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Thursday 08th of August 2019
 
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Macro Thoughts

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China's Hand Is Stronger Than @realDonaldTrump Thinks @markets
Africa


U.S. President Donald Trump seems to think he holds the stronger hand
in any currency war with China. Don’t bet on it.
The yuan is “under siege,” thousands of companies are abandoning the
country and “massive amounts” of money are pouring from China into the
U.S., the president wrote in separate Twitter posts over the past two
days.
The suggestion is that Beijing’s hands are tied by the risk of capital flight.
China’s last attempt to stem capital outflows was disastrous. Between
2015 and 2016, Beijing spent about $800 billion, or 20% of its
foreign-exchange reserves, to stabilize the currency.
Back then, banks, financial conglomerates and wealthy individuals
raced to pull money out of the country, buying up luxury hotels,
insurance products and any other overseas assets they could lay their
hands on.
There are good reasons to believe this time is different, though.
Beijing is still mindful of capital flight, but it’s less worried than
in the past.
In 2015, a main channel for capital to exit China was currency
arbitrage. The offshore yuan traded at much weaker levels than the
onshore currency because of the absence of daily trading restrictions.
Banks and state-owned enterprises with offshore accounts could earn
easy money simply by selling the yuan in mainland China and buying the
currency more cheaply in Hong Kong.
The downside for Beijing was the resulting slide in the foreign reserves.
Nowadays, China doesn’t care as much if you short the yuan – in fact,
that’s a key driver of this week’s decision to let the currency weaken
past 7 to the dollar.
Beijing has already taught the shorts a painful lesson. It’s amassed
many tools to manage the offshore currency, the latest being issuing
higher-yielding yuan notes in Hong Kong. U.S. hedge fund manager Kyle
Bass exited a long-held short bet earlier this year.
That’s testimony to how difficult it is to profit from this trade.
As for debt-fueled conglomerates that used overseas acquisitions to
move money out, they’ve all paid a price. The former chairmen of
Anbang Insurance Group Co. and bad-debt manager China Huarong Asset
Management Co. are in jail, and HNA Group Co. has had its wings
clipped.
In any case, Chinese companies wanting to buy overseas firms are often
no longer welcome, with regulators such as the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the U.S. having adopted a tougher stance.
Sure, wealthy individuals in China still want to take money out, for
portfolio diversification if nothing else. But bear in mind where we
are in the credit cycle versus four years ago.
Where can return-conscious Chinese place their money? Some 40% of
global bonds are now yielding less than 1%. China’s 10-year bond,
meanwhile, still offers a decent 3%, because the People’s Bank of
China has conspicuously declined to join the world’s race to zero
rates.
On Thursday, China set its yuan fixing weaker than 7 for the first
time since 2008. While the headlines may suggest that the government
is weaponizing the currency, the reality is that Beijing has been very
gentle.
One of the factors that goes into the yuan fix is a “counter-cyclical
adjustment,” which in effect means the People’s Bank of China has been
propping up the currency.
Since early May, the PBOC intentionally guided the yuan stronger
against market forces. Had it not, the yuan fix would be around 7.30
today, HSBC Holdings Plc estimates.
China still wants a trade deal and is extending an olive branch. Trump
would be wise to realize that before patience runs out in Beijing.

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05-AUG-2019 :: In fact the risk is this that when the market sees he is powerless, the Dollar might lift off like the proverbial Parabola.
Africa


President Trump keeps talking about weakening the Dollar. I find it
curious that ‘’such a stable genius’’ has yet to calculate that a
strong Dollar is infinitely better and if he is serious about his
warfare strategy he needs to add currency warfare to his Tariff,
sanction and linguistic warfare Arsenal.
My Perspective about the Dollar is this [and note well its just a
fraction under its 2019 high even after a rate cut]; There is very
little President Trump can do. In fact the risk is this that when the
market sees he is powerless, the Dollar might lift off like the
proverbial Parabola.

