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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 20th of May 2019
 
Morning
Africa

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Howard Waring French (born October 14, 1957) is an American journalist, author, and photographer, as well as professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Africa


His latest book is Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps
Shape China's Push for Global Power (Knopf, March 2017).
His most recent work for The New York Times was centered on China
where he was the paper's Shanghai bureau chief, from 2003 to 2008.
French was New York Times bureau chief for the Caribbean and Central
America from 1990 to 1994; he covered Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, El
Salvador, and numerous other countries.
He was one of the newspaper's first black correspondents.[1]
From 1994 to 1998, French covered West and Central Africa for the
Times, reporting on wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Central Africa,
with particular attention to the fall of the longtime dictator of
Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko.
From 1998 to 2003, French was Tokyo Bureau Chief for the Times,
covering Japan and the Koreas.
In addition to his native English, French speaks Mandarin, French, and
Portuguese.[2] He became Tokyo bureau chief for the Times in 1999,
after a year studying Japanese at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.
He has written for The New York Review of Books and also contributed
frequently to The Atlantic and to "The Guardian Longreads".

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For the better part of two millennia, the norm for China, from its own perspective, was a natural dominion over everything under the heaven, a concept known in the Chinese language as tian xia.
Africa


Everything Under the Heavens provides the best account we currently
have of the cultural and historical influences on China’s 21st century
aspirations.

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Why Africa can't catch a break: Malaria, ebola, and Gen. Butt Naked.
Africa


A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa By Howard
French Knopf, $25.00

Early in his rambles through West Africa as a correspondent for The
New York Times, Howard French arrived in Lagos, the steamy financial
capital of Nigeria. The most populous nation in Africa had just been
taken over by Gen. Sani Abacha, a sinister figure who concealed his
eyes behind dark sunglasses and who had a predilection for ordering"
Mafia-style hits against political opponents. Nigeria's promise had
long since been frittered away by a succession of corrupt military
dictators and civilian rulers, but under Abacha, who seized power in
1993, the thievery had become ever more brazen. Within minutes of his
arrival, French was set upon by both a rapacious immigration official
and a soldier who demanded his passport and threatened him with
arrest. Then the reporter's Nigerian "fixer," David, stepped in,
rebuking the assailants and holding firm even as the soldier raised
his gun. As the soldier beat a retreat, David offered French some
cogent counsel. "You must never fear those people," he says. "If you
do, you are finished."

It is a piece of advice that French had repeatedly to fall back on in
the course of his four years as the Timed roving bureau chief based in
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. A Continent for the Taking: The Traged and
Hope of Africa, his vivid, disquieting memoir of those times, conjures
up a succession of flailed states in which the shakedown is a way of
life, destitute soldiers terrorize civilians at will, and the
slightest display of weakness becomes an invitation for predation. In
chapter after evocative chapter, he chronicles the murderous
kleptocracy of Abacha in Nigeria, the outbreak of the deadly Ebola
virus in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), the
drug-and-diamond-fueled carnage in Liberia, and the epic fall of
Zairian dictator Mobutu. It's depressing, Hobbesian stuff. Yet in
sharp contrast to Out of America, Keith Richburg's bitingly
pessimistic account of his years as an African- American correspondent
covering the Rwandan genocide and clan warfare in Somalia, French,
also an African American, sees Africa as a continent still dense with
possibility. The tug of war between ordinary citizens yearning for
democracy and ruthless leaders determined to squelch those aspirations
is one of the driving themes behind French's book. So, too, is the
often-destructive role played by the United States, which, as lie
documents, propped up the worst of these dictators and demagogues,
then often stood by as their nations disintegrated around them.

