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Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here
I do thank Godfrey of CNBC Africa and K24 for taking my Thoughts
My weekly Piece for The Star Safaricom the Regulator and Pinball
All the weekly Articles for The Star 2010 are here
Safaricom The CCK and Pinball Wizardry
The Dubai Dream
Africa Equities from #Cape to #Cairo
The Wizard of Oz.
I have been reading this Essay by Salman Rushdie about The Wizard of Oz.
At the heart of The Wizard of Oz is the tension between these two
dreams; but as the music swells and that big, clean voice flies into
the anguished longings of the song, can anyone doubt which message is
the stronger? In its most potent emotional moment, this is unarguably
a film about the joys of going away, of leaving the grayness and
entering the color, of making a new life in the “place where there
isn’t any trouble.” “Over the Rainbow” is, or ought to be, the anthem
of all the world’s migrants, all those who go in search of the place
where “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” It is a
celebration of Escape, a grand paean to the uprooted self, a hymn—the
But the Point he makes that interested me was about the Wizard who
really is not a Proper Wizard.
And I cannot help feeling the Market is set to draw the Curtain on all
this Wizardry and Money Printing.
And that we have to learn the same lesson that Dorothy learnt.
The Girls Grand Mother Passed through yesterday on her way from
Blantrye to London. The Grand Daughters get very excited but tend to
behave spectacularly differently around their GrandParents [My Father
and Nishet's Mother]. I actually have found myself loafing around when
the Girls speak to their Grand Parents because frankly I have found
out I pick up quite a lot. Layla was recounting to her GrandMother how
she had not done something very clever and Her Teacher told her
'Act your hair Colour!'
She told Grannie that she recounted this to her Friend [who was Blond]
and got a Slap for her Troubles, which she felt grossly unfair because
of the fact it was not her Insult.
Zubeida was saying there was an absolute Deluge when everyone landed
at JKIA. She was telling me that Rose Massage [Her Masseuse - If you
have ever read the Gunny Sack You might recall Roshan Mattress] is her
Source of the absolute latest news in Blantyre. And in my Childhood,
everybody had a Moniker. Jimmy Verjee otherwise known as Jimmy Fish.
You could write a really good Book about it all.
The Brown paradox Independent
Law & Politics
Often warm and witty in private, capable of touches of grace (such as
when he telephoned Peter Mandelson to offer condolences on his
mother's death at the peak of one of their poisonous feuds),
intellectually curious and literate, he could also be calculating,
rivalrous, single-mindedly ambitious and witheringly aggressive to
those perceived, not always rightly, as his opponents. He was a man
capable of unleashing, in the words of his Chancellor Alistair
Darling, long one of his staunchest allies, "the forces of hell" at
those who incurred his disapproval. It is a testament to the force and
timing of yesterday's announcement that the memory of his many
"psychological flaws" (a term almost certainly attributable to Tony
Blair's press secretary Alastair Campbell) will be counterbalanced –
perhaps more than counterbalanced – by the service he has now
performed for his party. It will also, for all his faults, reinforce
his deserved status as a big figure, undoubtedly a member of the
post-war Premier League of politicians.
The late Lord Jenkins warned some eight years ago in an interview with
The Independent that "tail-end Charlies"– those who become prime
minister at the end of a long period of rule by their party – can
often have an unhappy time. Among that club of ex-PMs, Brown did not –
perhaps fatally – follow the example of Anthony Eden and call an
election almost as soon as he took office. But nor has his career
ended with any of the ignominy of Eden's. He is leaving with dignity,
having fought a gallant, dogged campaign to save Labour from eclipse.
And as is its way, the party is going to feel exponentially better
about him now.
He wore his Heart on his Sleeve in the last 12 months. It was
practically Shakespearean. Being so close to the Main prize all those
years then finally being given the Poisoned Chalice. Not having the
Strength and Singularity of Mind to go for it when he might have
pulled it off and watching it all slip from his Grasp. However, he has
now played his Trump Card and it is one that will gain him respect and
might well upend the Cards that were apparently dealt.