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Mohamed Melehi: Untitled (1975) Capital D/Collection of Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE @nybooks
Africa


Melehi went on to adopt spray paint in “industrial, car-paint colors,”
which he saw as “very frank colors, in the spirit of the Moroccan
palette. No half-tones; the color comes straight from the can.” When
he had the first US solo show by a Moroccan artist, at the Bronx
Museum of the Arts in 1984–1985, he was videoed saying, “I ally myself
with the traditional artisan, in a studio in a popular neighborhood. I
work with the radio on and the door open.” He often worked
collaboratively, “demystifying the brush stroke.”

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Our domestic fault lines remain our greatest national security vulnerability, and race is our oldest and deepest rift. @AmbassadorRice @nytimes
Law & Politics


Most dangerously, President Trump is serving up to our adversaries an
ever more divided and weakened America, one that is animated by
suspicion, rived by hatred of the “other” and increasingly incapable
of uniting in the face of external threats. Russia, above all,
continues to exploit and exacerbate these divisions.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian trolls stoked American
white nationalism while amplifying black anger about police brutality
in an effort to suppress the African-American vote.
Today, President Vladimir Putin of Russia continues to use social
media to undermine our democracy and provoke internal conflict. Other
adversaries may seek to do the same, knowing that their efforts will
be aided and abetted by our divider in chief with his twitchy Twitter
fingers and a bastardized view of how to use the bully pulpit.
Our domestic fault lines remain our greatest national security
vulnerability, and race is our oldest and deepest rift. When the
president deliberately and repeatedly rubs salt in those wounds, while
coddling the authoritarian opponents who exploit them, we must
reluctantly ask ourselves: Is he playing on America’s team?

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Humiliating Kashmir is part of @narendramodi's plan to remake India @guardian H/T @RonnieChopra1
Law & Politics


Either way, Modi, a consummate method actor, was playing “the
conservationist”. He added this role to an extensive repertoire –
poet, sage, statesman, he-man, yogi – that he has deftly deployed to
craft a cult of personality unrivalled in the democratic world, not
least for a man who was once widely castigated as a Hindu supremacist.
Lest there was any doubt, Amit Shah, Modi’s dreaded enforcer and the
minister responsible for law and order, clarified in parliament that
“urban Naxals” – a label that encompasses everyone from leftwing
intellectuals to rootless cosmopolitans sceptical of the Modi regime –
“will not be spared”.
Kashmir is now under the thumb of the union government, and the
region’s elected leaders have been thrown in jail. Communications,
including land lines, have been cut off. Ordinary Kashmiris have no
means of speaking to the rest of India. The most monumental redesign
of Delhi’s constitutional arrangement with India’s sole
Muslim-majority state, hatched in secrecy, occurred without a debate
in parliament.
Modi’s willingness to take the risk was no doubt dictated by the
reward. He has in one stroke ground down and humiliated Kashmiris, and
held them up as an example to other Indian states, a demonstration
that nobody is immune from his untrammelled authority. The termination
of Kashmir’s special status is simultaneously a culmination of a
longstanding Hindu nationalist yearning to domesticate the region’s
dissenting Muslim majority and a successful test case for the project
to remake the entirety of India in accordance with Modi’s ideology.
What has happened there will be repeated elsewhere. A spike in
militancy or even an outbreak of hostilities with Pakistan can only
boost the fortunes of a leader who, presiding over a decelerating
economy, has little to offer besides demagogy.
“One country, one system,” Modi’s acolytes cry with sadistic glee at
Kashmiris who are curfewed and cut off from the world. Next week India
will mark 72 years of independence from British rule. For many
Indians, forced suddenly to pledge allegiance to a de facto one-party
state under one supreme leader, it will be the beginning of an
inquisition – not an occasion for celebration.

Conclusions

Gaza Kashmir and Xinjiang.

