26th June 2019
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Friday 14th of June 2019
 
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Macro Thoughts

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Markets and prices exhibit patterns of correlation and essentially my perspective is that it is the correlation that has exerted a "Pull" Effect on US Yields and that should be discounted
Africa


Markets and prices exhibit patterns of correlation and essentially my
perspective is that it is the correlation that has exerted a ‘’Pull’’
Effect on US Yields and that therefore the ‘’recessionary’’ Signalling
of the Yield Curve should be discounted

read more








"They chose to come and fight for the freedom of Hong Kong" @TheEconomist
Law & Politics


“THEY FIRED plastic bullets at us!” Breathless from running, a young
man holding a white flannel over his face shakes his head in disbelief
at the response of the police.
Other youngsters lie on the floor washing the residues of pepper spray
from their faces. Similar scenes have played out throughout Hong Kong
on June 12th, after violent confrontations between riot police and
mainly young protesters.
Tensions had been rising for days over plans by the Legislative
Council (Legco) to pass a law allowing Hong Kong to send suspected
criminals to mainland China, where many fear they would not get a fair
trial.
Before 9am, with little resistance from the police, protesters closed
large roads surrounding the government district. Cars were abandoned
where they sat in traffic jams.
Outside Legco a line of priests led the crowd in a chorus of “Sing
Hallelujah to the Lord”. Others berated policemen for turning against
their fellow citizens.
Experience had shown them what they needed, and most came suitably
equipped: masks, goggles and scarves for protecting mouths, eyes and
bodies from pepper spray and tear gas; and the ubiquitous umbrellas,
symbols of Hong Kong’s protest movement since 2014.
One protester, Ricky, spoiling for a fight, said: “Unless you come
down and are prepared to take risks, don’t come.” Shouts of “ga yau!”,
a call of encouragement literally translating as “add oil!”, or “keep
it up!”, rang out as spare umbrellas and yellow construction helmets
were passed up to the front line of protesters.
Hong Kong’s riot police are a fearsome sight. All wear thick
arm-length gloves and carry batons and plastic shields. Some carry
weapons to fire rubber bullets. For most of the morning they seemed
intent only on forming a tight circle to protect the offices of the
chief executive, the civil service and Legco.
Around 4pm, however, as protesters barged their way past police lines
into the Legco building, police lost their patience. Some fired
tear-gas canisters. Soon afterwards they fired rubber bullets and
small bean-bags filled with birdshot.
A running battle continued up and down the flyovers and roadways of
the Admiralty district. Clouds of stinging gas could be felt blocks
away. As hundreds of demonstrators fled in every direction, many took
shelter in shopping malls and office buildings, scrambling over the
makeshift barricades they had erected earlier in the day.
Although they came prepared for trouble, protesters were surprised at
the level of aggression shown by the police. Though nobody was killed,
one young woman on the front line was moved to draw a comparison with
the Chinese Communist Party’s massacre of protesters around Tiananmen
Square 30 years ago—an event widely commemorated in Hong Kong last
week.
 “We can’t believe that this kind of thing can happen in Hong Kong,”
she said. “Citizens try to fight back but we have nothing.”
After the police had cleared and sealed off the area around Legco,
apparently taking group selfies to celebrate, protesters gathered in
huge groups elsewhere, disrupting traffic.
Office workers joined the throng. One demonstrator, Zoe, argued that
“Most people here... their parents wouldn’t want them to be fighting
with the police. But they choose to come anyway and fight for the
democracy of Hong Kong.”