 To illustrate his case, French zeroes in on Liberia, America's
unloved stepchild, a malarial backwater founded by freed American
slaves before the Civil War. Tensions between the Americo-Liberian
elite and native Liberians rose to boil just as Liberia--valued by the
United States as a source of rubber and a listening post--dropped off
the American radar screen at the end of the Cold War. In the aftermath
of the 1990 assassination of President Samuel Doe, the semiliterate
dictator propped up by the Reagan administration, U.S. Marines waited
off shore while "churches full of huddling people became scenes of
unimaginable [ethnic] slaughter," French writes. Meanwhile, Charles
Taylor rampaged through the countryside with his Small Boys
Units--child soldiers fueled by drugs and blind loyalty to the
surrogate father-figure they called "Pappy." Unwilling to commit
troops anywhere in Africa after the Somalia debacle, the Clinton
administration sloughed off the peacekeeping burden on ECOMOG, the
corrupt Nigerian-dominated pan-African force that eagerly joined the
tribal militias in the looting of Monrovia in 1996. An all too
familiar scene ensured: U.S. military helicopters rescued expatriates,
leaving Liberia's civilians at the mercy of warlords such as Gen. Butt
Naked, who "doused himself in a potion made from cane juice that he
swore protected him from bullets."

French's most enthralling chapters detail the dramatic final days of
Mobutu Sese Seko, the astonishingly corrupt Zairian dictator backed
for decades by the United States while he drove his country to
destitution. French brilliantly captures the fin de siede whirl of
Kinshasa, the muggy Congolese capital on the Congo River, moving to
the electric beat of soukous music and the entrepreneurial hustle of
its desperate masses. In 1996, Rwandan troops invaded the country to
empty Hutu refugee camps that had become staging grounds for a reprise
of the genocide, and Mobutu's end game began. French's reporting is at
its best here, as he chronicles the unlikely rise of Rwaada's front
man Laurent Kabila and the horrific string of revenge killings against
Hum refugees carried out by Rwandan Tutsi troops as they swept toward
Kinshasa. "Those forests in the east have witnessed some real
horrors," French is told by an American diplomat in Kisangani, "but
luckily for the Tutsi, trees can't talk." Yet as French reports, the
Clinton administration--motivated in part by guilt over its failure to
halt the genocide--turned a blind eye to Rwanda's excesses. U.S.
ambassador to Zaire Danid Simpson "reduced the Hum problem to a simple
formula: 'they are the bad guys,"' French writes. He concludes with
Mobutu's ignominious departure from Kinshasa, and the arrival of
Kabila, another U.S.-backed despot who reveals himself to be as
thuggish and corrupt as his predecessor.

 French's engagement with the continent goes far deeper than most
Africa-based correspondents. His father was a physician who moved the
family from the United States to Core d'Ivoire, to take a job running
rural clinics for the World Health Organization, and French spent four
years covering Africa as a young stringer in the early 1980s. He met
his first African girlfriend, an emigree from Mall, on the dance floor
at an Abidjan night club, and a trip to her birthplace brought him in
touch with the past glories of the continent. (He would later marry a
woman from the Cote d'Ivoire.) He writes with wide of a continent that
produced Timbuktu, the great mosque of Djenne, and the Ashanti
Kingdom--a proto-nation state with defined boundaries, a central
government, a police force, an army, and a national language. And
throughout the book, he ponders the reasons for the long decline into
violence and destitution. Looking for answers, French offers fresh and
thoughtful takes on the usual suspects: the legacy of centuries of
slavery, brutal colonial exploitation, and the failure of colonial
masters to leave behind any working institutions. Huge, potentially
rich countries like Zaire and Nigeria were done in, he writes, by "the
confusion sown by arbitrary borders, by the abrupt and haphazard
imposition of alien political systems, by deliberate Western
destabilization and finally by the economic turmoil that logically
ensued."

French makes a strong case for all of these factors. At the same time,
however, he is too willing to let Africans themselves off the hook.
The ruinous depredations of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, for example, the
horrors perpetrated by Charles Taylor in Liheria mid Foday Sankoh in
Sierra Leone can't all be laid at the doorstep of European slave
merchants and colonizers.