International Markets

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Chinese Trade Sources tell us that China expects 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion will be added Sept 1st
International Trade


Those sources also say China expects that 10% to go to 25% because
China will stand firm and not buy US Agriculture. #China #Trade

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27-MAY-2019 :: President Trump is highly tuned to the markets and in fact something of a c21st artiste
International Trade


President Trump is highly tuned to the markets and in fact something
of a c21st artiste. His positive ‘’Trade War’’ tweets are timed around
the US Market hours and designed to soothe, massage and finesse US
asset prices and he turns more ne- gative in Chinese trading hours.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1216
Dollar Index 97.481
Japan Yen 106.088
Swiss Franc 0.9753
Pound 1.2170
Aussie 0.6779
India Rupee 70.8405
South Korea Won 1208.605
Brazil Real 3.9686
Egypt Pound 16.55
South Africa Rand 15.0093

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"But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola"
World Currencies


''They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused to
believe -that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward
that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no
second chance, no return.’’

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The Korean Won...Yikes! This is one of the most crucial levels in its history...@RaoulGMI
Emerging Markets


These big wedge patterns tend to resolve in EXPLOSIVE moves to new all
time highs (for the dollar vs KRW). Mind bending

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05-FEB-2018 :: [The End of] Halcyon Days @TheStarKenya
Emerging Markets


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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China's New 2019 Defense White Paper: What it Means for Africa @habarinetwork @PNantulya
Africa


China has released its White Paper on Defense which seeks to modernize
China’s military in what Beijing calls “an era of intensified
strategic competition.”
To find out how this new strategy affects Africa, The Habari News
Network talked to China specialist, Paul Nantulya, a Research
Associate at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Dennis Matanda: How important is the release of this White Paper?

Paul Nantulya: China’s National Defense in a New Era comes against the
backdrop of 3 key developments.

First, China’s global reach has grown considerably and its foreign
policy is more assertive and competitive, themes the White Paper
touches on in each chapter. It paints a picture of a confident China
determined to restore itself as a Great Power (shi jie qiang go, 世界强国)
and directs the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “stand ready to
provide strong strategic support for the realization of the Chinese
Dream of national rejuvenation” (zhonghua minzu weida fuxing,
中华民族伟大复兴). The Chinese government has given itself the task of
doubling China’s 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) of US$12 trillion
by 2021 to become a “moderately prosperous society” (小康社会). 2049 is
the target date it has set for China to become a “world class power.”
And by 2050, China hopes to be a “world maritime power,” 海洋强国.

Second, China’s armed forces are undergoing major structural reforms
and modernization in technology, training, tighter party control, and
overseas deployments. China’s National Defense in a New Era
underscores the globalization of China’s evolving national security
and the need for improved power projection to advance China’s
expanding overseas interests.

Third, the developing world has become increasingly important to
China’s global strategy. Many African analysts noticed that the White
Paper was released while the first China-Africa Peace and Security
Forum, an organ of the Forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was
in session, with defense and military chiefs from over 40 African
countries in attendance. A similar mechanism for Asian defense and
security leaders known as the Xiangshan Forum met in its 8th session
last October, bringing together 90 senior leaders from over 50
countries. China ranks its priorities as follows, “Big powers are the
key; China’s periphery the priority; developing countries the
foundation, and multilateral platforms the stage, 大国是关键,周边是首要,发展中国家是基
础, 多边是重要舞台. This strategic mapping is evident in the massive One Belt
One Road (OBOR), described in Chinese as yī dai yī lu, 一带一路 and more
commonly known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Through it,
China is building new economic corridors linking Asia, Europe, the
Middle East, and Africa and connecting them to its economy. OBOR is a
major driver of China’s recalibrated security strategy and shapes many
of the new missions and tasks the White Paper assigns to China’s armed
forces.

DM: How does this Defense White Paper differ from previous ones?