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Xi Assailed on All Fronts as Hong Kong Adds to Trump Pressure @business
Law & Politics


For most of the last six years, Xi Jinping has been largely free to
define the terms of his rule. But with challenges piling up from the
U.S. trade war to mass protests in Hong Kong, his presidency is
increasingly being dictated by events.
This week alone, President Donald Trump threatened to hike tariffs if
China’s leader fails to meet with him at the Group of 20 meeting in
Japan; hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied against an
extradition law in Hong Kong; and signs emerged that China’s economy
is struggling, with manufacturing slipping and an 8.5% decline in
imports indicating slowing domestic demand.
Assailed on all sides, Xi’s travails amount to one of the most
difficult periods to date of his six-year presidency. How he responds
is a matter for business, finance and economies globally, since
whichever course Xi takes could have far-reaching consequences for his
legitimacy at home and his ability to assert China’s interests abroad.
“This is all on Xi’s shoulders,” said Trey McArver, co-founder of
Beijing-based research firm Trivium China.
“Xi has personally said that he would handle relations with the United
States and at this point he has failed. Those relations are spiraling
out of control.”
Xi’s current challenges are particularly acute as they strike at the
heart of the Communist Party’s legitimacy.
In Hong Kong, the protests met with tear gas and rubber bullets
highlight the limits of the party’s ability to assert control over the
formally autonomous island which became a Chinese special
administrative region in 1997.
In that worst-case scenario, “it would make it more difficult for
President Xi to back down,” Kirkegaard told Bloomberg Television.
 “He would be seen as bowing to political pressure from President
Trump, from the administration, which is very difficult for him given
the standoff they’re already embroiled in over the trade
relationship.”
The dust-up in Hong Kong is just one of China’s peripheral headaches
where the U.S. can play an aggravating role.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has accused the Communist Party of
“methodically attempting to strangle Uighur culture and stamp out the
Islamic faith” in its far western region of Xinjiang.
The situation in Hong Kong looked calmer on Thursday, with police
removing roadblocks and the Legislative Council scrapping debate for a
second straight day of the extradition bill at the heart of the
uproar.
The U.S. has meanwhile ratcheted up support for Taiwan’s China-skeptic
president, sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait while
entertaining the island’s request for advanced F-16V fighter jets.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has decided to run against China as
she seeks a second term, announcing Thursday that should won’t
cooperate with Hong Kong’s extradition law.
Chinese officials have been frank about the seriousness of Trump’s attacks.
One senior Chinese diplomat recently told a foreign counterpart that
Beijing sees the U.S. actions as a challenge to the Communist Party’s
right to govern China, according to a person familiar with the
exchange.
What’s more, these are not the kinds of challenges that Chinese
leaders are used to dealing with. In Hong Kong, Xi must deal with the
unpredictability of a polity where relative freedom of assembly and
expression are the norm. In Trump, Xi faces a U.S. president who
announces major policy shifts on Twitter -- a platform blocked in
China -- and courts an image of unpredictability to gain leverage in
talks.
In addition, Xi’s decision to remove presidential term limits last
year means he has nowhere to pass the buck.
If he backs down in the face of these pressures, he risks looking weak
in front of the domestic audiences which handed him this authority.
“Xi has grown overconfident in himself on dealing with domestic and
international issues,” said Suisheng Zhao, director of the Center for
China-U.S. Cooperation at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel
School of International Studies. While displaying great ambition, he’s
neglected some issues which could come back to haunt him, said Zhao.
“If he sticks to his current path, it will only become more
challenging for him at home and abroad.”

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27-MAY-2019 :: President Xi is on a Pedestal and is faced with the Strong Man Conundrum. The Political Brand will not permit a retreat let alone a Surrender.
Law & Politics


In one fell swoop, President Xi Jinping was President for Life.
President Xi is on a Pedestal and is faced with the Strong Man
Conundrum. The Political Brand will not permit a retreat let alone a
Surrender.

