|Thursday 27th of January 2011
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Normal Board - The Whole shebang
Prompt Board Next day settlement
Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here
Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution, and how mobile phones helped it happen
The Star Juba Boom Town Said Aburish
What is #Mindspeak ?
Breakfast Commodities as I have said severally and ad Infinitum.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Obama Poised to Intensify U.S. Criticism of Egypt’s Mubarak Bloomberg
Law & Politics
President Barack Obama privately pressed Mubarak in a telephone call
last week to embrace democratic changes, said the official, who
requested anonymity. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday said
Mubarak, in power since 1981, has an “important opportunity” to enact
economic, political and social reforms.
“We call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from
violence,” she told reporters in Washington. “We urge the Egyptian
authorities not to prevent peaceful protests nor block communications,
including on social media sites.”
The message that White House officials want Mubarak to hear is that he
should seize the protests as an opportunity to reform state
institutions and not use them as a pretext to strengthen his grip on
power, the administration officials said yesterday.
The yield on Egypt’s 2040 dollar- denominated bonds jumped 40 basis
points since the uprising that ousted Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine
Ben Ali on Jan. 14. They were yielding 7 percent, the highest level
since July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Obama, who came to power promising the Arab world a ‘‘new beginning,’’
runs the risk of being discredited if he appears to back an
increasingly violent crackdown that belies his message of
encouragement for human rights and freedom of speech.
The White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs created some ambiguity
yesterday when asked whether the administration still supports
Mubarak. In his response that ‘‘Egypt is a strong ally,’’ he avoided
repeating Mubarak’s name.
The President is starting to get ahead of the Curve, having been behind it.
The ‘Sunflower Seeds’ Saga Continues WSJ
On Feb. 15, Sotheby’s London will auction off a pile of handmade
porcelain sunflower seeds by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei as part of its
fortnight of Impressionist, modern and contemporary-art sales.
The painted seeds are part of Mr. Ai’s “Sunflower Seeds” or Kui Hua
Zi, installation currently on view at the Turbine Hall at the Tate
Modern in London; it ends May 2. “Sunflower Seeds” features 100
million porcelain seeds that are spread across the floor of the hall.
The installation was commissioned by the Tate and paid for by
The 100-kilogram pile will go on the block with a presale estimate of
80,000 to 120,000 British pounds (US$125,000 to US$190,000). According
to the Sotheby’s sale catalog, the seeds are symbolic of Mao Zedong
–in posters and portraits he often depicted himself as the sun and his
subjects as sunflowers. They also refer to the period of the Great
Leap Forward (1958-61) an economic and social campaign that resulted
in the deaths of millions of Chinese by starvation.
Currency Markets At a Glance WSJ
Pound 1.5906 - Up 1 Big Figure on the minutes where 2 MPC Members
called for Higher Rates
South Korea Won 1113.70
Federal Reserve policy makers unanimously agreed to maintain low rates
and their bond-buying program, saying economic growth and inflation
have been “disappointingly slow.”
“Sterling markets are a roller-coaster right now,” strategists at
FxPro wrote in a note. “The past week has seen strong CPI [something
which they should be used to by now], very weak growth data and now
the minutes of the January policy meeting which saw another member
join the previous lone dissenter in voting for higher rates.”
Standard & Poor's lowered its ratings on Japan to AA- from AA, citing
lingering high fiscal deficits.
I am waiting for the QE Music to stop, which it will and then I think
we are in for a Replay a la 1994/1995.
Sugar March 2011 crosses 33c INO 33.13 +1.23 (+3.71%)
Last Price 33.13
Open Int. 211299
Contract High 34.77 Contract High Date 2010-12-29
Contract Low 11.9
First Delivery 2011-05-15
28 Year Highs.
Cocoa March 2011 3352 +5 (+0.15%) INO
Last Price 3352
Open Int. 58250
Contract High 3477
Contract Low 2410
First Delivery 2011-03-31
Contract High Date 2009-12-16
Contract Low Date 2009-05-14
Not far from 1979 Highs.
Egypt markets tumble after protests Reuters
Egypt's benchmark stock index tumbled 6.1 percent percent on
Wednesday, its biggest one-day drop since November 30, 2009, while the
Egyptian pound weakened to 5.8300 to the dollar, its lowest since
Foreign treasury bills holdings soared over the last year as investors
took advantage of a flood of cheap dollars to buy Egyptian government
paper, with T-bills yields of around 9 or 10 percent.
As of November, foreigners held 61.3 billion Egyptian pounds in
treasury bills, up from 13.5 billion pounds a year earlier, according
to central bank statistics.
"It's looking a bit grey at the moment," said the London currency
dealer, who asked not to be named. "It's getting a bit out of hand and
foreign traders are getting very stressed."