This White Paper is more explicit about China’s growing power,
influence, and leadership ambitions than previous ones. It adopts the
“community of common destiny for mankind”, (人类命运共同体) China’s vision of
an international system more conducive to its interests and values, as
part of its military-strategic guidance. This all-encompassing concept
was written into China’s state and party constitutions in October
2017, along with the Belt and Road, and Xi Jinping Thought, elevating
all 3 in China’s long-term strategy. The so-called “5 connectivities”
of the Belt and Road: strategic infrastructure, policy coordination,
trade, finance, and people-to-people exchanges constitute the physical
elements of the “community of common destiny.

Its underlying logic is as the Belt and Road’s economic arrangements
facilitate closer economic integration among member countries, and
between them and China, they will seek enhanced political and security
partnerships with Beijing. This would in turn strengthen China’s quest
to “take an active part in leading the reform of the global governance
system,” 积极参与引领全球治理体系改革 as laid out by President Xi at the Communist
Party’s Foreign Affairs Work Conference in June 2018.

The White Paper casts the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as a critical
element of the “community of common destiny” and tasks it with
creating new security frameworks with “Chinese characteristics”
(Zhōngguó tèsè, 中国特色) to support the Belt and Road’s “5
connectivities.” Examples include the China Africa Defense Forum,
China Africa Peace and Security Forum, Xiangshan Forum, and Great Wall
International Forum on Counter-Terrorism. The latter forum includes
over 30 African countries and is managed by the People’s Armed Police
(PAP) that runs China’s elite counterterrorism forces. The PAP’s
entrée into Africa in countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and
Zambia is governed by a 2015 counterterrorism law that allows it and
the PLA to conduct joint overseas operations. African governments
enthusiastically welcome these new security mechanisms but critics
warn that they could reinforce regime-centric views on security that
treat discontent as a national security threat. China and many of its
African partners are often blamed for the human rights implications of
this approach to security.

China’s National Defense in a New Era, lays out the PLA’s role in
protecting China’s overseas interests more clearly than previous
editions. It requires the PLA to “build far seas forces, “develop
overseas logistical facilities, and enhance capabilities to accomplish
diversified military tasks.” The mention of “far seas forces” is
particularly relevant for Africa because Chinese military authors use
the terms “far seas” 远海, and “far seas operations,” 远海作战, to refer to
far-off maritime domains beyond the Western Pacific to the Indian
Ocean, where China’s presence is growing. This is illustrated by the
establishment of China’s first overseas naval base in Djibouti, and a
sizeable fleet averaging 4 to 5 surface vessels and submarine
deployments compared to a zero presence a decade ago. The White Paper
lists some of China’s new missions in these distant seas as “vessel
protection operations,” “securing sea lines of communication,” and
“maritime rights protection,” which are all alluded to in the
2019-2021 China Africa Action Plan.

DM: What are the likely long-term trends in China/Africa relations?

China is likely to continue pursuing opportunities in 3 key areas:

First, Africa will remain part of the groundwork for China’s broader
international strategy. Africa for instance has been the foundation on
which China has strengthened its clout in global peacekeeping, one of
the tools it hopes to use to address security issues along the Belt
and Road. Global peace operations are overwhelmingly focused on
Africa: Africa hosts the largest number of multilateral operations in
the world and African missions account for 75 percent of all
peacekeeping personnel. Furthermore, the majority of the world’s
peacekeepers are African.

China capitalized on this by tactfully courting Africa’s top
peacekeeping contributors and positioning itself as Africa’s strategic
peacekeeping partner. In 2015 the African Union (AU) supported China’s
decision to join the UN’s Peacekeeping Standby Readiness System. China
shortly thereafter created a US$100 million China Africa Peace and
Security Fund to operationalize the AU’s Standby Force. It also
trained an 8,000-strong Chinese Standby Force which was activated in
2018 and transferred to UN authority as a rapid reaction force.
Speculation is rife that China could influence how and where this
force is deployed, particularly along the Belt and Road where its
strategic investments – from power plants and high-speed railways, to
ports and digital infrastructure – face growing security risks due to
instability.