Africa's ruinous civil wars and ethnic strife also reflect a total
failure of the political class, of elites who view government office
as an opportunity for personal gain, of rulers who owe their primary
allegiance to clan or tribe.

French faults the United States for failing to impose an oil boycott
on Nigeria during the brutal rule by Abacha. But the failure of
African leaders to speak out boldly against the tyrants in their
midst--witness the stubborn refusal of South Africa's Thabo Mbeki to
isolate Mugabe economically and politically--also helps to legitimize
these thugs and demagogues.

Not all of Africa's rulers seem determined to lead their countries to
ruin. In Mali, French meets President Alpha Oumar Konare, the
country's first popularly elected leader, a noted archaeologist
determined to safeguard both the country's fragile democratic
institutions and its rich cultural heritage. Yet staggering under
massive international debt--the legacy of Konate's dictatorial
predecessors--the president and his allies wonder how long they can
maintain popular support. "We service our country's debt on time every
month, never missing a penny, and all the time, the people are getting
poorer and poorer," says Amadou Toumani Toure, the founder of Malian
democracy and a successor to Konare. French also finds fragile hope in
the yearnings for democracy and entrepreneurial energy of Africa's
beleaguered citizens. "Our dreams are the dreams of people everywhere,
aren't they?" he is asked by a former copper mine manager in East
Kasai who survived Mobutu-directed ethnic pogroms in Luhumbashi,
Congo. Now he's returned home to build a virtual independent entity in
this neglected corner of his nation. "We want to be able to turn on
the lights and read to our children at night. We want affordable
cement so that we can build houses for our families ... If we had our
own state we could take charge of that. But who can wait?" On a
misruled continent that seems to be sinking ever closer to a war of
all against all, the resourcefulness of its people may offer the best
hope for renewal.

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[The End of] Halcyon Days @TheStarKenya
Africa


Wikipedia has an article on: halcyon days and it reads thus, From
Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband
died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the
gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When
Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it.
Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in
each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the
“halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to
denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or
successfuL

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Africa


The conundrum for those who wish to bet on the End of the World is
this, however. What would be the point? The World would have ended.

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WB Yeats' The Second Coming
Africa


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;- Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

Home Thoughts

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Anyone who is mocking this image has no idea about what moves India and the imagery that has the power to stir India.
Law & Politics


Anyone who is mocking this image has no idea about what moves India
and the imagery that has the power to stir India. The last person who
understood this was Gandhi. Our entire political analysis is trapped
in juvenile, pedestrian elitism. You mock this at your political
peril.

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India's @narendramodi set to return to power with a bigger majority, exit polls show @Reuters
Law & Politics


Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is projected to win anything
between 339-365 seats in the 545-member lower house of parliament with
the Congress party-led opposition alliance at a distant 77 to 108,
India Today Axis exit poll showed.
To rule, a party needs to win 272 seats. Modi’s alliance won 336 seats
in the 2014 election. The exit polls showed that he not only held to
this base in the northern Hindi belt but also breached the east where
regional groups traditionally held sway.
Only the south largely resisted the Hindu nationalist surge, except
for Karnataka, home to software capital Bengaluru.
Counting of votes recorded in hundreds of thousands of computerised
machines will begin early on Thursday and results are expected by
noon.

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India's stocks surge the most in three years and the rupee gains after exit polls signaled Modi's coalition will retain power @business.
Law & Politics


Indian stocks rallied the most in more than three years and the rupee
and sovereign bonds climbed after exit polls signaled Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s ruling coalition is poised to retain power.
The S&P BSE Sensex climbed as much as 2.6%, the biggest advance since
March 2016, and a gauge of volatility collapsed as exit polls
predicted a comfortable majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party and
its allies.
The rupee rose the most since December, while the yield on benchmark
2029 bonds slid 6 basis points.