Did a Big Bet Help Trigger 'Black Swan' Stock Swoon? WSJ
World Of Finance
Shortly after 2:15 p.m. Eastern time last Thursday, hedge fund
Universa Investments LP placed a big bet in the Chicago options
trading pits that stocks would continue their sharp declines.On any
other day, this $7.5 million trade for 50,000 options contracts might
have briefly hurt stock prices, though not caused much of a ripple.
But coming on a day when all varieties of financial markets were
deeply unsettled, the trade may have played a key role in the
stock-market collapse just 20 minutes later.
The trade by Universa, a hedge fund advised by Nassim Taleb, author of
"Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable," led traders on the
other side of the transaction—including Barclays Capital, the
brokerage arm of British bank Barclays PLC—to do their own selling to
offset some of the risk, according to traders in Chicago.
Then, as the market fell, those declines are likely to have forced
even more "hedging" sales, creating a tsunami of pressure that spread
to nearly all parts of the market.
The tidal wave of selling fed into a market already on edge about the
economy in Europe. As the selling spread, a blast of orders appears to
have jarred the flow of data going into brokerage firms, such as
Barclays Capital, according to people familiar with the matter.
Stock trading's main venue is no longer the New York Stock Exchange
but rather computer servers run by companies as far afield as Austin,
Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; and Red Bank, N.J
Through the trading desks at Barclays, Universa bought 50,000 options
contracts, according to people familiar with the matter. The contracts
would pay off about $4 billion should Standard & Poor's 500-stock
index fall to 800 in June. It was at 1145 points at the time of the
Black Swan is a very good Book.
Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
Euro 1.2715 Could not hold 1.30+
Sterling 1.4781 - crossed 1.50 momentarily
Dollar Index 84.51
Real 1.7710 - sharp bounce
In the market's early euphoria about the plan, Europe's shared
currency briefly surged back above the $1.30 level. After backing off
from that high point, the euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd
(CUR_EURUSD 1.2708, -0.0078, -0.6100%) traded at $1.2777 in
afternoon North American trading, compared with $1.2714 on Friday.
That is the Very Definition of a Dead Cat Bounce.
Now Blooming: Mota on Flowers WSJ
Carlos Mota, editor-at-large for Elle Décor and general man about
town, believes every room should have flowers. "It's not just a pillow
and a throw. It adds something to the room," Mr. Mota said by phone
this week. "A big part of interior styling is using flowers."
"Sometimes flowers and flower people can be intimidating, but I'm not
intimidated by anything, darling," Mr. Mota said.
Mr. Mota was asked how a man should approach flowers. Should a
straight man, for instance, send another straight man a bouquet? "I
would probably recommend just sending a plant," Mr. Mota said. "A
bonsai, an orchid, a little bamboo. A cactus could be funny. You know,
rules are made to be broken."
What should a straight man send a woman? "The sky's the limit," he
explained. "Anything goes. If it's a business occasion, I would go for
simple and safe, like two dozen of one thing. If you're not so sure,
just pick your favorite color."
And how should straight men use flowers in their apartments? "Every
person's a different world," Mr. Mota said. "But a plant can change
the whole room. I would probably have a big palm tree. It's not fussy
and it's masculine."
Live Crude Oil chart 76.33
Minerals, Oil & Energy
Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery on the New York Mercantile
Exchange settled at $76.80 a barrel, up 2.3%, or $1.69 a barrel.