China’s return on its African peacekeeping investments has global
ramifications. Beijing’s voice in multilateral security bodies has
increased along with its ability to shape peacekeeping and peace
enforcement decisions. The mandates given to PLA forces serving in UN
missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan,
Sudan, and Mali are cases in point. They include protecting Chinese
citizens, assets, and critical infrastructure, thereby indirectly
extending China’s reach in monitoring its interests, such as the oil
infrastructure in the 2 Sudans, the DRC’s Grand Inga Dam, and planned
Chinese-built railways connecting Mali to Senegal and Guinea.

China has also capitalized on its role as the world’s biggest
contributor of peacekeepers and 2nd largest contributor to the UN’s
peacekeeping budget. It has sought to reap the diplomatic and
propaganda benefits of portraying itself as a so-called “responsible
big power,” zeren daguo 责任大国 at a time when its peers on the UN
Security Council are perceived to be scaling back their multilateral
engagements. China complements its multilateral security efforts with
less visible bilateral engagements with local partners to whom it
sells a range of security wares from weapons to surveillance
technology. Included in these sales are artificial intelligence (AI)
capabilities that countries like Angola, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe have
purchased in recent years. China’s entry into Africa’s AI market is
aimed at improving its own surveillance systems, while providing
partners with internal security capabilities. Some observers warn
about the downsides of such assistance, particularly in terms of their
potential use in monitoring and cracking down on opposition parties
and civil society activists.

Africa also presents opportunities for China to expand the Belt and
Road, Xi Jinping’s top priority. The continent is located on a
junction of this Road known as the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”
(21 世纪海上丝绸之路) that connects China to Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf,
and East Africa. A growing portfolio of Chinese port acquisitions
along this corridor are aimed at supporting China’s strategic presence
in the Indian Ocean and its push to open new maritime routes for
economic, commercial, and security purposes. China’s 2017 “Vision for
Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative” underscores
the strategic importance of the Maritime Silk Road to China’s economic
growth targets and the protection of its overseas interests.

Finally, Africa is seen as an opportunity to promote Chinese models of
development, economics, politics, and security which Chinese leaders
believe have resonance in Africa. This is part of a competitive soft
power strategy that leverages China’s anti-colonial ties to Africa to
offer Chinese models as viable alternatives to those of its perceived
rivals such as the U.S., China’s most potent strategic competitor
according to the White Paper. China’s National Defense in a New Era
devotes an entire chapter to promoting Chinese models in building the
“community of common destiny.” Some of these include “new model
security partnerships,” “new regional security architectures,” and
“the provision of international public goods.”

The promotion of Chinese models is integral to Chinese foreign policy
and will likely continue into the future. Since 2013, over 1,700 PLA
members have studied in over 50 countries, many of them in Africa.
Around 20 Chinese military institutions, including the National
Defense University (NDU), Academy of Military Science (AMS), and State
Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National
Defense (SASTIND) have established exchanges with over 40 countries.
By 2018, SASTIND had institutional arrangements with 45 African
countries to share China’s experience in defense industries. China in
January 2019 promised to double the intake of African officers to its
military colleges. Africa now hosts over 70 Confucius Institutes in 40
countries and 10,000 annual scholarships are now on offer for citizens
from Belt and Road participating countries.

These stepped up engagements set the scene for the expansion of
China’s security programs. In 2017 the gross annual revenues of
state-backed Chinese engineering firms in Africa totaled around US$51
billion, 10 times larger than China’s average foreign direct
investment into Africa since 2007. Over 70 percent of Africa’s
communications infrastructure has been built by Chinese telecoms
giant, Huawei. Another Chinese firm, Star Times, similarly edged out
its competitors to dominate the African media market, beaming Chinese
content to 10 million rural subscribers in 30 countries. The Chinese
government’s tendency to view Africa as an opportunity despite the
risks will continue to shape the larger context in which China’s
engagements will continue to expand as envisioned in the White Paper.