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US-China trade war: who will blink first? @FinancialTimes
Law & Politics


On Thursday morning, as Walmart delivered a stark warning that Donald
Trump’s widening trade war with China would lead to higher prices for
American consumers, John Flynn stood in front of one of the US
retailer’s stores in Virginia defiantly defending the US president.
“I think he’s doing the right thing, America is becoming very
dependent on stuff from China,” said Mr Flynn, a 55-year-old real
estate agent who grew up in the steel country of western Pennsylvania.
“If prices go up, prices go up. It’s going to hurt them [the Chinese]
in the long run too. So it’s just a matter of who blinks first,” he
said, as he stepped into his Honda Accord.
When the US this week launched an attack on Huawei, the Chinese
telecommunications company, by placing it on an export blacklist that
could severely damage its business, it further raised fears of an
enduring confrontation.
“This represents a material escalation in tensions with the Chinese
government. We have truly crossed the Rubicon,” Chris Krueger, an
analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, said following the Huawei
announcement. “The Kissinger consensus is dead and China is a
strategic rival. Full stop.”
Mr Trump’s bet is that the American economy, with unemployment at
half-century lows and US gross domestic product expanding at an
annualised 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year, can
withstand the pain from the trade war with China.
The blow to China would be greater if all of its exports to the US are
taxed at 25 per cent, in part. Whereas the US exported $120bn of goods
to China last year, China is far more reliant on the US, shipping
$540bn of goods to the US.
The hit in 2020 to Chinese GDP, which has already shown some weakness
in recent months, would be 1.3 per cent under this scenario, says Greg
Daco, chief US economist of Oxford Economics.

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The US Navy guided-missile destroyer, USS Preble on Monday (local time) "sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef" according to @US7thFleet @rabrowne75
Law & Politics


The US Navy guided-missile destroyer, USS Preble on Monday (local
time) “sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to
challenge excessive maritime claims & preserve access to the waterways
as governed by international law,” according to @US7thFleet

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@NicolasMaduro sold over half a billion dollars in gold over the past two weeks (despite US sanctions). Reserves fell to multi decade lows. Getting close to the finish line. @HayekAndKeynes
Law & Politics


@NicolasMaduro sold over half a billion dollars in gold over the past
two weeks (despite US sanctions). Reserves fell to multi decade lows.
Funds were used to buy imports.  Getting close to the finish line.
Hard to see how this can go on much longer.

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01-APR-2019 :: There is certainly a Fin de siecle even apocalyptic mood afoot.
Law & Politics


The conundrum for those who wish to bet on the End of the World is
this, however. What would be the point? The World would have ended.

read more


WB Yeats' The Second Coming
Law & Politics


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;- Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

read more






do you think on some level Facebook's AI knows that the more it polarizes and inflames its 2 billion+ users, the more they'll engage with its content and ads, and the more money it will generate @mims
Law & Politics


Idle thought, do you think on some level Facebook’s AI knows that the
more it polarizes and inflames its 2 billion+ users, the more they’ll
engage with its content and ads, and the more money it will generate,
which is after all what its systems, in total, were designed to do?

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17-SEP-2012 "One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims."
Law & Politics


Information warfare will not be couched in rationale of geopolitics,
the author suggests, but will be "spawned" - like any Hollywood drama
- out of raw emotions. "Hatred, jealousy, and greed - emotions, rather
than strategy - will set the terms of [information warfare] struggles"

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1159
Dollar Index 97.95
Japan Yen 110.08
Swiss Franc 1.0104
Pound 1.2744
Aussie 0.6930
India Rupee 69.5725
South Korea Won 1193.99
Brazil Real 4.1014
Egypt Pound 17.0605
South Africa Rand 14.4071

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Crude Oil Futures in New York rose as much as 1.7%, following a 1.8% gain last week
Commodities