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Ex-PBOC Head Warns Trade War Could Trigger Competitive Devaluation @markets
Law & Politics


The U.S.- China trade war could trigger competitive currency
devaluation across the globe and disrupt financial order, China’s
former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Friday.
The global consensus of no competitive currency depreciation could be
challenged if the dispute drags on, Zhou said at a major financial
forum in Shanghai, adding that he hopes the upcoming Group of 20
meeting will help stabilize financial markets. The offshore yuan
extended its drop after the comments by Zhou, who stepped down from
the top job of China’s central bank last year. The offshore yuan has
fallen 0.9% in 2019 as one of the worst performers in Asia amid
escalating trade tensions with the U.S. The currency slipped 0.07% to
6.9341 a dollar as of 11:16 a.m. in Hong Kong. The world’s two biggest
economies have imposed tariffs and threatened each other’s companies
after the trade negotiations broke down last month. President Donald
Trump has repeatedly threatened to raise tariffs if Chinese President
Xi Jinping doesn’t meet with him at the G-20 leaders’ meeting from
June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan. Trump has said he has no deadline for
China to return to trade talks that collapsed amid U.S. accusations
that Beijing reneged on commitments in a tentative accord. Countries
will take expansionary fiscal and monetary policies in an effort to
offset the negative impact of the trade war, Zhou said. Those policies
should be a temporary adjustment and won’t be "precise" enough to
directly compensate exporters and importers.
"We should seek a permanent cure," he said. "We should try to make
trade policy return to the normal track through trade talks and WTO
reforms."
He also said China should tap other markets because its exports to the
U.S. are set to fall as a result of the tensions. That could take
about two to three years, and in the meantime China may suffer from
export losses that could put pressure on the yuan, he said, without
elaborating.

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27-MAY-2019 :: if this all turns ballistic as is my baseline scenario then this is going to fly through 7.00 like a hot knife through butter
Law & Politics


And if this all turns ballistic as is my baseline scenario then this
is going to fly through 7.00 like a hot knife through butter and the
Chinese will surely use the value as currency as Push-Back. If they do
they will be pushing at an open door. Its clear that directionally
money wants to leave China and a great deal of the 2019 surge in
Bitcoin is surely correlated to Chinese Flight Capital. Therefore, my
prediction is when the currency slides its going to slide real quick
and Dollar Call Options are an interesting risk adjusted trade.

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09-JUL-2018 :: Tariff wars, who blinks first?
Law & Politics


a “Chickie Run.” Both race stolen cars towards the edge of a cliff.
The first to eject out of his car is branded a “chickie.”

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"Oman: credibility gulf will test @WhiteHouse " via @LowyInstitute
Law & Politics


For the US to directly accuse Iran of attacking oil tankers just
outside the heavily congested, economically critical and strategically
vital waters of the Persian Gulf … well, it ought to be a big deal. A
really big deal.

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WHERE IS THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ? @AP.
Law & Politics


The Strait of Hormuz is the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf. It is in
the territorial waters of Iran and Oman, which at its narrowest point
is just 33 kilometers (21 miles) wide. The width of the shipping lane
in either direction is only 3 kilometers (2 miles). It flows into the
Gulf of Oman, where ships can then travel to the rest of the world.
The strait is viewed as an international transit route.

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13-MAY-2019 :: President Trump has been a big proponent of coercive, financial and sanction warfare and its expression vis a vis Iran is its apogee.
Law & Politics


This level of financial and coercive sanction warfare is simply
unprecedented. President Trump has been a big proponent of coercive,
financial and sanction warfare and its expression vis a vis Iran is
its apogee.

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Weapons of mass disruption America is deploying a new economic arsenal to assert its power @TheEconomist
Law & Politics


