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Monday 28th of August 2017
 
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Macro Thoughts

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YOUR BRAIN DOESN'T CONTAIN MEMORIES. IT IS MEMORIES @wired
Africa


RECALL YOUR FAVORITE memory: the big game you won; the moment you
first saw your child's face; the day you realized you had fallen in
love. It's not a single memory, though, is it? Reconstructing it, you
remember the smells, the colors, the funny thing some other person
said, and the way it all made you feel.

Your brain's ability to collect, connect, and create mosaics from
these milliseconds-long impressions is the basis of every memory. By
extension, it is the basis of you. This isn't just metaphysical
poetics. Every sensory experience triggers changes in the molecules of
your neurons, reshaping the way they connect to one another. That
means your brain is literally made of memories, and memories
constantly remake your brain. This framework for memory dates back
decades. And a sprawling new review published today in Neuron adds an
even finer point: Memory exists because your brain’s molecules, cells,
and synapses can tell time.

Defining memory is about as difficult as defining time. In general
terms, memory is a change to a system that alters the way that system
works in the future. "A typical memory is really just a reactivation
of connections between different parts of your brain that were active
at some previous time," says neuroscientist Nikolay Kukushkin,
coauthor of this paper. And all animals—along with many single-celled
organisms—possess some sort of ability to learn from the past.

But it would be a mistake to believe that those molecules, or even the
synapses they control, are memories. "When you dig into molecules, and
the states of ion channels, enzymes, transcription programs, cells,
synapses, and whole networks of neurons, you come to realize that
there is no one place in the brain where memories are stored," says
Kukushkin. This is because of a property called plasticity, the
feature of neurons that memorize. The memory is the system itself.

Human memories—even the most precious—begin at a very granular scale.
Your mother's face began as a barrage of photons on your retina, which
sent a signal to your visual cortex. You hear her voice, and your
auditory cortex transforms the sound waves into electrical signals.
Hormones layer the experience with with context—this person makes you
feel good. These and a virtually infinite number of other inputs
cascade across your brain. Kukushkin says your neurons, their
attendant molecules, and resultant synapses encode all these related
perturbations in terms of the relative time they occurred. More, they
package the whole experience within a so-called time window.

read more


Gott likens conception of time to switching among train tracks. He writes
Africa


Experiencing one world history, as we do, is like riding a train down
a track from the past to the future. As passengers on the train, we
see events go by like stations along the track—there goes the Roman
Empire, there goes World War II, and look, people are landing on the
Moon. But the universe might be like a giant switching yard, with many
such railroad tracks interlaced. Next to our track is one on which
World War II never happened. A train is constantly encountering
switches at which it may take either of two lines. Before World War
II, there may have been a day when Hitler could have been killed,
diverting the train onto a track on which World War II did not occur.

read more




28-AUG-2017 :: China Rising @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics


China's parabolic rise has been simply breath-taking. Millions of
Chinese have been lifted out of Poverty and China continues to expand
at a pace that other big economies can only dream about. Xi Jinping's
One Belt One Road [OBOR] program binds the World to Beijing because
all the roads and railways have but one destination and that is China.
Washington has metasized into an epicentre of risk [Donald Trump
refers] and talk of a unipolar US dominated World have largely
evaporated. President Putin refused to be rolled over by a Victoria
Nuland inspired ''Colour revolution'' in the Ukraine and drew a line
in the sand and one of the collateral consequences of that was to send
President Putin into the ready embrace of Xi Jinping. In fact, far
from being a unipolar World, we have entered a bipolar or even a
Tripolar World [US, China and Russia].

Apart from a few half-hearted and timid FONOPs [freedom of navigation
operations], China has established control over the South China Sea.
It has created artificial Islands and then militarised those
artificial islands across the South China Sea. It is a mind-boggling
geopolitical advance any which way you care to cut it. China has
advanced its footprint in Pakistan where it has leased the Gwadar Port
[giving China and Central Asia access to the Gulf region and the
Middle East] for 43 years. Sri Lanka which gorged on Chinese debt has
had to disgorge the Hambantota Port to its Creditor.And recently, we
saw China formally open a Facility in Djibouti. These moves taken
together speak to a material Chinese Advance. The Pivot to Asia which
was supposed to contain China is dead in the water and China has
sprung that Trap.