Oil started the week strongly after Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+
members signaled intentions to keep supplies constrained for the rest
of the year, while U.S. tensions with Iran ratcheted up as President
Donald Trump threatened the country in a tweet.
Futures in New York rose as much as 1.7%, following a 1.8% gain last
week. Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih urged members of the
alliance meeting in Jeddah to “stay the course” on output cuts.
Meanwhile, just weeks after the U.S. increased sanctions pressure on
Iranian crude exports, Trump tweeted “If Iran wants to fight, that
will be the official end of Iran.”
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery rose as much as $1.05
to $63.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at
$63.60 at 12:26 p.m. in Singapore. The contract added 1.8% last week,
the biggest weekly increase since early April. The contract expires
after end of trading Tuesday. The more actively traded July contract
rose to as high as $63.96.
Brent for July settlement rose $1.02 cents to $73.23 a barrel on the
London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract added 2.3% last
week. The global crude benchmark traded at a $9.46 premium to WTI for
the same month.

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Veteran Lawyer Says Emerging-Market Debt Is Headed for Trouble @business
Emerging Markets


For developing countries facing down creditors, Lee Buchheit was the
cavalry. During his 43-year career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
LLP, the quick-witted restructuring lawyer gained a reputation for
shattering investors’ dreams of sky-high returns. Buchheit, 68,
brought arcane legal terms such as collective action clauses and asset
protection orders into modern debt markets. He deployed the former to
spur a settlement for Greece, enabling a supermajority of creditors to
forge an agreement that was binding on all bondholders. Buchheit
applied the latter in Iraq to force U.S. investors to divest from
local assets. Now retired from Cleary, the Pittsburgh native has a
frightening prognosis for the coming decade: He foresees the biggest
string of defaults since the early 1980s. He blames the rise of bullet
bonds, noncallable debt instruments that pay back the entire principal
at the final maturity date. In an interview, Buchheit spoke about what
he’s learned over his career and the restructurings he sees on the
horizon.

BEN BARTENSTEIN: How did you get involved in the debt restructuring business?

LEE BUCHHEIT: I realized that my long-term survival in the legal
profession would require me to find a practice area that would offer a
degree of continual intellectual refreshment. The sovereign practice
does that. Each country is different. Not just in their financial
condition but also in their culture, geopolitical leverage, and
internal politics.

BB: Tell me about your suitcase.

LB: Well, I’d be on the road 50 to 60 percent of the time. The
suitcase is always packed. My first rule is never check a bag. Then
you’re not hostage to the airlines if they cancel or delay the flight.
For me it’s usually three shirts, three ties, underwear, socks, a
shaving kit, and cuff links. Then I have a lot of sleeping pills, and
caffeine in the morning.

BB: What’s one of your biggest lessons from the field?

LB: When I first got involved with the Philippines in the 1980s,
Ferdinand Marcos was still in power, and I watched Cory Aquino’s rise
to power. That was quite exhilarating. There was also a lesson. The
problem I found—I went through that in the Philippines and when [Iraqi
leader] Saddam Hussein was overthrown—is the people who’ve been
suffering under some regime assume that once the son of a bitch is
gone, everything will get better right away. Of course, the higher
those expectations, the more painful it is when they crash down. No
government, no matter how well-intentioned, can cure all the ills in a
society.

BB: What’s the problem with bullet bonds?

LB: When we moved into the bond era in the 1990s, the market actually
preferred trading bullet maturities, maturing 5, 10, or 100 years out.
When that date comes, the country may not have access to the market at
an interest rate it can afford. Risks are aggravated if borrowing was
done during a commodity boom. It’s like having a pal who’s on a diet,
and just before they take a bite of their chocolate éclair, you say,
“A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” You borrow today, and
the liability goes on the hips.

BB: Who’s most at risk?

LB: I’m worried about the 20 or so countries that never before came to
international bond markets and were able to issue inaugural bonds this
past decade. In sub-Saharan Africa you see a number of countries that
will have problems, particularly if interest rates continue to rise or
a withdrawal of quantitative easing pulls liquidity out of the market.

BB: How do politics contribute to this problem?