Still, crude regained only a fraction of the $11 a barrel it shed in a
near 13% rout last week on concerns over euro-zone sovereign debt and
growing oil stockpiles which left June crude Friday at the lowest
level since Feb. 12
China’s April Inflation Accelerates, Lending Surges Bloomberg
China’s inflation accelerated, bank lending exceeded estimates and
property prices jumped by a record, increasing pressure on the
government to raise interest rates and let the currency
appreciate.Consumer prices rose 2.8 percent in April from a year
earlier, the fastest pace in 18 months, and property prices jumped
12.8 percent, the statistics bureau said in statements today. New
lending of 774 billion yuan ($113 billion), announced by the central
bank, was more than any of 24 economists forecast.Asian stocks pared
gains on concern that Chinese officials will move to cool the
fastest-growing major economy, while yuan forwards rose. China’s top
priority should be preventing excessive increases in asset prices and
liquidity after Europe’s almost $1 trillion loan package reduced the
risk of another global slump, central bank adviser Li Daokui said
“Price pressures have been building throughout the economy,
strengthening the case for higher interest rates and a stronger yuan,”
said Brian Jackson, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Royal Bank of
Canada. “China is at risk of overheating, with spot fires breaking out
in various parts of the economy.”
Telecom Firms Thrive in Somalia Despite War, Shattered Economy WSJ
MOGADISHU, Somalia—Banks barely existed in this war-torn African
nation a decade ago. Now, Somali residents can bank over their mobile
The rapid evolution of technology in Somalia—and people's access to
it—comes as several telecommunications companies here jockey for
customers amid the absence of any government-regulated phone or
Internet access. The competition to supply phone service has stoked
the nascent revival of Somalia's shattered economy, and it shows that
some complex businesses can thrive even in one of Africa's least
The success of Somalia's telecom sector isn't all that unusual for a
war-shattered economy, experts say. In countries with shaky economic
foundations, such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo,
telecommunications companies have stepped in to provide missing
In these environments, "the first ones who put in electricity
generators in rural areas are the telecom operators," says Svet
Tintchev, a World Bank expert on the telecom industry in developing
countries. "In a way, their leverage goes beyond pure telecom
One of the largest, Hormuud Telecom Inc., has sales of about $40
million a year, substantial in a country where an estimated 70% of the
population lives on less than $2 a day. Hormuud declined to disclose
Hormuud's chief executive, Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf, started his business
selling bread, spaghetti, sweets and other groceries. He later opened
a popular supermarket.
The United Nations estimates that in 2007 the East African nation's
economy expanded 2.7%. Per-capita GDP, at $291 a year, remains among
the lowest on the poverty-stricken continent.
To navigate Somalia's tangled web of clan alliances, Hormuud sells
shares to all interested parties. In this way, the connection to
Hormuud cuts across the country's warring groups, leading Somalis from
nearly every clan to feel vested in the company, says Mr. Yusuf, who
often surfs satellite news channels in his Mogadishu office [That is a
Part of the Plan that I was sort of promoting to the Prime Minister
and on BBC World Service]
I would venture that the Mobile Phone has proven to be the Silver
Bullet when it comes to Africa. As You can see from the dates in the
Article it is very late cycle but it has now arrived. In Kenya, there
were 15,000 Phones 10 Years ago and in 2010, we will probably surpass
20m. This is no small Potatoes. It is in fact practically a Laboratory
Viewing things from Another Continent it is difficult to comprehend
the Mobile Phone's importance in Africa. It is like the Entry Ticket
to the c21st and has connected Africans to themselves and to the
The Resilience of the African Economies can also be seen to be part of
this Mobile Revolution. There is a very bottoms up Bottom of the
Pyramid Entrepreneuralism that it has triggered. Today a Farmer in the
remotest Village can glean a pretty good idea of where the Market is.
He could not before. These might appear small and insignificant
improvements but taken together they are beginning to gain the
Momentum of a Tsunami Wave.
More than All the Aid [and maybe here to we can upend the Architecture
of Aid by pointing Aid right down to the Individual Mobile Phone] that
Africa has received, it is the Phone which is lifting this Continent
up by its Bootstraps.
Kenyan economy at risk from shrinking biodiversity: UN Reuters
"To the economy of a country like Kenya, biodiversity is not a luxury.