China is also in Narendra Modi's face in the Doklam Plateau which sits
at  the tri-junction region of Bhutan, China and India. Its as if Xi
Jinping is goading Narendra Modi who would be seriously ill-advised to
take on the Chinaman in that remote plateau.

The Financial Times carried an article last week which described
China's embrace of asymmetric warfare, which spoke of a ''revolution
in military affairs'' and described a new ''swarm'' technology

''With their tiny propellers buzzing, the fleet of Chinese aircraft,
little larger than model planes, are flung into the air one at a time
by huge rubber bands. Soon the sky is full of toylike drones flying in
formations over unidentified mountains in China....Each tiny aircraft
— bought online for a few hundred dollars — is loaded with software
and sensors capable of communicating with the
other drones in the swarm. Developers are working towards a future
where thousands could operate in sync, identifying and attacking
targets''

“This goes all the way back to the tactics of Attila the Hun,” says
Randall Steeb, senior engineer at the Rand Corporation in the US. “A
light attack force that can defeat more powerful and sophisticated
opponents. They come out of nowhere, attack from all sides and then
disappear, over and over.”

Once upon a time, the Chinese built the Great Wall of China to keep
the Barbarians out and President Trump and other 'wannabe'' Wall
Builders seem to have entered a worm-hole and are now following that
ancient Chinese script, which China itself long ago jettisoned.

Meanwhile China has jumped its wall and is advancing with a surety of
purpose which is quite remarkable.

read more




Beijing 'has fully militarised South China Sea islands' via @MailOnline
Law & Politics


Beijing's man-made islands in the South China Sea are now bristling
with military hardware as the country seeks to build more bases
overseas, a US report says.
The base on the hotly-contested Spratly Islands has been outfitted
with 24 fighter-sized hangars, runways, water and fuel storage, a
large port, communications equipment, fixed-weapon positions and a
barracks.
Three squadrons of warplanes will eventually be stationed at the
bases, analysts with the Department of Defense believe, allowing
Chinese warplanes to operate over the entire region.
Meanwhile construction has already started on another base in
Djibouti, a small nation on the east coast of Africa with easy access
to the Arabian Peninsula.

read more



"Why should I defend a sandbar and kill Filipinos because of a sandbar?" declared Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Law & Politics


Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, a key architect of the
Philippines’ landmark arbitration award against China last year at The
Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration, has described China’s latest
move as nothing short of an “invasion of Philippine territory.”

read more





Rex Tillerson says Donald Trump 'speaks for himself' over Charlottesville response
Law & Politics


During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Mr Tillerson, the US Secretary
of State, told host Chris Wallace that the State Department expresses
America’s values.

“We represent the American people, we represent America’s values, our
commitment to freedom, our commitment to the equal treatment of people
the world over, and that message has never changed,” Mr Tillerson
said.

Mr Wallace then suggested that people may begin “to doubt whether
we’re living those values” following Mr Trump’s response to violence
that broke out at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and the
United Nations’ reaction to the President’s comments.

“I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values, or the
commitment of the American government, or the government’s agencies to
advancing those values and defending those values,” Mr Tillerson said.

“And the President’s values?” Mr Wallace asked, to which the Secretary
of State replied: “The President speaks for himself, Chris.”

read more






Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1932
Dollar Index 92.48
Japan Yen 109.10
Swiss Franc 0.9561
Pound 1.2894
Aussie 0.7940
India Rupee 63.905
South Korea Won 1119.57
Brazil Real 3.1601
Egypt Pound 17.6800
South Africa Rand 13.0444

read more




Jack Ma Sees Decades of Pain as Internet Upends Old Economy
International Trade


Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma said society should
prepare for decades of pain as the internet disrupts the economy.

The world must change education systems and establish how to work with
robots to help soften the blow caused by automation and the internet
economy, Ma said in a speech to an entrepreneurship conference in
Zhengzhou, China.