LB: That’s always been a characteristic of sovereign finance. The
people who borrow are rarely the ones who pay it back. Then you have
the obvious tension when there’s a government in place and a great
crisis. The opposition wants to see the government fall on its face. A
finance minister from an African country once came to me before
defaulting. This was a preemptive restructuring. When I finished
meeting with him, I said, “Let me express my admiration for dealing
with a problem that’s inevitable, but you’re doing it earlier.” And he
said, “Son, we don’t have an election for another eight months. Don’t
you think if I could hand this bag of garbage to the next
administration I would do it? But we won’t last eight months.” The
domestic politics make this job so fun.

BB: What role do investors play?

LB: Well, a modern bond investor doesn’t normally expect to be there
when the debt matures either. Investors can say, “I’ll buy the bond
with a bullet maturity, and when that day comes, when they refinance
it, I don’t expect to be there. I’ll have sold it.” The one trait
shared by every hedge fund investor is they know they’re smarter than
everyone else. They’ll say, “I can perceive the early warning signs of
trouble and sell to some other poor devil.”

BB: So what’s your outlook now?

LB: Another bout of emerging-market sovereign debt problems may be in
the offing. Interest rates have come up from their historic lows. QE
programs are being wound down. The commodity boom is well off its
highs. A lot of debt, both corporate and sovereign, was put on the
books during the sunny days.

read more







The Republic of Congo's dollar bonds are best performers in Africa this year, yielding returns of more than 15% @business
Africa


The Republic of Congo’s dollar bonds are best performers in Africa
this year, yielding returns of more than 15%. The central African
nation has agreed in principle on a debt-restructuring with China, a
pre-condition for an International Monetary Fund bailout, and with
commodities trading house Trafigura Group to reorganize millions of
dollars in oil-for-cash loans. On the other side of the spectrum is
Zambia, which has yet to start formal talks with the IMF and agree on
better terms for Chinese loan repayments.

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Rep. of #Congo has the best-performing #Eurobonds in Africa this year @PaulWallace123
Africa


That's because of progress made on restructuring debts from China. The
worst performer is #Zambia, which investors hope will strike a deal
with China and/or the IMF soon.

read more



Zimbabwe's economy 'pronounced dead', set to contract 20 percent in 2019 @SputnikInt
Africa


Our economy is now dysfunctional and literally dead. We have a real
crisis in this country," Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo of the Women's
University of Africa in Zimbabwe said. "We are experiencing so many
problems such as fuel, prices are skyrocketing, corruption etc. To be
quite honest corruption has destroyed this country".
Zimbabwe's GDP, however, rose 4 percent last year, but the nation's
inflation rate accelerated from 20.85 percent in October 2018 to 75.86
percent last month, according to official reports.
Meanwhile, according to Zimbabwe's Treasury, the economy is set to
actually contract by 20 percent in dollar terms this year — as
out-of-control inflation is threatening to erase the gains made by
remaining functioning sectors.

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Government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is drawing down US$500 million on Monday, 20 May 2019, to supply the interbank forex market to meet the forex payment @ReserveBankZIM
Africa


Government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is drawing down US$500
million on Monday, 20 May 2019, to supply the interbank forex market
to meet the forex payment
requirements of business and individuals.

read more




The RTGS$ black-market rate weakened 30% last week to a record low of 7 per dollar on the streets of Harare, the capital, according to marketwatch.co.zw, a website run by financial analysts @business.
Africa


That increased the gap with the official rate, which is 3.45, to the
widest since the interbank market was opened.
“At the rate the local unit is depreciating in the parallel market,
authorities have limited options other than accelerating the
official-rate depreciation,” said Madzima.