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China Everbright Bank, has placed Zimbabwe on a list of countries it will not be dealing with.
Africa


The list titled, ‘Unilateral Sanctions’ is a notice to bank officials
and places Zimbabwe under similar regulations it is fleeing from
Western financial institutions.

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@Glencore earnings fall 32% on lower metals prices @FT
Africa


Glencore has reported a 32 per cent drop in its earnings for the first
half of this year as the Swiss mining giant was hit by lower prices
for copper and cobalt and a poor performance from its African mines.
The miner and trading house posted adjusted earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation — the measure most closely tracked
by analysts — of $5.6bn in the half year to June, below analysts’
expectations of $5.9bn.
Net income fell by 92 per cent to $200m, the company said.
“Our performance in the first half reflected a challenging economic
backdrop for our commodity mix, as well as operating and cost
setbacks,” Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of Glencore, said. Shares
in Glencore were down 3 per cent in early trading in London after the
news.
Glencore’s African copper division reported a loss of $315m in the
first half of the year due to higher costs and lower prices. The
company said it would shut its largest cobalt mine in the Congo at the
end of this year due to lower cobalt prices, which have fallen by over
40 per cent this year.
The mine is the world’s largest producer of the metal, which is
critical to electric car batteries.
“At Mutanda, we are planning to transition the operation to temporary
care and maintenance by year end, reflecting its reduced economic
viability in the current market environment, primarily in response to
low cobalt prices,” Mr Glasenberg said. The shutdown is expected to
last about two years, he said.
This year Glencore’s trading arm was forced to take a mark-to-market
loss of $350m on about 10,000 tonnes of cobalt inventory it owns but
has yet to sell.
As a result, adjusted earnings before interest and tax for its trading
division fell 35 per cent to $1bn.
Still, Glencore said earnings at its marketing arm were on track to be
within the $2.2bn-$3.2bn guidance range set by the company for this
year.
It also said it was confident that its commodity mix “will continue to
play a key role in global growth and the transition to a low-carbon
economy''

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Angola and Zimbabwe operations sap @distellgroup earnings @BDliveSA
Africa


Beverages company Distell, whose brands include Nederburg wines and
Three Ships Whisky, says earnings fell in the year to end-June as it
took a hit on operations in Angola and Zimbabwe.
Soaring inflation and weak macroeconomic fundamentals in those markets
have taken their toll on other SA companies with operations there,
including packaging company Nampak.
Distell said on Wednesday it had written down the value of its
investment in African spirits maker Best Global Brands (BGB) by R524m
in response to the Angolan kwanza’s 50% decline and the weak economy.
“Although BGB has grown volumes and maintained market share since
Distell’s investment, the group has decided it would be prudent to
impair about two-thirds of the value of its 26% investment in BGB,”
Distell said.
The group also set aside a credit-loss provision of R266.1m linked to
a Zimbabwean associate, which had to settle trading debts owed to
Distell in local currency due to foreign exchange shortages.
As a result, Distell said basic earnings per share for the year fell
by between 44% and 49%, while headline earnings per share declined by
up to 6%.
The group said normalised headline earnings per share adjusted for
currency movements, as well as retrenchment and restructuring costs of
R168.6m, rose by up to 9%.
This was thanks to “overall comparable revenue growth of more than 9%
and margin enhancement”.
Investec analyst Anthony Geard said in a note to clients the
write-downs in Angola and Zimbabwe were expected but were “painful
nonetheless” and “highlight the cost of doing business in the rest of
Africa”.
“Underlying business momentum is strong,” Geard said, citing better
trading margins and organic sales growth that was ahead of major food
producers.
“We stick with our view that alcoholic drinks are more resilient than
food brands in tough times, and that premiumisation is a much more
relevant theme for Distell than its food peers,” he said.
“We remain positive on this investment story on the basis that
management is doing the right things, the SA business is more
‘recession proof’ than much of SA Inc, and that other-Africa will
deliver strong growth in the medium term.”
Distell Group CEO Richard Rushton said the write-downs in Angola and
Zimbabwe “do not reflect our confidence and commitment to these
assets, where we see future value as we build out a resilient and
meaningful route-to-market in Africa”.
“BGB in Angola has increased volumes since our investment, which
affirms our belief in the business as local structural reforms take
effect,” Rushton said.