“In the next 30 years, the world will see much more pain than
happiness,” Ma said of job disruptions caused by the internet. “Social
conflicts in the next three decades will have an impact on all sorts
of industries and walks of life.”

It was an unusual speech for the Alibaba co-founder, who tends to
embrace his role as visionary and extol the promise of the future. He
explained at the event that he had tried to warn people in the early
days of e-commerce it would disrupt traditional retailers and the
like, but few listened. This time, he wants to warn against the impact
of new technologies so no one will be surprised.

“Fifteen years ago I gave speeches 200 or 300 times reminding everyone
the Internet will impact all industries, but people didn’t listen
because I was a nobody," he said.

Ma made the comments as Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce operator,
spends billions of dollars to move into new businesses from film
production and video streaming to finance and cloud computing. The
Hangzhou-based company, considered a barometer of Chinese consumer
sentiment, is looking to expand abroad since buying control of Lazada
Group SA to establish a foothold in Southeast Asia, potentially
setting up a clash with the likes of Amazon.com Inc.

Ma, 52, was also critical of the traditional banking industry, saying
that lending must be available to more members of society. The lack of
a robust credit system drives up the costs for everyone, he said.

The China Entrepreneur Club event is host to many of the country’s
startup founders, but even here Ma got a celebrity’s reception. As he
took the stage, the crowd surged closer and snapped selfies with Ma in
the background. During a Q&A session, people jumped up and down to get
attention and then often used the time with a microphone to marvel at
the opportunity to talk with him.

Ma was at times brutal in his criticism of companies that won’t adapt.
At one point, he said cloud computing and artificial intelligence are
essential for business -- and if leaders don’t get that, they should
find young people in their companies to explain it to them. Another
time, he called for traditional industries to stop complaining about
the internet’s effects on the economy. He said Alibaba critics ignore
that Taobao, its main online marketplace, has created millions of
jobs.

Alibaba shares have outperformed this year on expectations it can
withstand efforts by rivals such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. to capture
digital ad spending and muscle in on its turf. The company is moving
into untapped rural markets and investing in new sources of income,
such as online media and cloud computing -- one of its fastest-growing
businesses in 2016.

He also warned that longer lifespans and better artificial
intelligence were likely to lead to both aging labor forces and fewer
jobs. “Machines should only do what humans cannot,” he said. “Only in
this way can we have the opportunities to keep machines as working
partners with humans, rather than as replacements.”

read more






In a span of one minute, gold futures contracts equaling more than 2 million ounces traded
Commodities


In a span of one minute, gold futures contracts equaling more than 2
million ounces traded -- about 20 minutes before Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen was to address a gathering of policy makers in Jackson
Hole, Wyoming.

Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.5 percent to settle at
$1,297.90 an ounce at 1:36 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after
falling as much as 0.8 percent and climbing 0.7 percent to briefly
pierce the $1,300 threshold.

After peaking at 21,256 gold futures contracts at 9:41 a.m., trading
fell to 6,683 contracts a minute later. On June 26, the market was
also rattled when 18,149 lots equaling about 1.8 million ounces of
gold traded in just one minute. It later fell back to 2,334 lots.

read more




Venezuelan bonds are yielding the most versus Treasuries since at least 2006 @gadfly
Emerging Markets


Investors have some legitimate financial reasons to be buyers. The
South American nation's debt is paying yields that are nearly 29
percentage points higher than those on similarly dated U.S.
Treasuries, about the most in data going back to 2006. The president,
Nicolas Maduro, has shown a willingness to deprive his citizens of
food to avoid defaulting on this debt, which has prompted one Harvard
University academic to label these assets "hunger bonds."

Frontier Markets

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(MPLA) was always expected to dominate the election and they did just that, snaring a 61 percent victory according to preliminary results Daily Maverick
Africa


But with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos set to step down, the
predictable outcome still means a fresh face at the helm of the
country.

Or does it?