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AB InBev's Zimbabwe Head Sees Long Winter Ahead as Demand Slumps @markets.
Africa


Delta Corp., Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market value, is bracing
for cash-strapped consumers to spend less on its beverages in the
months ahead.
The manufacturer of Zambezi Lager beer and Coca-Cola Co. sodas is
already grappling with foreign-exchange shortages that are crimping
its ability to procure raw materials and service debt.
Demand for its products is also being constrained by an inflation rate
at 75.9% -- the highest in a decade.
The company will seek the assistance of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV,
which has a 40% stake in Delta, to obtain inputs for its beer
business, Chief Executive Officer Pearson Gowero said in an interview
in the capital, Harare.
There’s little Delta can do to stoke demand, he said.
“We are in for a very long winter,” Gowero said.
Zimbabwe’s government is struggling to revive an economy wrecked by
the misrule of former President Robert Mugabe.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told lawmakers on Wednesday output will
be hampered this year by a drought that’s curbed hydropower output,
leading to regular outages, and shortages of gasoline.
The International Monetary Fund forecast last month that Zimbabwe’s
economy will shrink 5.2% this year, its first contraction since 2008.
Delta this week reported a 62% increase in annual profit, as revenue
grew 26%. It achieved the results despite its soda division being
“virtually closed” in the fourth quarter of 2018 because of a shortage
of raw materials.
“The reduced disposable income and difficult operating environment has
resulted in subdued trading at the front end of the new year,” it
said.

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Saudi Arabia Deposits $250 Million Into Sudan's Central Bank
Africa


Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it deposited $250 million with the
Sudanese central bank, according to a statement from the kingdom's
ministry of finance.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged to send $3 billion
worth of aid to Sudan, after mass protests led to the ouster of
President Omar al-Bashir last month.
The move will strengthen Sudan's "financial position, alleviate
pressure on the Sudanese pound and achieve more stability in the
exchange rate,' the statement said.

read more




South Africa All Share Bloomberg +6.53% 2019
Kenyan Economy


Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 14.37915

http://quotes.ino.com/charting/index.html?s=FOREX_USDZAR&v=d6&t=c&a=50&w=1

Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 17.03

http://quotes.ino.com/charting/index.html?s=FOREX_USDEGP&v=d3&t=c&a=50&w=1

Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +3.72% 2019

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/CASE:IND

Nigeria's economy grew 2.01% year-on-year in the first quarter.
That was lower than the 2.54% analysts were expecting (based on a
Bloomberg survey) and lower than the figure of 2.38% for Q2.
@TheTerminal

https://twitter.com/PaulWallace123/status/1130378431286468608

Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -8.14% 2019

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/NGSEINDX:IND

Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg -3.37% 2019

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/GGSECI:IND

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Africa


“The first thing I need to do is to cultivate and create confidence in
Malawian people that their taxes are not going to be stolen. The
second thing I need to do is to bring back confidence from those
partners that are helping us that their people’s taxes are not going
to be stolen and misused.”
Chakwera, who heads the Malawi Congress Party, is in a tight race
against incumbent President Peter Mutharika, 78, and his deputy Saulos
Chilima, 46. In total, seven candidates are vying for the presidency
and 6.59 million people have registered to vote in the southern
African producer of burley tobacco and tea, widely known for the
white-sand beaches of the expansive Lake Malawi.
Chilima quit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party last year in
protest at what he said was rampant nepotism, cronyism and corruption.
While he set up a rival party, the United Transformation Movement,
Mutharika couldn’t fire him as vice president because he was directly
elected.
Chakwera’s campaign received a boost last week, when Joyce Banda, who
led Malawi from 2012 to 2014, quit the race and endorsed him.
Mutharika won the first-past-the-post 2014 election with 1.9 million
votes, while Chakwera got 1.46 million and Banda 1.06 million. The MCP
draws most of its support from central Malawi, while Banda’s People’s
Party is backed in the eastern region.

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20-MAY-2019 :: The "Kachumbari bond"
Kenyan Economy


Its not often that the Annals of Gastronomy and Finance meet unlike in
the days of yore when I traded the French markets and Sherveen used to
put me up in a suite in The Meurice and we would both quaff some very
fine wine [Chateau Margaux to be precise] at the Jules Verne
restaurant which was half way up the Eiffel Tower.

