new African markets to build on its growth in
South Africa, CEO Don Thompson said on Feb. 10. Pizza Hut, owned by
Yum! Brands, plans outlets in Zambia and Angola in the first half of
Last week Turnover soared to Kes.6.99bn from Kes.4.75bn posted the
previous week and The Bourse traded over a 1b shillings Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday last week.
The Securities Exchange throttled back today to clock 760.499m
The Indices have been heading lower over the last 6/7 Trading Sessions
but I expect them to turn higher this week
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
Vodafone announced that 20 million Safaricom and seven million Vodacom
Tanzania Mpesa customers can now make seamless transactions between
"With a substantial unbanked population transacting mainly in cash,
the Tanzania-Kenya corridor represents a significant opportunity for
M-Pesa to give people and companies an accessible, low-cost
alternative to traditional international remittances," said Michael
Joseph, the Vodafone Director of Mobile Money.
Safaricom eased back 1.58% to close at 15.55 and traded 6.603m shares.
Safaricom +10.676% Year to date and just 1.89% below a record closing
high reached this year. Safaricom remains in a resolutely bullish
pattern and will set Fresh All Time Highs, in short order.
Nation Media Group bounced +2.17% off a 2 year closing Low to close
out at 235.00 on odd-lot trading of just 600 shares. The Price
reaction to the #DigitalMigration Fracas was late and only happened at
the back end of last week.
ScanGroup closed unchanged at 48.00 but was trading 49.25 +2.6% at the
Finish. Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP is the Majority Shareholder now and
reported Earnings this morning.
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
Barclays Bank which surged +3.07% Friday after releasing its FY 2014
Earnings and hiking its Final dividend +42.85%, announced that it was
set to drawdown $50m from its Parent ''anytime now'' and rallied a
further 1.49% to close at 17.05 and traded 251,400 shares, Barclays
Bank is +4.601% since releasing its FY 2014 Earnings and over 2
Standard Chartered Bank firmed 0.568% to close at 354.0 and closed at
a Fresh 2015 high. Standard Chartered traded heavy volume [and
consider its the most tightly held of the Big Cap Banks] of 256,500
shares worth 91.034m. Standard Chartered is +5.67% in 2015 and looks
set to target the 380.00 Area.
COOP Bank rallied +3.61% to close at 21.50 and traded 1.010m shares.
COOP Bank is +7.5% in 2015.
Equity Group retreated 1.94% to close at 50.50 on heavy volume action
of 3.208m shares worth 163.161m ahead of its imminent Full Year
Earnings Release. Equity Group is +1.00% in 2015.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
EABL closed unchanged at 299.00 and traded 783,300 shares worth
234.811m on the same day that EABL announced its selling 5b [out of a
Program with an 11b Cap] of 3 Year Paper with a coupon of 12.25% and I
expect that Offer to fly off the shelves. EABL has corrected 14.57%
off a 2015 closing High of 350.00 reached on the 19th of last month.
That Correction got overcooked and is complete.
As per the @BD_Africa The deputy president brokered a deal between
Mumias and its creditors that would see Mumias retrench 300 workers,
fire its entire management and replace half its board of directors.
The government has committed to release a Sh1 billion bailout to help
Mumias pay farmers who have not received cash for their sugarcane
"We have to take these measures so that farmers in the region can be
paid for delivery of sugarcane," Mr Ruto said in a statement.
Audit firm KPMG will be appointed to oversee the company's
restructuring that will pave the way for a 4b shilling rights issue.
The market liked this 'Parcours' and rallied Mumias Sugar shares by
its daily limit of +9.26% where 422,600 shares share were traded.
There was Buy Side Interest for 20x the volume traded, showing at the
closing Bell. Mumias Sugar has rallied +51.28% in 2015 and will now
test its 2015 Closing High of 3.45 from last month, in short order.