He said that there had been no offers for dollars in the Egyptian
pound non-deliverable forwards (NDF) market, nor had there been offers
for credit default swaps (CDS).
The cost of insuring Egyptian debt against default rose to a fresh
18-month high on Wednesday on political concerns, with Egypt's
five-year CDSs rising 11 basis points to 345 bps, according to Markit.
The Exit of Gemal Mubarak to London confirms that This is in fact terminal.
Egypt on the boil Mubarak's son flees Times of India
Law & Politics
Egypt's longtime President Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal, seen as his
likely successor, has reportedly fled to Britain, along with his
family following a Tunisia-inspired protest. The 48-year-old younger
Mubarak boarded from an airport in western Cairo a private jet bound
for London with his wife and daughter, and nearly 100 pieces of
luggage, the US-based Arabic website Akhbar al-Arab reported.
Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution, and how mobile phones helped it happen CSMonitor
Law & Politics
"We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we are afraid only of God," the
crowds chanted on Tuesday in Tunis.
And this Jasmine Revolution will amplify two ways: through the Maghreb
and towards the holy cities of Saudi Arabia. The question remains the
degree of the amplification. And it would be naive to expect that it
might not cross the Sahara and head south.
Change is never incremental, it tips and surges. Looking at Tunisia
and Africa, I see so many similarities. There is the widest spread
between the average age of the rulers and the average age of the
ruled. Tunisia is but the first example of the elastic band snapping.
The demographic skew is such that an average of more than 60 percent
Africans are under the age of 26. Massive urbanization pulls have
concentrated these young people in cities. Through mobile phones, and
the Internet, and social media, they are all connected.
And keep an eye on food prices. Those are sky high and not coming down
and not unlike dry kindling, awaiting a spark.
The Jasmine Revolution feels like the story of Gulliver and the
Lilliputians. Gulliver was the state. All powerful. You owned the
levers to the state, you owned it all. L'état, c'est moi. Then the
Lilliputians got connected and that connection was the net with which
to catch their Gulliver.
John Donne wrote:
"...Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee..."
Aly-Khan Satchu is an investments broker in Nairobi who blogs at
Satchu's Rich Wrapup here http://www.rich.co.ke/rctools/wrapup.php
The Story Behind Last Night's Iconic Photo From the Egyptian Protests
Though the point is fairly obvious, it should be made for posterity.
The widespread availability of good digital cameras, the diffusion of
the skills to operate them, and the networks to spread them as the
protests are going on has given activists a potent new tactic. And as
they did in Tunisia, protesters in Egypt are using those new
capabilities to bolster their case at home and abroad.
No need to hope mainstream media shows up. No need to wait for
tomorrow's papers. Everything can move quickly and though the Egyptian
government has now blocked Facebook and Twitter, photos and videos are
getting out. If there's one thing that we should have learned from the
file-sharing wars, it's that the files will get out.
This is an Important Point.
Investing in these geographies is not for the faint-hearted Ahmed Heikal Citadel
Citadel Capital fell 8.473% yesterday Bloomberg share data
52-Wk High (01/04/11)9.650
52-Wk Low (05/25/10)5.670
Mobile banking is expected to grow into a $22 billion industry across Africa by 2015 Reuters
Information & Communication Technology
Early successes include Safaricom's (SCOM.NR: Quote) M-PESA mobile
banking service in Kenya. Launched in 2007, the service - which can
only send money from a Safaricom SIM - now has over 10 million users
and transfers about $350 million per month.
The Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.BO: Quote) Airtel Money service used by
Okafor and his distributors has only 215,000 registered subscribers
and has yet to turn a profit.
The International Telecommunications Union estimates mobile
subscriptions across Africa more than tripled to 333 million since
2005. The World Bank said Sub-Saharan Africa averages just 163 bank
accounts per 1,000 adults -- compared to an average 635 in developing
In the end though it may be the vast international remittance market -
worth some $400 billion per year - that decides which option is
eventually most successful.
Vodafone talks mobile money and future NFC plans
Information & Communication Technology
Vodafone’s deployment of M-Pesa, its mobile money service in Kenya,
Tanzania and Afghanistan, has taught the operator that every market
has individual characteristics that must be understood if a service is
to succeed, said Greg Reeve, Vodafone’s head of mobile payments
solutions, in a recent interview with Mobile World Live. Reeve gives
the example of Tanzania where the operator launched M-Pesa after its
good take-up in Kenya (where the service is offered by Safaricom, in
which Vodafone has a 40 percent stake): “People speak the same
language, it’s east Africa and part of the same trading bloc. You
might think it’s very similar, but it’s as similar as England and
France, you know people behave differently and you have to think about
how people react with money, how they react with technology and what
the environment is like in order to make the service a success in each
market.” And Afghanistan is different again from the two African
countries, he says.