Kenya sold $2.1b of ''“Kachumbari'' Eurobonds last week. Its not clear
where the naming impulse came from but for clarity's sake, Kachumbari
is a fresh tomato and onion salad dish that is popular in the cuisines
of East Africa. It is an uncooked salad dish consisting of chopped
tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. The Swahili word kachumbari
originated from the Indian word cachumber. Therefore, I approve of the
appellation because it speaks with some subtlety to an Indian Ocean
heritage and in a circular manner brings us to Andrew Korybko's point
that

The "Indian Ocean Region" is expected to become the geostrategic
center of gravity and that Kenya is not only a land based Transit
State but also a Gateway to the Indian Ocean Economy.

Linguistics and Gastronomy aside Kenya sold $900 million seven-year
bonds priced at 7% and $1.2b 12-year paper at 8%. These rates were
achieved without the IMF's Precautionary Facility. The pricing was
much lower than the initial pricing thoughts of 7.5% and 8.5%.
Investors placed bids for a total $9.5 billion.

It would be churlish not to recognise this as frankly an outstanding
Outcome especially when you consider the International backdrop. The
Tariff War has intensified and the worry is that the curve continues
to accelerate. Emerging and Frontier markets are shivering as they
start to factor in the China - Emerging and Frontier Markets [Add
Germany to that mix] Feedback loop Phenomenon. If China sneezes a
whole lot of Countries are going to get a very serious bout of
influenza. Interestingly, In our case, we are relatively immune to
this phenomenon because China is not a Big Taker [Avocado hopes aside]
of our Exports. Therefore, when you contextualise the Bond I find
myself agreeing with Vinita Kotedia, macro-strategist for sub-Saharan
Africa at EFG-Hermes who said

“It’s a very favorable rate given that Kenya hasn’t finalized an
agreement with the IMF, It looks like investors were more focused on
the credibility of debt issues out of Kenya, and they aren’t too
worried.”

“There’s a broad consensus and agreement that Kenya does not face a
balance of payments crisis similar to a country like Zambia,” Qureishi
said [Bloomberg]

What is clear to me is that There is a significant perception Gap
between what International Investors are seeing and the domestic
perspective.

The proceeds will be used to fund infrastructure projects, general
budgetary spending and refinance part or all of a $750 million dollar
bond that will mature on June 24, the ministry said. Net New Money is
$1.35b. How this is now deployed is crucial.

What was also interesting is that  Both tenors of the new bond will be
amortized at $300 million and $400 million respectively for the 7- and
12-year tenors annually in the last three years to maturity in order
to avoid a surge in repayments, the Treasury said in the statement.
This is a welcome more sophisticated nuance from the Treasury because
it significantly reduces the ''bunching effect'' risk [the bullet
repayment risk] and I am sure went some way to boosting the price.

BondHolders the World over are known as ''Vigilantes'' So what do they
see? that we are not seeing? They see 51m Kenyans [Future TaxPayers,
of course] , good quality human capital [evidenced in the ever rising
remittance curve which is exactly the monetisation of human capital]
and a wide-open Opportunity.

When I first arrived on the Trading Floor at Credit Suisse First
Boston, every desk station had a Sun Microsystems computer and the Big
Swingers had three in fact. Vinod Khosla who was one of the Founders
of Sun Microsystems and bagged more than a $1b said this

''The Future is not seen in the Rear View Mirror''

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Kenya Shilling versus The Dollar Live ForexPros 101.05
Kenyan Economy


The NSE All Share is +3.49% in 2019 trading at a PE of 11.22 @RichTvAfrica

https://twitter.com/RichTvAfrica/status/1130360817386500096

Nairobi All Share Bloomberg +3.49% 2019

http://www.BLOOMBERG.COM/quote/NSEASI:IND

Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg -5.94% 2019

http://j.mp/ajuMHJ

Every Listed Share can be interrogated here

http://www.rich.co.ke/rcdata/nsestocks.php

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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May 2019
 
 
 
 
 
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