It is one of the pillars of its national economy," Steiner told
reporters in Nairobi, where the UNEP is based.
"For example, if the migration stops at Masai Mara game reserve it
will be such a shock for the Kenyan economy."
"Kenyan tourism is largely biodiversity based ... and provides
employment to hundreds of thousands if not millions of people," said
Steiner, speaking at the global launch of a report on the state of the
The once-extensive Mau forest has been seriously degraded by human
actions, the report said. The forest is one of the main catchment
areas, known as the water towers, of Kenya.
"This situation is threatening the very existence of the ecologically
and economically important Masai Mara game reserve, and the Sondu
Miriu and Mara rivers," the report said, adding the rivers are a
lifeline for some of east Africa's major lakes.
Experts say the Mau complex has lost some 107,000 hectares (264,400
acres), or about a quarter, of its trees over the last two decades due
to conversion to farmland, illegal settlement, logging and charcoal
burning encouraged by corrupt officials.
The Overarching Test is that of the National Interest. Then everything
becomes very clear.
Sunrise over the Mau Wildlife Direct
Kenya's Boghal-1 well showed gas, no oil: minister Reuters
Minerals, Oil & Energy
China's CNOOC Boghal-1 well in Kenya found no oil but showed strong
indications of gas, the east African country's Energy Minister Kiraitu
Murungi told Reuters on Tuesday.
"They did not find any oil, but there are strong shows of gas," he
said, adding that CNOOC would now test whether the quantities of gas
were commercially viable.
The Boghal-1 well in Kenya's northeastern region is the 32nd to be
drilled in the country.
Kenya: The Silicon Valley of Banking? Day 2 at the WEF Africa Fast Company
Information & Communication Technology
With that perspective in mind, the conversation turned again and again
to M-Pesa and the growing revolution in mobile banking in Africa. A
number of speakers predicted that, given the success of M-Pesa,
Nairobi will emerge as the next tech hub on the continent, competing
with South Africa. One speaker even referred to Kenya as the "Silicon
Valley of Banking" adding that "100 countries in the world are looking
at Kenya" to learn about the future of a cashless economy. Make no
mistake, this is a huge potential market. There are an estimated 1.7
billion people globally who have access to mobile phones but no
current banking services. Africa is adding 35,000 new mobile banking
customers a day, most of whom have never banked before. The trick is
to reduce the on-boarding costs, which are around $10 per banking
Mpesa has been simply a Runaway success. The Parabolic Growth Curve is
evidenced in Safaricom's Numbers which can be found here
And an Interview with Michael Joseph the CEO of Safaricom here
I am glad you picked up on This Disjunctive Moment and Inflexion Point
in the Curve of African History. I happen to believe the Mobile Phone
[and recall the Internet and Mobile Banking are coming through this
Pipe] is the Silver Bullet for this Continent. It is the Entry Ticket
for 1b Africans to join a c21st that will be characterised as an
Many Economists now speak of the Resilience of African Economies. I
reckon the Mobile has been worth 3% of GDP on average across SSA. It
has been the Catalyst for a Bottoms Up Entrepreneuralism which is just
noteworthy. One cannot underestimate the Mobile and its Effect in
Kenya’s Masinga Dam Spilling Over After Heavy Rains Bloomberg
Kenya’s Masinga dam, the holding reservoir for four power plants, is
spilling over following heavy rains, said Kenya Electricity Generating
Co.Water has surpassed the optimum of 1,056.5 meters (3,466 feet)
above sea level, the company’s managing director, Edward Njoroge, said
in an e-mailed statement today.
“The dam, the main reservoir for the Seven Forks cascade, went up from
1,023 meters above sea level in September 2009 to hit 1,056.5 meters
on May 7,” Njoroge said.