When donald trump arrived in the Oval Office he promised to restore
America’s might. His method has turned out to be a wholesale
weaponisation of economic tools. The world can now see the awesome
force that a superpower can project when it is unconstrained by rules
or allies. On May 30th the president threatened crippling tariffs on
Mexico after a row over migration. Markets reeled, and a Mexican
delegation rushed to Washington to sue for peace. A day later
preferential trading rules for India were cancelled. Its usually macho
government did not put up a fight and promised to preserve “strong
ties”. China faces a ratcheting up of tariffs soon, and its tech
giant, Huawei, has been severed from its American suppliers. The
country’s autocratic leaders are enraged, but on June 2nd they
insisted they still seek “dialogue and consultation”. A tighter
embargo on Iran, imposed over European objections, is strangling its
economy. President Trump must view this scene with satisfaction.
Nobody takes America for granted any more. Enemies and friends know
that it is prepared to unleash an economic arsenal to protect its
national interest. America is deploying new tactics—poker-style
brinkmanship—and new weapons that exploit its role as the nerve centre
of the global economy to block the free flow of goods, data, ideas and
money across borders. This pumped-up vision of a 21st-century
superpower may be seductive for some. But it could spark a crisis, and
it is eroding America’s most valuable asset—its legitimacy. You might
think that America’s clout comes from its 11 aircraft-carriers, 6,500
nuclear warheads or its anchor role in the imf. But it is also the
central node in the network that underpins globalisation. This mesh of
firms, ideas and standards reflects and magnifies American prowess.
Though it includes goods traded through supply chains, it is mainly
intangible. America controls or hosts over 50% of the world’s
cross-border bandwidth, venture capital, phone-operating systems, top
universities and fund-management assets. Some 88% of currency trades
use greenbacks. Across the planet it is normal to use a Visa card,
invoice exports in dollars, sleep beside a device with a Qualcomm
chip, watch Netflix and work for a firm that BlackRock invests in.
Foreigners accept all this because, on balance, it makes them better
off. They may not set the rules of the game, but they get access to
American markets and fair treatment alongside American firms.
Globalisation and technology have made the network more powerful
although America’s share of world gdp has fallen, from 38% in 1969 to
24% now. China cannot yet compete, even though its economy is
approaching America’s in size. Despite this, Mr Trump and his advisers
are convinced that the world order is rigged against America, pointing
to its rust-belt and its trade deficit. And rather than mimic the
relatively restrained tactics of the last trade conflict, with Japan
in the 1980s, they have redefined how economic nationalism works.
First, instead of using tariffs as a tool to extract specific economic
concessions, they are being continuously deployed to create a climate
of instability with America’s trading partners. The objective of the
new Mexican tariffs—fewer migrants crossing the Rio Grande—has nothing
to do with trade. And they breach the spirit of usmca, a free-trade
deal signed by the White House only six months ago, which will replace
nafta (Congress has yet to ratify it). Alongside these big fights is a
constant barrage of petty activity. Officials have skirmished over
foreign washing machines and Canadian softwood lumber imports. Second,
the scope of activity has been extended beyond physical goods by
weaponising America’s network. Outright enemies such as Iran and
Venezuela face tighter sanctions—last year 1,500 people, firms and
vessels were added to the list, a record figure. The rest of the world
faces a new regime for tech and finance. An executive order prohibits
transactions in semiconductors and software made by foreign
adversaries, and a law passed last year known as firrma polices
foreign investment into Silicon Valley. If a firm is blacklisted,
banks usually refuse to deal with it, cutting it off from the dollar
payments system. That is crippling—as two firms, zte and Rusal,
discovered, briefly, last year. Such tools used to be reserved for
times of war: the legal techniques used for surveillance of the
payments system were developed to hunt al-Qaeda. Now a “national
emergency” has been declared in tech. Officials have discretion to
define what is a threat. Though they often clobber specific firms,
such as Huawei, others are running scared (see article). If you run a
global company, are you sure your Chinese clients are not about to be
blacklisted? The damage to America’s economy so far has been
deceptively small. Tariffs cause agony in export hubs such as northern
Mexico, but even if Mr Trump imposes all his threatened tariffs, the
tax on imports would be worth only about 1% of America’s gdp. His poll
ratings at home have held up, even as they have slumped abroad. His
officials believe the experiment in weaponising America’s economic
network has only just begun. In fact, the bill is mounting. America
could have built a global coalition to press China to reform its
economy, but it has now squandered precious goodwill. Allies looking
for new trade deals with America, including post-Brexit Britain, will
worry that a presidential tweet could scupper it after it has been
signed. Retaliation in kind has begun. China has begun its own
blacklist of foreign firms. And the risk of a clumsy mistake that
triggers a financial panic is high. Imagine if America banned the
$1trn of Chinese shares trading in New York, or cut off foreign banks.
In the long run the American-led network is under threat. There are
hints of mutiny—of America’s 35 European and Asian military allies,
only three have so far agreed to ban Huawei. Efforts to build a rival
global infrastructure will accelerate. China is creating its own
courts to adjudicate commercial disputes with foreigners (see
Chaguan). Europe is experimenting with building a new payments system
to get round the Iran sanctions, which could in time be used
elsewhere. China, and eventually India, will be keen to end their
dependence on semiconductors from Silicon Valley. Mr Trump is right
that America’s network gives it vast power. It will take decades, and
cost a fortune, to replace it. But if you abuse it, ultimately you
will lose it.◼

