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Monday 14th of April 2014
 
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#Mindspeak 2014 RICH TV
Africa


Dr Sezibera SG.EAC
Charles Ireland, Group Managing Director & CEO, EABL
Dr. Titus Naikuni, Group MD & CEO Kenya Airways
Christine Lagarde MD IMF

Macro Thoughts

Home Thoughts

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Nairobi seen from the Mombasa Road
Africa


"The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream."
-- Jorge Luis Borges

"If I could live again my life,
In the next - I'll try,
- to make more mistakes,
I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed...
I'll take fewer things seriously..
I'll take more risks,
I'll take more trips,
I'll watch more sunsets,
I'll climb more mountains,
I'll swim more rivers,
I'll go to more places I've never been
I'll eat more ice ...I'll have more real problems and less imaginary ones

If I could live again - I will travel light
If I could live again - I'll try to work bare feet at the beginning of
spring till the end of autumn,
I'll watch more sunrises ...If I have the life to live"
-- Jorge Luis Borges

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Jorge Luis Borges
Africa


@nilofer  You know the best part about pain? It lets you know you're
not dead yet. - GI Jane.

I spent most of my weekend in a hot sweat and a delirium with spikes
of exquisite shooting Pain running up and down my body and when I
logged onto Twitter I saw the above Tweet from @nilofer

read more


Syria's Assad claims upper hand in war 'turning point' BBC
Law & Politics


"This is a turning point in the crisis," President Assad said.

He added that his army was winning what he called "the war against terror".

Government forces have secured the main north-south highway in Syria
in recent months, and have cut off vital supply routes for rebel
forces.

Conclusions


Quite an extraordinary Turnaround

President Bashar Assad

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/2/17/1234890745571/Bashar-al-Assad-President-001.jpg

A new style of global competition--one that, in the Middle East, Russia
and its clients are winning and the United States, despite huge
natural advantages, is losing.

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/iran-at-saban/posts/2014/04/04-vladimir-putin-ukraine-reveals-his-view-of-middle-east-iran?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=BrookingsInst04131&utm_content=BrookingsInst04131

Brzezinski Sees Finlandization of Ukraine as Deal Maker

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/brzezinski-sees-finlandization-of-ukraine-as-deal-maker.html

The U.S. and European allies have room for compromise with Russia over
Ukraine if Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't act "impulsively"
to seize more territory, said Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former U.S.
national security adviser.

"He might still act impulsively and that would be extremely
dangerous," Brzezinski said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's
"Political Capital with Al Hunt," airing this weekend.

Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter's national security
adviser, said there remains "a chance for a compromise solution, and I
think we should be working for it."

The posture of Finland, which also has a long border with Russia,
offers a possible model, he said. Finland is a member of the European
Union and not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Throughout the Cold War, Finland's foreign policy was based on
official neutrality.

A resolution may be possible "in which Ukraine deals with us, by
wanting to move closer to Europe, but has a relationship also with
Russia like Finland does," said Brzezinski. "That could be
accommodated if we're intelligent and if Putin becomes less romantic
about his historic role and more practical."

Conclusions


Its a game of Hard Ball now and Putin is going to keep Kiev's feet to the Fire.

Vladimir Putin

http://thebobbyjames.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/vladimir-putin.jpg

The border build-up may be mainly a negotiating tactic with Western
leaders: "The military are there in principle so that people agree to
talk to Putin about Ukraine's future," said Pavlovsky, who advised the
president until three years ago.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/13/us-ukraine-crisis-putin-idUSBREA3C06U20140413

"Putin realises that if there is no risk of the crisis worsening, no
one will bring him into discussions on Ukraine."

read more


In spat over Ukraine, Putin tells U.S. not to read others' letters
Law & Politics


Russian President Vladimir Putin responded acidly to U.S. comments
about a proposal he sent to European leaders seeking talks about
Ukraine's gas debt and supplies, saying "it is not good to read other
people's letters".

In a letter to 18 European leaders on Thursday, Putin said Russian gas
supplies to Europe could be disrupted if Moscow cuts the flow to
Ukraine over unpaid bills, drawing a U.S. accusation that Russia is
using energy as a "tool of coercion".

read more


It was Zbigniew Brzezinski who said: 17-MAR-2014
Law & Politics


"Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a
geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent
country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to
be a Eurasian empire."