KenGen, as the company is known, has increased generation to 12
GigaWatt Hours per day from 4.6 GigaWatt Hours in September, Njoroge
said. A year earlier, water flows into the reservoir were at their
lowest since 1949. KenGen shut down the 14-megawatt Masinga Power
Station because of prolonged drought, the company said in a statement
on June 30.
Hydro-electric plants account for about 65 percent of Kenya’s
generating capacity. The country had scheduled power cuts between Aug.
6 and Oct. 22 last year because of the drought.
The NSE20 closed 10.73 points easier at 4226.63.
The NASI was down 0.32 points at 89.79.
Market Cap was 1.045522 Trillion versus 1.04926 Trillion.
Equity Turnover was 271.68m versus 244.195m.
The Market has come a little lower over the last few sessions and
turned defensive more on the CCK Safaricom Contretemps rather than
The Move lower has been on low volume and weakness has been more
concentrated in the Likes of KCB which has gone from testing the top
of its Range to testing the lower end in a few short sessions.
N.S.E Equities - Agricultural
Sasini Tea closed at 15.05 and traded 423,800 shares.
Kakuzi traded 2,000 shares and closed at 78.50.
Rea Vipingo traded 1,200 shares and closed at 19.00
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
shares volume 4.998m
avg price 5.67 Closing Price 5.65 -1.74%
high price 5.80
low price 5.60
last price 5.65
Safaricom has retreated from 6.00 since the CCK Safaricom Contretemps
flared up. I expect this to be the Long and Short of it on the Pull
Back unless The Rhetoric turns South. I expect very muscular Full Year
Results and a Test of the 12 month highs at 6.10 before or coincident
with that Earnings Release.
Safaricom share price data from www.rich.co.ke
Par Value: 0.05/-
Closing Price: 5.75
Total Shares Issued: 40,000,000,000
Market Capitalization: 230,000M
Half Year Results Commentary Tidbits
MPESA 7.99m Active Subscribers versus 4.14m +93% -> now 17.7% of
Revenue versus 10.8%
Thats a 8.1% expansion Sep 2009 versus Sep 2008 but a sequential
increase of 60% from the immediate preceeding 6 months
Car and General reported 6 month results +38.106% and the Forward PE
is less than 5. The Price had already anticipated strong results and
firmed a further 2.8% to close at 55.00. 3,000 shares were traded. The
shares are tightly held.
CMC Holdings rallied 1.8285% to close at 13.90 and was trading at
session highs of 14.00 +2.56% into the close. CMC Holdings traded a
further chunk of shares this time 854,300 shares worth 11.874m. It is
clear that there has been not an Immaterial Change on the Share
Access Kenya retreated another 3.77% to close at 16.55. Access Kenya
traded a 16.20-17.00 range and 261,200 shares. Access Kenya is
negative 18.99% over 12 months.
Access Kenya share price data from www.rich.co.ke
Par Value: 1/-
Closing Price: 17.20
Total Shares Issued: 206,331,216
Market Capitalization: 3,549M
Kenya Airways was unchanged at 56.00 and traded a 55.50-57.00 range
and 334,400 shares worth 18.747m.
ScanGroup was unchanged at 32.50 and traded a 32.50-34.00 range and
66.400 shares. It looks well supported at 30.00 post Ogilvy.
Nation was marked down 1.45% to close at 136.00 and traded 14,200 shares.
Standard lost 25 cents to close at 40.75.
TPS Serena edged 0.79% easier to close at 62.50 with 10,600 shares
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
Kenya Commercial Bank was the most active counter at the Bourse. KCB
retreated 6.024% to close at 19.50 and traded a 19.05-20.50 range and
1.989m shares worth 38.81m. KCB was unable to test the top of its
range at 24.00 and now has retreated to the bottom of the range. At a
Price of 19.50 The Trailing PE is in single digits at 9.5121.
KCB share price data here www.rich.co.ke
Par Value: 1/-
Closing Price: 20.75
Total Shares Issued: 2,217,777,664
Market Capitalization: 46,019M
Equity Bank dipped 0.26% to close at 19.00 and traded a 18.95-19.20
range and 703,400 shares worth 13.382m.