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13-MAY-2019 :: "There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over"
Law & Politics


“There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who
really know where it is are the ones who have gone over''
if the US thinks that Tehran will just roll over, which appears to be
the case, then they are exhibiting the same deluded ideas that they
exhibited a day before the peacock Throne got plucked. Iran is a
geopolitical bleeding edge.

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05-DEC-2016:: hindsight will surely show that Russia ran a seriously sophisticated programme of interference, mostly digital.
Law & Politics


The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice
breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable
poignancy”.
He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm
officers at Colorado Command:
“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”
“We copy. There’s a voice.”
“We have gross oscillation here.”
“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m not sure
it’s helping.”
“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”
“Thank you, Colorado.”
“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on
the step-function quad.”
“It was a voice,” I told them.
“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We
will correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”
The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of
repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest
sadness”.
“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60
years ago.”
I have no doubt that Putin ran a seriously 21st predominantly digital
programme of interference which amplified the Trump candidacy. POTUS
Trump was an ideal candidate for this kind of support.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1263
Dollar Index 97.085
Japan Yen 108.22
Swiss Franc 0.9953
Pound 1.2643
Aussie 0.6897
India Rupee 69.705
South Korea Won 1184.63
Brazil Real 3.8493
Egypt Pound 16.7627
South Africa Rand 14.8283

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@AlibabaGroup's Hong Kong Share Offering Should Worry U.S. Markets @BW
Law & Politics


Alibaba’s $25 billion debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014
was, at the time, the largest-ever initial public offering in the U.S.
Now that the company is said to be planning to raise $20 billion from
a secondary stock offering in Hong Kong, the operators of America’s
top exchanges should be worried that business from China will start to
dry up.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. isn’t deserting New York, which will remain
its primary listing. But its plan to add one in Hong Kong signals to
other Chinese companies that they have IPO options closer to home,
people familiar with the matter have said.
Businesses without a three-year track record of profitability are
still prohibited from listing on Chinese exchanges.
But a soon-to-be-launched market in Shanghai will allow money-losing
tech plays to be listed, and in April 2018, Hong Kong changed its
regulations to allow unprofitable tech companies to list in the city.
It also scrapped a strict one-share-one-vote rule for tech stocks,
leading to mega-IPOs by Chinese smartphone operator Xiaomi Corp.,
which raised $5.4 billion in July, and food-delivery giant Meituan
Dianping, which raised $4.2 billion ahead of its debut in September.
The issues helped propel Hong Kong to become the world’s top IPO venue
last year.

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India is facing a surge in onion prices. It must release the onion options. Let loose the shallot swaps @wsj via @birdyword
Commodities


The cost of onions is causing tears in India. An onion futures market,
which would damp volatility in the price of the aromatic bulb, might
help dry them.

The price of onions has surged in India during the past month, leading
the government to withdraw export incentives on Tuesday to keep more
of the vegetable in the domestic market. As recently as the beginning
of the year, the problem facing India was low onion prices, which were
pinching farmers’ incomes. Volatile prices reach consumers immediately
because there are no derivatives with which farmers can hedge
themselves.