Defence minister Joao Lourenço campaigned on a winning platform of
corruption busting and economy boosting in a country badly hit by weak
oil prices. Reports Bloomberg: “The Angolan economy, sub-Saharan
Africa’s third-largest, has been crippled by oil prices that have
halved since mid-2014 and led to zero growth for 2016, an inflation
rate of 30 percent and a shortage of dollars. Angola depends on oil
for more than 90 percent of its export earnings.”

But just how much can Lourenço achieve?

Journalist and activist Rafael Marques told the Financial Times:
“Lourenço won’t control anything. He can’t touch Sonangol (the
state-owned oil company, headed by the president's daughter), the
state diamond company, the sovereign fund, the military or the
police.”

And BBC's Mary Harper writes: “The outgoing President dos Santos is
still the head of the MPLA... He will remain powerful, and he will
remain in the shadows.”

Just last month, lawmakers greatly curtailed the powers of the
executive by passing a law that limits the president’s ability to
remove security chiefs from their posts, which will allow Dos Santos'
to extend his hold on the country through his appointees long after
Lourenço is sworn in.

Still, The New Guy is optimistic.

“I think I will have all the power,” Reuters quotes Lourenço as
telling the press last week. “I only wouldn't have all the power if
there were two presidents of the country, which is not the case.”

All protocol observed, the electoral commission has already declared
the vote “an example of how democratic elections should be carried
out”, even as the opposition told RFI they disputed the numbers. Final
figures will be out next week.

read more


@FT Do you think you have now successfully created a new Rwandan identity?
Africa


@PaulKagame : Without a doubt.

PK: OK, I’ll tell you; I have nothing to hide. This man [a professor
of microbiology at Stanford University] was telling me details about
genomics and the mapping of people and so on, and told me how it is
useful and how genetic diseases can be known and maybe avoided in
advance. He told me a lot of things about the science, and I got
interested.

[An acquaintance] said this science can help us prove or disprove
these political theories that have created problems, because the
Belgians tried, but they never came with any conclusion, in the 1960s
to prove how we are different, here in Rwanda. You probably heard
about that.

I said, I don’t mind. And I told him, I said, by the way, I don’t even
mind knowing my map of . . . you can go into my DNA and genome and
find out what it is. Actually, I took a test and so I know a bit of my
own.

We were supposed to do that, take samples from people we think this is
one group, this is another, and then do the mapping and see the
difference or the commonality. Because we might find the commonality
is there, or the difference is just politics or whatever it is. I
said, I’m comfortable with that, because in the political discussion
here I’d always talked publicly and told people; I said, you see, this
is absolutely stupid. Let’s start from the point that we are actually
different. I said, so what? Aren’t different people supposed to live
together? People will always be different. And, politically, for us,
as we are trying to reconcile our society and talk people out of this
nonsense of division, I said, so we are different — some are short,
others are tall, others are thin, others are stocky, others are . . .
I said, but we are all human beings. Can we live together and happily
within one border or even one room? What’s the problem?

If we are different, still this difference shouldn’t be a problem; we
should turn it into an asset. And if we are the same, then, really,
these idiots who come to divide us should know that after all there is
no difference. Either way it works.

FT: Does yours tell you anything interesting?

PK: Mine, extremely interesting, because, for example, they found
something — in that process, there’s something called hybridisation;
that is how many different gene sources combine in you, and they tell
me the more you have the healthier the person is.

My gene hybridisation is actually high, higher than normal, the other
details, I will spare you.

FT: But does that mean there is some Hutu in you? There must be.

PK: There must be, because looking at that . . . You see, you can’t
know. I haven’t known yet which genes belong to the Hutus and which .
. . but I can only say why I say there must be, is this diversity in
the gene pool . . .

FT: This hybridisation?

PK: Yes. These ones who would divide us and say they are different,
they should shut up.

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Africa's Biggest Company Sees E-Commerce Growth Closing $32 Billion Value Gap
Africa


Naspers Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk said five years of
heavy e-commerce investments are bearing fruit, which should prove to
investors that the assets are worth more than they think.