Barclays Bank bounced 0.86% to close at 58.50 and traded a 59.50 high
and 124,700 shares.
Stanchart firmed 0.5% to close at 201.00 and traded 6,500 shares.
Offers are thin.
COOP Bank eased 0.42% to close at 11.95 and traded 582,300 shares.
Centum rallied a further 1.325% to close at 18.95 and traded a session
high of 19.20 and 420,400 shares worth 7.975m. Centum has returned 89%
over 12 months
CFC StanBic surged 7.5394% to close at 53.50 and was trading the
Session Finale at 54.50 +9.55%. CFC Stanbic traded 22,200 shares. Its
up 20% since announcing its results.
NIC closed unchanged at 38.75 on good volume of 333,100 shares worth
12.972m. The 1st Quarter Earnings Release marked an Acceleration.
DTB was unchanged at 86.50 and traded 12,300 shares.
HFCK was unchanged at 22.50 and traded 82,600 shares.
NBK closed 0.58% firmer at 43.00 and traded 74,300 shares.
Kenya Re retreated a further 2.28% to close at 12.85 and traded a
12.60-13.00 range and 159,200 shares. The Price has slipped post the
Jubilee closed at 169.00 and traded 12,200 shares.
PanAfric closed +7.14% at 60.00 and trades on a PE of more than 20.00.
Olympia Capital traded 1,700 shares and closed at 10.15.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
Mumias Sugar traded 2nd at the Bourse. Mumias Sugar drifted 0.74%
lower to close at 13.40 and traded a 13.25-13.60 range and 2.759m
shares worth 37.081m. Mumias Sugar has returned 231.572% over 12
months and is one of the best Performing Counters at the Nairobi
Mumias Sugar share price data from www.rich.co.ke
Par Value: 2/-
Closing Price: 13.50
Total Shares Issued: 1,530,000,000
Market Capitalization: 20,655M
Commentary from Half Year
Six months to Dec 2009 versus six months to Dec 2008
Revenue 8.9608246b versus 6.202941b +44.46%
EPS 0.68 versus 0.11 +518%
KPLC rallied 2.1733% to close at 188.00 and was trading at a session
high of 195.00 +5.98% at the Finish Line. KPLC traded 25,900 shares.
This is a 21 month closing High and a Breakout on the charts.
KENGEN was the 4th most active Counter. KENGEN rallied 0.89% to close
at 16.95 and traded a 16.50-17.00 range and 1.278m shares worth
21.693m. Eddie Njoroge Esquire is saying that the Masinga Dam is
overflowing and this turnaround in Hydrology [It was a Drought last
year] is certain to assist the Bottom line.
Cables closed at 21.50 and traded 13,600 shares.
Portland rallied 7.89% to close at 123.00 on 6,200 shares traded.
Bamburi Cement closed 2.15% better at 190.00 on 7,800 shares. The
Large slew of shares that was cleared at 185.00 looks to be completed
and hence the move higher.
ARM rose 0.86% to close at 116.00 and traded 8,800 shares.
KENOLKOBIL slipped a further 2.67% to close at 91.00 and traded 59,100
shares. The KPC Triton case outcome has brought the price down just
Total traded 36,600 shares and was unchanged at 30.75.
EABL shaved off a shilling to close at 170.00 and traded 48,900 shares.
BAT improved by a shilling to close at 197.00 and traded just 1,900 shares.
Carbacid traded 2,800 shares at an unchanged 149.00.
Boc Gases did not trade.
Crown Berger fell back a sharp 6.47% to close at 32.50 and traded 1,700 shares.
Eveready shaved off 5 cents to close at 4.60 on 102,100 shares.
Sameer eased 3.27% to close at 8.85 and traded 70,600 shares.
Unga traded 53,400 shares at an unchanged 12.45.