In the U.S., that’s because of a highly unusual piece of legislation:
the 1958 Onion Futures Act, which was passed after two traders
cornered the market in physical onions and onion-futures contracts
listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Onions are still the only
agricultural commodity in which the U.S. bans futures trading.

India can do better than the U.S. Unleash the onion options, deploy
the shallot swaps, and let the market do its job

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@FitchRatings warns Africa risks falling back into financial 'distress'
Africa


Sub-Saharan African states have borrowed so much money since the debt
forgiveness programmes earlier this century that they risk falling
back into financial distress, Fitch warned today.
However, the rating agency argued that multilateral debt relief had
not been squandered, as some have argued, because it has “delivered
lasting benefits” in the form of faster economic growth and
improvements in measures of human development.
Between 2001 and 2015, 36 states, all but six in Africa, had $76bn of
debt wiped off as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and
Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives.
And although some poorly-run countries wasted this windfall, Ed
Parker, head of Emea sovereign ratings at Fitch, said “median GDP
growth, total investment-to-GDP and countries’ percentile ranking in
the UN’s Human Development Index all improved for Fitch-rated
sub-Saharan sovereigns after they passed the HIPC completion point
relative to pre-HIPC, and also improved relative to sovereigns that
have not benefited from the HIPC initiative”.
The median public debt-to-GDP ratio of the 19 sub-Saharan countries
rated by Fitch plummeted to just 26.7 per cent in 2012, as a result of
the wave of debt forgiveness. However, it has since rebounded to 54.3
per cent
The stock of public debt has jumped to 128 per cent of GDP in Cape
Verde, 100 per cent in the Republic of Congo and 94 per cent in
Mozambique, with the latter pair having already defaulted in recent
years.
“There is now limited scope to accumulate non-concessional public debt
at such a rapid pace without an increasing risk of debt distress,”
said Fitch, which has cut its average sub-Saharan sovereign credit
rating from BB- to B+ since 2012, with downgrades outnumbering
upgrades by three to one over the period.
“Debt relief was, or was intended to be, a one-off event,” Mr Parker
said. “Once the impact is used up then countries cannot continue to
accumulate debt at the pace they have in the past. It does leave them
with hard choices.”
Gregory Smith, fixed-income strategist at Renaissance Capital, said
sub-Saharan sovereign debt was now increasing at a faster clip than in
other emerging or frontier markets, and the growing importance of
non-Paris Club creditors such as China and India complicated efforts
to deal with any necessary restructurings.
“I’m travelling to the Paris Club on Monday to talk about three
African sovereigns and whatever we do [about potential future debt
restructuring] we are going to have to try to change the global
infrastructure,” Mr Smith said, although he did point to the example
of Iraq, where China agreed to accept the same haircut as the Paris
Club.
From the point of view of eurobond holders, however, Mr Smith said
while idiosyncratic problems were likely, he did not expect to see any
asset class-wide problems until 2024-25, when a wall of debt
maturities is due to hit.
“Nobody expects this debt to be repaid. They expect [African
sovereigns] to take out more debt and kick the can down the road, but
that depends on the markets being open then,” he said.

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Chinese Loans to Africa
Africa


Although there are no official data on Chinese lending, the China
Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University estimates that
Beijing lent $143bn to African states between 2000 and 2017,
illustrated in the third chart, although the stock is likely to be
lower due to repayments and restructurings.