read more


Reserve Bank's Kganyago Spurns Talk of South Africa Needing @IMFNews Aid @economics
Africa


The nation’s biggest business lobby warned in a letter to members this
month that the government will need to seek a bailout from the IMF
unless it halts the decline.
“We are not there yet,” he said after listing the conditions that
would prompt an IMF package when asked by reporters at a lunch in
Johannesburg.
“These things are in our control, we have got to be able to take those
decisions and make those trade-offs, then we wouldn’t have to take the
bitter medicine.”
Those factors included a budget deficit that was out of control, and a
state unable to contain spending with few options to raise revenue, he
said.
The rand slid as much as 1.7% against the dollar on Wednesday in
Johannesburg, weakening through 15 for the first time in two months.
The currency was 0.6% stronger at 14.9850 per dollar by 7:21 am in
Johannesburg on Thursday.
Minister Tito Mboweni last month announced that the government will
give Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the state electricity company that
posted a record loss in the year through March, an extra 59 billion
rand ($3.9 billion) bailout over two years. It would fund that through
more borrowing.
Fitch Ratings Ltd. cut the outlook on its assessment of South Africa’s
debt to negative after Mboweni’s speech and said the bailout would
widen the fiscal shortfall to 6.3% of gross domestic product this
year, compared with the Treasury’s initial projections of 4.5%.
“We don’t have to get there,” Kganyago said. “These problems are
within our grasp, we know exactly what must we done.”

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CFC Stanbic Holdings reports HY 2019 EPS +14.349% Earnings here
Africa


Par Value:                  5/-
Closing Price:           98.50
Total Shares Issued:          395321638.00
Market Capitalization:        38,939,181,343
EPS:             15.88
PE:                 6.203


The Kenyan Banc assurance model includes CFC Bank, CFC Financial
Services and Heritage Assurance.

Stanbic Holdings PLC HY 2019 results through 30th June 2019 vs. 30th June 2018
HY Financial investments 94.098765b vss. 91.541460b +2.794%
HY Loans and advances to banks and customers 177.084261b vs.
154.034135b +14.964%
HY Total assets 313.309838b vs. 278.780976b +12.386%
HY Deposits from banks and customers 237.983996b vs. 215.772057b +10.294%
HY Total Equity 46.828917b vs. 42.209633b +10.944%
HY Net interest income 6.702229b vs. 5.608193b +19.508%
HY Non-interest revenue 6.135202b vs. 5.569913b +10.149%
HY Total income 12.837431b vs. 11.178106b +14.844%
HY Credit impairment charges [1.234920b] vs. [253.269m] +387.592%
HY Income after impairment charges 11.602511b vs. 10.924837b +6.203%
HY Total operating expenses [6.041793b] vs. [5.730355b] +5.435%
HY PBT 5.560718b vs. 5.194482b +7.050%
HY Income tax expense [1.497690b] vs. [1.642146b] -8.797%
HY Profit for the period 4.063028b vs. 3.552336b +14.376%
Basic and Diluted EPS 10.28 vs. 8.99 +14.349%
Dividend per share 1.25 vs. 2.25 -44.444%
Cash and cash equivalents at period end 52.962762b vs. 45.932735b +15.304%

Conclusions

a Cheap share on a PE of 6.203 and a Price to Book 1.1

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WPP Scangroup reports HY 2019 EPS +4.082% Earnings here
Africa


Par Value:                  1/-
Closing Price:           11.75
Total Shares Issued:          432155985.00
Market Capitalization:        5,077,832,824
EPS:             1.37
PE:                 8.577

The largest marketing services company in East Africa.