Van Dijk is seeking to show shareholders that Africa’s largest company
by market value has more to offer than just its well-timed investment
in Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Cape Town-based
Naspers has ridden the coattails of the WeChat creator to be the best
performer on Johannesburg’s FTSE/JSE Africa Top 40 Index this year
with a 50 percent rise.

The catch is that the market values the 33 percent stake in the
Shenzhen-based company at almost $32 billion more than Naspers as a
whole. Outflows of South African capital since late 2015 have
contributed to the widening disparity, according to Van Dijk.

He said the value gap will start to close as Naspers’s
classified-advertising division, which includes Russia’s Avito, turns
profitable in the current fiscal year. The services unit of payment
business PayU is close to breaking even, and Polish e-commerce
platform eMAG is starting to benefit from a large customer base. The
companies are part of Naspers’s e-commerce unit, which recorded a loss
of $682 million for the 12 months that ended in March, leaving out
interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

“We are excited about a business like eMAG turning profitable,” Van
Dijk said in an interview Friday. “That will be a catalyst to
recognizing the value of our other assets.”

Naspers has for years scoured the world looking for another
early-stage technology company that will eventually replicate the
success of Tencent, in which it invested $32 million 16 years ago. The
company has since put money into a wide range of assets, including
Russia’s Mail.Ru Group Ltd. and Indian travel agency MakeMyTrip. It
sold Polish online auction site Allegro for $3.25 billion last year.

Van Dijk’s main priority in the short term will be on expanding
Naspers’ companies to reach broader audiences and using technology to
improve customers’ experience. “We have a big team that looks at using
artificial intelligence in our classified platforms to eliminate spam
ads, for instance,” said Van Dijk.

Earlier at the company’s annual meeting in Cape Town, Chairman Koos
Bekker countered criticism Naspers relies too heavily on its $132
billion stake in Tencent. He reminded investors that they would have
been a lot poorer if he’d given in to similar pressure to sell the
holding years ago. The shares have risen more than sixfold in the past
five years, closing Friday at HK$328.40, as Tencent’s services have
become an integral part of Chinese life.

“Five years ago there was also a lot of unhappiness,” Bekker told
shareholders. “If we had sold then, you would have gotten HK$45, now
you get HK$325. We are not married to the share, but at this point in
time it’s paying shareholders.”

Bekker said that the assumption that Tencent is making money and
Naspers’s other ventures are loss-making was “illiterate,” since
profitability doesn’t accurately capture the value of the businesses.
He said the biggest internet companies grow faster in both China and
the U.S. and that the argument for breaking up technology companies is
flawed.

“Amazon, for instance, has made losses at times,” Bekker said. “The
link between short-term profitability and value is simply not there.”

read more




African #Megacities As Emerging #Innovation Ecosystems by Katarzyna Nawrot, @Calestous Juma, James Donald_
Africa


There are at least five interconnected dimensions that form the
structure of a megacity innovation ecosystem and determine the quality
in terms of its attractiveness and innovation potential. They are:
entrepreneurship, education, environment, culture, and connectivity.
Thus megacity ecosystems should function as self-accelerating their
own creativity and innovativeness, and as magnets for attracting
talents and innovation.

read more




The naira was quoted at 370 to the dollar on the black market on Wednesday as against 368 naira its previous session, traders said.
Africa


The currency has traded within a range of 359 to 366 naira to the
dollar for investors and on the parallel market over the past two
weeks. It is stuck at around 305 levels on the official market boosted
by central bank intervention.

read more




A newly released report shows that Kenya's fertility rate has stagnated at 3.9, or about four children in the past two years, having dropped from an average of five in 2008.
Kenyan Economy


At 3.9, Kenya’s fertility rate is below Africa’s average of 4.6 or
about five children for every woman but still higher than the global
average of 2.5, according to World Population Data prepared by
US-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB).
The shift in fertility rates has changed the pecking order in the
region where Burundi tops the list with a fertility rate of 5.5, or
nearly six children for every woman, followed by Uganda (5.4),
Tanzania (5.2), Ethiopia (4.6), Rwanda (4.2) and Kenya (3.9).
“Several forces are driving this drop in Kenya’s fertility rate,
including higher education levels among womenfolk, late onset of
motherhood as women advance in careers hence a shorter biological
lifespan for having babies and increased contraceptive use,” said
Nelly Bosire, a private childbirth expert.
Kenyan women appear to be heeding calls by global policy shapers,
including the United Nations, for smaller family sizes as a
socio-economic tool for better allocation of family resources.
Kenya’s fertility rate has dipped steeply, from 8.1 children in 1978
to 3.9 currently, and a further drop to 2.4 is expected in the next
three decades.