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A further source of credit has been the eurobond market, where issuance by the Fitch-rated sovereigns (excluding South Africa) has jumped from an average of $1.1bn a year between 2006 and 2012 to $6.9bn from 2013 to 2018
Africa


A further source of credit has been the eurobond market, where
issuance by the Fitch-rated sovereigns (excluding South Africa) has
jumped from an average of $1.1bn a year between 2006 and 2012 to
$6.9bn from 2013 to 2018, and has already hit $5.7bn so far this year,

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Ethiopia Approves Law to Open Telecoms to Foreign Investors
Africa


Ethiopia’s parliament approved a draft law that enables foreign
companies to invest in the telecommunications industry of Africa’s
second-most populous nation.
The legislation establishes an independent communications regulator,
accountable to the prime minister, that will be responsible for
promoting competition.
Lawmakers Thursday “approved into law the Ethiopian Communication
Regulatory Proclamation,” Innovation and Technology Minister Getahun
Mekuria said in a tweet. “This is a huge step in reforming the telecom
sector.”
Ethiopia offers a rare opportunity for foreign investors to access one
of the continent’s biggest markets. With one of Africa’s
fastest-growing economies and more than 100 million people, it’s
coveted by firms including MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd., the
continent’s largest mobile-phone companies.

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Sudan's air force chief insists army prepared to hand over power @FT @thomas_m_wilson
Africa


A leading member of Sudan’s ruling military council has said the army
is prepared to eventually hand over power to civilians but will
continue to rule the country until elections are held.In the first
interview by a council member to western media since Sudanese troops
raided a pro-democracy sit-in last week, leaving more than 100 people
dead, Lieutenant General Salah Abdel Khalig insisted the seven-man
military junta wanted a return to civilian government once national
security had been guaranteed.
“We do not want to rule Sudan forever, a few months and we will go
home,” Lt Gen Khalig, head of the air force, told the Financial Times
from the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum.
The military would even invite the UN to run the vote, he added, but
for reasons of national security the army must remain in charge until
then.
The military seized power in April, ousting long-serving president
Omar al-Bashir after four months of anti-government protests.
Initially welcomed as liberators, talks between the transitional
military council and protest movement leaders broke down over the
structure of an interim government, before security forces turned
their guns on the people last week.
International mediators, including US diplomat Tibor Nagy, who arrived
in Sudan on Wednesday, and Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed, are
seeking to rebuild trust between the two sides.
To allow mediation efforts to progress, the civilian opposition ended
a general strike on Wednesday and the transitional military council
agreed to release political prisoners. But Lt Gen Khalig played down
the chance of a breakthrough.
“I feel these negotiations will not go well. They behave like kids —
they are not behaving like adult politicians,” he said of the protest
leaders who he believes are unwilling to compromise.
Civilians can participate in interim institutions but executive
authority must remain with the military as a protection against rebel
activity and a revival of the Islamist groups that shared power with
the army under Mr Bashir, Lt Gen Khalig said. “We are assuring that
the Islamic system will not take power again because it brought us a
lot of sanctions, a lot of the problems with the free world,” he said.
Given the military's close involvement in Sudan’s politics over 50
years, most activists are suspicious and believe the army has no
interest in handing over control and wants continued access to power
to protect its interests. In Sudan, army officer Gaafar Nimeiry took
power in 1969 after seizing control in a military coup, only to be
toppled by his own soldiers in 1985. Elections were held a year later
but the military took control again in 1989 through Mr Bashir.
For Lt Gen Khalig’s military council, there are concerns that a
civilian-led interim government would look to investigate and
prosecute officers that ruled alongside Mr Bashir.
The opposition has also demanded an international investigation into
last week’s killings before talks can restart.
The military council has said it is conducting its own inquiry, which
the opposition has decried as a charade.
Recounting that investigation’s version of events, Lt Gen Khalig
denied the military council ordered members of the feared Rapid
Support Forces to attack the sit-in, as alleged by the opposition and
many victims.
The police, supported by a mixed group of army and RSF soldiers, had
intended to clear just one section of the sit-in where alleged
criminal activity was taking place, he said.
Some of those forces and others, who have since been arrested, then
attacked the sit-in against the wishes of the army’s senior
leadership, he added.
His own son, a 28-year-old commercial airline pilot, often visited the
sit-in and could have been killed had he been there on the night of
the attack, he pointed out.
Lt Gen Khalig also said the military filmed the operation using a
reconnaissance aircraft, generating footage that would be integral to
any international investigation, though such a probe may never take
place.
“Sometimes international interference in things like this can make the
situation more complicated because they may also have an agenda,” he
said.
“For me personally, I am ready if they come, but the council will take
this decision as a group.”