WPP Scangroup Limited HY 2019 results through 30th June 2019 vs. 30th June 2018
HY Billings 7.108055b vs. 6.309101b +12.664%
HY Direct costs [4.735447b] vs. [4.515664b] +4.867%
HY Net sales 2.372608b vs. 1.793437b +32.294%
HY Net interest income 116.173m vs. 158.772m -26.830%
HY Other income 9.019m vs. 9.629m -6.335%
HY Operating and administrative expenses [2.108859b] vs. [1.637507b] +28.785%
HY Foreign exchange gain/ [Loss] 6.823m vs. [23.328m] +129.248%
HY PBT 387.576m vs. 301.003m +28.762%
HY Profit for the year 249.852m vs. 196.450m +27.184%
HY Basic and diluted EPS 0.51 vs. 0.49 +4.082%
Total Assets 13.617968b vs. 13.945497b -2.349%
Total Equity 6.969275b vs. 8.795081b -20.759%
Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period 3.782265b vs. 3.890916b -2.792%

Conclusions

Headline Billings growth +12.664%.

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East African Cables reports HY 2019 EPS +351.485% Earnings here
Africa


Par Value:                  0.50/-
Closing Price:           2.34
Total Shares Issued:          253125000.00
Market Capitalization:        592,312,500
EPS:             1.92
PE:                 1.219

Leading Kenyan cable manufacturer.

East African Cables Limited H1 2019 results through 30th June 2019 vs.
30th June 2018
H1 Turnover 698.944m vs. 872.577m -19.899%
H1 Profit/ [Loss] from operating activities 1.005122b vs. [140.193m] +816.956%
H1 Interest expense [109.302m] vs. [279.589m] -60.906%
H1 FX Gains/ [losses] 6.320m vs. [13.777m] +145.874%
H1 Profit/ [loss] before tax 902.140m vs. [433.559m] +308.078%
H1 Profit/ [loss] for the period 633.597m vs. [303.388m] +308.840%
H1 Basic and diluted EPS 2.54 vs. [1.01] +351.485%
Total Assets 6.391734b vs. 6.394495b -0.043%
Cash and cash equivalents at 30th June 190.190m vs. 210.252m -8.350%
Total Equity 2.134810b vs. 1.544723b +38.200%

Commentary
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the interim unaudited
results for the six months ended 30 June 2019.
The Group and Company recorded net earnings of KShs 634 million and
KShs 645 million respectively, a significant shift from the losses of
KShs 303 million and KShs 208 million recorded in the same period last
year. The Group continues to achieve its turn-around milestones
including the just concluded debt restructure and efficiency
optimization.
Through continued implementation of Total Performance Management
(TPM), the umbrella initiative in efficiency improvement and skills
enhancement, the Group has recorded significant reduction in process
waste, more synchronized supply chain planning as well as reduction in
overall expenses by 15% thereby resulting to leaner and more
sustainable organization.
With the reduced debt burden and lower debt service cash requirement,
the Group is focusing on increasing allocation of available resources
to roll-out innovative products, product support and deepening its
market presence by widening the distribution of its premium products.

Dividend
The directors do not recommend payment of an interim dividend.

Outlook
On the market front, the Group has embarked on promoting its brand
visibility and improving customer experience to expand its market
share. The growing demand for our products, backed by a robust
construction sector, regional governments’ support for
industrialization and local manufacturing, power infrastructure
projects and the big 4 agenda housing projects is expected to grow our
revenue. The Board is confident that the collective effort of all
stakeholders in our business will yield positive results.

Conclusions

Chasing Profit over headline revenue growth

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