Conclusions

read more


10 NOV 14 :: African youth demographic (many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend') - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator
Kenyan Economy


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

read more



@Safaricomltd share price data Total Return +43.44% 2017
Kenyan Economy


Par Value:                  0.05/-
Closing Price:           26.50
Total Shares Issued:          40065428000.00
Market Capitalization:        1,061,733,842,000
EPS:             1.21
PE:                 21.901

read more


I&M reports H1 EPS 2017 -16.825% Earnings here
Kenyan Economy


Par Value:
Closing Price:           125.00
Total Shares Issued:          413405369.00
Market Capitalization:        51,675,671,125
EPS:             18.56
PE:                 6.735

I&M Holdings Limited H1 2017 results through 30th June 2017 vs. 30th June 2016

H1 Loans and advances to customers 144.546775b vs. 132.463686b +9.122%
H1 Investment securities 50.371550b vs. 48.605745b +3.633%
H1 Total assets 229.223755b vs. 210.337904b +8.979%
H1 Deposits from customers 161.526916b vs. 146.416925b +10.320%
H1 Total shareholders’ equity 44.367619b vs. 36.531292b +21.451%
H1 Interest income 11.090527b vs. 11.826385b -6.222%
H1 Interest expense [4.229236b] vs. [4.647603b] -9.002%
H1 Net interest income 6.861291b vs. 7.178782b -4.423%
H1 Net fee and commission income 1.370010b vs. 1.174418b +16.654%
H1 Revenue 8.231301b vs. 8.353200b -1.459%
H1 Operating income 9.566204b vs. 9.586654b -0.213%
H1 Operating expenses [3.881909b] vs. [3.281678b] +18.290%
H1 Operating profit before impairment losses and taxation 5.684295b
vs. 6.304976b -9.844%
H1 Net impairment losses on loans and advances [965.564m] vs.
[719.743m] +34.154%
H1 Profit before income tax 4.964193b vs. 5.825294b -14.782%
H1 Profit for the period 3.430086b vs. 4.176807b -17.878%
Basic and diluted EPS 7.86 vs. 9.45 -16.825%
Interim dividend –
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 15.743032b vs.
12.217230b +28.859%

Company Commentary

1 REPORTING ENTITY
I&M Holdings Limited (the “Company ”), a non-operating holding company
licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya under the Kenyan Banking Act
(Chapter 488) and its subsidiaries (together, the “Group”) provide
banking, Bancassurance and Real Estate services.
I&M Holdings Limited is incorporated in Kenya under the Companies Act
as a public limited liability company and is domiciled in Kenya. The
Bank’s shares are listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). I&M
Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries operate in Kenya, Tanzania,
Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius.
The Company owns the following entities directly:
(i) I&M Bank Limited – 100% shareholding;
(ii) Giro Limited – 100% shareholding
(iii) I&M Bank (Rwanda) Limited – effective interest of 54.99% in I&M
Bank (Rwanda) Limited through a 68.742% holding in BCR Investment
Company Limited (Mauritius) which owns 80% shareholding in I&M Bank
(Rwanda) Limited.
(iv) I&M Capital Limited - 100% shareholding
(v) Bank One Limited - 50% interest in Bank One Limited, a joint
venture in a bank licensed in Mauritius; and
(vi) I&M Realty Limited (incorporated on 30 October 2014) – 100% shareholding;
(vii) I&M Burbidge Capital Limited, Kenya and Burbidge Capital (U)
Limited , Uganda – 65% shareholding
It also owns the following entities through I&M Bank Limited:
(i) 70.38% shareholding in I&M Bank (T) Limited; and
(ii) 100% shareholding in I&M Insurance Agency Limited (incorporated
on 23 July 2014).