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And now we have two visions of the Future
Africa


And now we have two visions of the Future. One Vision played out on
our screens, the Protestors could have been our Wives, our Children,
our Daughters and Sons. The Other Vision is that of MBS, MBZ and
Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw. Vladimir and Xi backed the Gulf
and America is below the radar.

Hugh Masakela said ''I want to be there when the People start to turn
it around'' Sudan is a Masakela Pivot moment

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Lets start in Khartoum. The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution was as intoxicating as the Oudh that the Saudi Arabian Ambassador once gave me and I found myself semi delirious intoxicated on my own perfume.
Africa


The exquisite murals, the composition of the crowds, the element of
Girl Power which spoke to hope and a Future. As I watched events
unfold it felt like Sudan was a Portal into a whole new another
Normal. David Pilling in the Financial Times captured the Essence by
quoting William Wordsworth, who wrote of the French Revolution:

OH! pleasant exercise of hope and joy! For mighty were the auxiliars
which then stood Upon our side, we who were strong in love! Bliss was
it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!--
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields, Or some secreted island, Heaven
knows where! But in the very world, which is the world Of all of
us,--the place where in the end We find our happiness, or not at all!

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@IMFNews approves disbursement of $248.15 mln under Angola's credit facility @ReutersAfrica
Africa


The International Monetary Fund said its board had completed the first
review under Angola’s extended arrangement and approved a disbursement
of $248.15 million, taking the total of such payments to about $1.24
billion.
“The Angolan authorities have demonstrated strong commitment to
policies under the Fund-supported program,” the IMF’s first deputy
managing director and acting chair, David Lipton, said in a statement.
“However, a weakened external environment, notably the heightened
volatility in the international price of crude oil, is posing
challenges to their reform efforts.”

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South Africa All Share Bloomberg +11.30% 2019
Africa


Egypt Pound versus The Dollar Chart INO 16.75

https://quotes.ino.com/charting/index.html?s=FOREX_USDEGP&t=c&a=50&w=1&v=d12

Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +8.78% 2019

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

Nigerian stock market has underperformed so much, for so long,
that a rare valuation phenomenon just occurred recently. @TihoBrkan

https://twitter.com/TihoBrkan/status/1138915551106015234

Its dividend yield (which is 5.3%) is now higher then it's P/E ratio
(which is 5.1x). This is quite rare to see, it could even turn a
perma-bear. P/B @ 0.8.

Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -4.46% 2019

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

Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg -3.41% 2019

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

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UPDATE: East African Community (EAC) budgets being presented right now in respective Parliaments by Finance Ministers @ChroniclesRW
Africa


Kenya $29.2bn
Tanzania $14.3 bn
Uganda $9.1bn
Rwanda $3.2bn
Burundi $824m
South Sudan: Not presented

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Kenya Budget Highlights 2019/20 Unravelling the Puzzle #BudgetKE2019 | @lkubebea @JWEshun @DeloitteKenya
Kenyan Economy


The rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is set to be increased from 5% to 12.5%.
Reduction of the withholding VAT rate from 6% to 2%.
Introduction of excise duty on betting activities at 10% of amounts staked.
• Reduction of excise duty on fully-powered electric motor vehicles
from 20% to 10%.
• Increase in excise duty on motor vehicles of engine capacity
exceeding 1500cc to 25%.
ICT sector output grew by an average of 10.8% between 2014 and 2018,
mainly on account of continued investments in mobile telephony,
Interest rates cap to be removed: proposal to repeal section 33B of
the Banking Act in a bid unlock credit to the private sector

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