Swaziland Central Bank Sells Only a Fifth of Bonds on Offer Bloomberg
World Of Finance
Swaziland was only able to sell a fifth of the amount of seven-year
bonds it planned to sell, the central bank said in an e-mailed
statement today.While the Central Bank of Swaziland offered 750
million Emalengeni ($107 million) worth of seven year bonds it only
received bids worth 351.3 million Emalangeni and only sold bonds worth
146.3 million Emalengeni, it saidThe bonds were sold for an average
yield of 8.644 percent, the bank said.
ICC asks Kenya to help seize suspects' property The Standard
Law & Politics
The International Criminal Court (ICC) now wants Kenya to support it
in the freezing or seizure of property of the Ocampo Six when the
Pre-Trial Chamber judges issue summons on the suspects.
The court wrote to the Cabinet subcommittee on ICC last week, guiding
the Government on the kind of co-operation it expects from Kenya if
the summonses are issued.
In the letter, the ICC states the procedure of tracing and freezing or
seizure of proceeds, property and assets and instrumentalities of
crimes for the purpose of eventual forfeiture and compensation to the
victims of the violence.
ICC case highlights divide between political elite and Kenyans hungry
for change CS Monitor
When Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court (ICC)
prosecutor, named six top Kenyan politicians as suspected organizers
of the mass violence of early 2008 that killed at least 1,200 people,
many Kenyans cheered. Finally, many felt, the culture of impunity that
allows Kenyan politicians to break the law at will has been shaken.But
the celebrations were short-lived. Just days after Mr. Ocampo named
his list of suspects last month and submitted his evidence to the ICC,
Kenya’s parliament voted almost unanimously Dec. 22 to urge President
Mwai Kibaki to withdraw from the ICC. Calling the ICC a tool of the
West to punish developing nations, some Kenyan politicians, including
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, went on a tour of African capitals to
urge them to reject the ICC as well.
“This is the most delicate period, almost as delicate as the aftermath
of the 2007 elections,” says Njeri Kabeberi, director of the Center
for Multiparty Democracy in Nairobi. “How Kenyans behave, and how
their leaders behave, is going to determine how this country will
survive in the future.”
Kenya is fortunate to have a vibrant, if noisy, civil society, Ms.
Kabeberi says, which can hold Kenyan politicians accountable for their
actions. “If the next few months evolve with good decisions, we will
have crossed over the bridge to a new Kenya. If they handle things
carelessly, we can sink.”
A Dec. 14 poll by Kenyan opinion polling firm Synovate found that 85
percent of Kenyans support the ICC investigation, and a Dec. 24 poll
by Synovate found that 73 percent were either confident or thought it
was possible that the so-called Ocampo Six would be convicted for
their roles in encouraging ethnic violence following the flawed
national elections on Dec. 27, 2007.
This gap between politicians and the public they serve may be
troubling, but it shows that in a very real sense that the rules of
politics have changed in Kenya. And the change has taken Kenyan
politicians by surprise.
“If you look at the reaction over the last two years, it’s
astounding,” says Muthoni Wanyeki, executive director of the Kenyan
Human Rights Commission in Nairobi. “They really didn’t expect the ICC
prosecutor to move as fast as he did. They thought this would drag on,
but now they act as if they are cornered.”
Even if Kenya does withdraw, the process would take a year, and it
would have absolutely no effect on the current ICC case since the
crimes took place while Kenya was a signatory to the Rome Statute, and
the investigation began at the behest of the Kenyan government when
the treaty was in force.
Kilonzo also poured cold water on efforts by his fellow cabinet
members to bail out the Ocampo Six, including a proposal by Vice
President Musyoka to force the Kenyan government to pay legal fees of
up to 4.6 billion shillings ($57.5 million) for the Ocampo Six’s
defense. Noting that the proposal to pay legal fees had been sent to
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (himself one of the Ocampo suspects),
Kilonzo says that Musyoka "cannot write to Uhuru, who himself is a
suspect in this matter, because Kenyans can only read mischief."
Yet John Githongo, who served as President Kibaki’s top corruption
fighter before resigning because of death threats, says that the days
are numbered for Kenya’s old, corrupt, and violent political elite.
“They have never come across a problem that they can’t bribe,
intimidate, or kill,” says Mr. Githongo. “This is not a direction that
the elite would have chosen, and they will fight each step of the
“Should they chose to break with the international community, then we
shall see violence, we’ll Zimbabwe-anize,” Githongo says, adding that
violence will be used by Kenyan politicians to steal resources from
weaker Kenyans in order to perpetuate themselves in power, as Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe’s party has done since 2000.
“The future of the ICC will be made or broken in Kenya,” Githongo
says. “In the Kenyan elite, the ICC has come up against a very tough
elite, well organized, well funded, sophisticated, and educated. But
the elite is on the back foot, because the people want change.”