Conclusions


Behind its peer Group

read more



Kenya's Acorn Group & Helios To Construct 3800 Hostels worth $68M @EstateCloudKe
Kenyan Economy


Kenya’s Acorn Group and UK- based private equity fund Helios have
signed a contract worth US$ 68 Million to construct 3,800 hostels to
serve students of USIU-Africa, Strathmore and Daystar universities in
Nairobi.

The project, backed by International Finance Corporation (IFC) to a
tune of $40 Million aims to reduce the current deficit in affordable
student accommodation.

read more


Flame Tree Group reports H1 2017 EPS -18.00%
Kenyan Economy


Par Value:
Closing Price:           5.05
Total Shares Issued:          161866804.00
Market Capitalization:        817,427,360
EPS:             1.1
PE:                 4.591

Flame Tree Group Holdings H1 2017 results through 30th June 2017 vs.
30th June 2016

H1 Revenue 1.260489157b vs. 1.202089149b +4.858%
H1 Cost of sales [828.443235m] vs. [753.268442m] +9.980%
H1 Gross profit 432.045922m vs. 448.820707m -3.738%
H1 Selling and distribution costs [176.051633m] vs. [175.204317m] +0.484%
H1 Administrative expenses [114.672411m] vs. [123.335764m] -7.024%
H1 Operating profit before gain on disposal of PPE 124.706411m vs.
127.970077m -2.550%
H1 Gain on disposal on PPE [2.110842m] vs. 0.782620m -369.715%
H1 Operating profit after gain on disposal of PPE 122.595569m vs.
128.752697m -4.782%
H1 Finance costs [43.733080m] vs. [43.771777m] -0.088%
H1 Profit before tax 78.862489m vs. 84.980920m -7.200%
H1 Profit for the year 66.493599m vs. 80.528312m -17.428%
H1 Exchange differences on translation of foreign operations 1.244990m
vs. [9.814609m] +112.685%
EPS 0.41 vs. 0.50 -18.000%
Shareholders’ funds 786.905391m vs. 698.334070m +12.683%
No interim dividend

Company Commentary


PRESS RELEASE
 H1 2017 Revenues increased 5.0% to KES1.26 billion from KES1.20
billion in H1 2016
 The gross profit for H1 2017 dropped by 3.0% to KES 432 million,
compared to gross profit of KES 448 million in H1 2016.
 H1 2017, total comprehensive income dropped 4.3% to KES67.7 million,
from KES70.7 million in H1 2016

Nairobi August 25 2017 – Diversified manufacturer and trading Group,
Flame Tree Group (NSE: FTGH) today reported a 5.0% increase in
revenues for the 6 month period ended June 30th 2017 driven by growth
in the manufacturing division of the business.
The gross profit margins decreased by 3.0% from a similar period
margin of 37.1%, the Group’s gross profit was KES 432.1 million.
Overall expenses reduced by c. KES 14.0 million compared to H1 2016,
largely impacted by a KES 8 million decrease in administrative
expenses to KES 114.7 million. Profit before tax dropped 7% to KES
78.9 million as the rise in revenues were more than offset by higher
cost of credit and operating expenses. Provision for tax increased
from KES 4.3 million H1 2016 to KES 12.3 million. As a result of these
factors, profit after tax declined 4.3% from KES 70.7 million in H1
2016 to KES 67.7 million, representing earnings per share of KES 0.41.
According to Mr. Heril Bangera, CEO Flame Tree Group “We continue to
see progressive improvement in net sales as we make progress towards
the transformation of the Group. I am pleased with our H1 2017 results
and our year-to-date performance is progressing in line with
expectations. Revenues for the half year increased 5% operationally,
excluding the unfavorable impacts of foreign exchange and continued
challenges experienced with some of the leading retailers, the
manufacturing vertical revenues posted a 3% growth while the trading
vertical grew by 11% in the period.”

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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August 2017
 
 
 
 
 
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