"However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million
people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia
automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful
imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia."

read more


MH370 'hijacked and in Afghanistan': Russian intelligence source claims all passengers and crew are alive but held hostage @DailyMirror
Law & Politics


The source told the paper: "Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines missing on
March 8 with 239 passengers was hijacked.

"Pilots are not guilty; the plane was hijacked by unknown terrorists.

"We know that the name of the terrorist who gave instructions to
pilots is "Hitch."

"The plane is in Afghanistan not far from Kandahar near the border
with Pakistan."

Conclusions


"No matter how the official narrative of this turns out," it seemed to
Heidi, "these are the places we should be looking, not in newspapers
or television but at the margins, graffiti, uncontrolled utterances,
bad dreamers who sleep in public and scream in their sleep."  ---
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge

read more


The missing Malaysia Airlines flight was "thrown around like a fighter jet" in a bid to dodge radar detection after it disappeared, Malaysian military investigators reportedly now believe.
Law & Politics


An unnamed source cited by The Sunday Times added that officials are
now convinced that the plane was "flown very low at a very high
speed".

The source concluded: "And it was being flown to avoid radar."

It is also possible that the flight surged to 45,000 feet - 10,000
above its normal cruising altitude of 35,000 feet - after
disappearing, before dropping to as low as 5000 feet, reports by
investigators have suggested.

read more


Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.3857 The euro weakened versus most of its 16 major peers after
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said its strength
"requires further monetary stimulus."
Dollar Index 79.59
Japan Yen 101.64
Swiss Franc 0.8768
Pound 1.6736
Aussie 0.9395
India Rupee 60.35
South Korea Won 1037.50
Brazil Real 2.2188 Brazil's real posted four straight weeks of gains
Egypt Pound 6.9893
South Africa Rand 10.5061

Dollar Index 3 Month Chart INO 79.59

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

Euro versus the Dollar 3 Month Chart 1.3857 [The euro touched
$1.3967 on March 13, the strongest since October 2011]

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

"He's basically trying to defend the $1.39 level. Above $1.39 you're
getting to the top of the longer-term range."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-13/euro-slides-versus-most-peers-as-draghi-warns-of-ecb-stimulus.html

The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.3854 as of 1:23 p.m. in Tokyo after
climbing 1.3 percent last week, the biggest advance since the period
ended Sept. 20. It lost 0.3 percent to 140.70 yen. The dollar bought
101.56 yen, 0.1 percent weaker than the April 11 close.

"I've always said that the exchange rate is not a policy target, but
it's important for price stability and growth," Draghi said in
Washington on April 12. "And now, what has happened over the last few
months, it's become more and more important for price stability."

Dollar Yen 3 Month Chart INO 101.64

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

read more





Guinea-Bissau counts votes after big turnout in crucial poll
Africa


The frontrunner of 13 presidential candidates is Jose Mario Vaz, a
former finance minister running for the dominant African Party for the
Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

"We need to stabilize Guinea-Bissau. I cannot do this alone but with
the help of everyone in Guinea-Bissau," Vaz said.

Presidential candidate Jose Mario Vaz attends a campaign rally in
Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, April 11, 2014. Guinea-Bissau is holding a
presidential election on Sunday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/14/us-bissau-election-idUSBREA3C05U20140414

South Africa All Share Bloomberg +5.17% 2014

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

Dollar versus Rand 3 Month Chart INO 10.5066

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

Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 6.9905

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

Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +16.92% 2014

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

Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -4.09% 2014

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

A screengrab taken on March 24 from a video shows a man claiming
to be the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. Agence
France-Presse/Getty Images

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303873604579497051951288952?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303873604579497051951288952.html&fpid=2,7,121,122,201,401,641,1009

In a rambling video sermon last month, Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar
Shekau, took credit for similar attacks, and threatened more to come.

"There are only two groups of people in the world: There are either
those who are with us or against us," he said, flanked by rifle-toting
gunmen. "This is my only focus now."

Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg +8.84% 2014

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

Africa must invest borrowings wisely

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3c19cb8a-c18a-11e3-83af-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2yq5jtmzn

South of the Sahara desert economic growth has flourished over the
past decade. It is a remarkable transformation. Back in the 1980s and
1990s, sub-Saharan Africa was mired in seemingly endless rounds of
painful defaults and debt relief negotiations. Today it is a magnet
for international investors. Huge challenges remain. But despite the
hurdles, strong growth on the back of high commodity prices, foreign
investment, political stability and improved economic governance has
allowed a rising number of countries to tap the sovereign bond market
- unthinkable only a few years ago.

This trend is not limited to Africa - Central Asia and Latin America
have seen a similar transformation - but it has benefited most. In
2010-2012 net private flows to sub-Saharan countries doubled compared
with 2000-2007. In 2006 and 2007, the Seychelles and Ghana became the
first countries in the region outside South Africa to issue bonds on
the international markets. Since then a roll call of countries - from
Nigeria to Rwanda; Zambia to Angola - have followed suit. In total,
African countries raised last year a record $10bn from the global bond
market, up from $1bn a decade ago.

This is a welcome development, a sign that investors see in Africa a
new landscape of opportunities. And the continent badly needs the
financing to close a huge infrastructure gap that international and
regional development agencies would not be able to resolve alone.

Over time, the use of bonds should also bring much-needed market
discipline to the continent. The yield difference among countries is
slowly becoming part of the domestic political debate in Africa; so
too are the - sometimes imperfect - views of credit rating agencies.
It is better that Africa relies on public capital markets than on
shadowy deals with China.
Yet the bond-issuance spree also entails risks. First and foremost is
the use of the money raised. After years of kleptocracy, democracy has
arrived in large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But corruption and
mismanagement remain major problems. After nearly a decade of
borrowing, some African countries have remarkably little to show for
the money - too much has ended up financing fuel subsidies and higher
civil servant salaries rather than necessary investment. Countries
must be clearer about how they will use the funds - and deliver on
their plans.

Second, the market has so far not enforced much discipline, partly
thanks to the ultra-loose monetary policies of the world's leading
central banks. As interest rates in the industrialised world plunged
to almost zero, investors sought higher yields in frontier markets
such as Africa, driving interest rates there to artificially low
levels. In late 2012 and early 2013 the market looked bubbly. Take
Rwanda: Kigali tapped the market in April 2013 partly in response to
the suspension of western aid in protest at the policies of President
Paul Kagame. The market should have imposed a penalty rate; yet Rwanda
was able to raise a $400m 10-year bond paying interest rates of less
than 7 per cent.

Third, the reliance on foreign investors leaves Africa exposed to the
animal spirits of global markets. The region must remember that
capital flows are like a bee that produces honey today but can sting
tomorrow. Governments should prepare for a reversal of easy financing
conditions. As the International Monetary Fund has warned, deeper
integration with international markets makes sub-Saharan Africa more
vulnerable to global financial shocks.

As they seek to finance their future needs on international markets,
the nations of Africa will face many challenges. But if they heed the
warnings of the international community about the need to spend wisely
and honestly, then African governments can forge a lasting
relationship with investors.

African trade routes shift focus from exports to local markets BDLIVE

http://www.bdlive.co.za/africa/africanbusiness/2014/04/13/african-trade-routes-shift-focus-from-exports-to-local-markets

DAKAR -- For centuries, colonial-era merchants tussled for access to
Africa's raw materials, and huge swathes of Africa's geography became
synonymous with the main commodity they exported: Gold Coast, Ivory
Coast, the Spice Island of Zanzibar.

But the continent's booming economic growth and swelling population
give it an opportunity to shift away from the traditional raw material
export model towards consuming and transforming its own commodities
and selling them to its own expanding local markets.

Miners, bankers and trading houses are seeking to position themselves
to take advantage of emerging trade routes within Africa at a time
when demand growth from China, the world's biggest commodity consumer,
begins to tail off.

Management consultancy McKinsey forecasts African consumer spending
will be $1.4-trillion by 2020 and a more than doubling of the working
age population to 1.1-billion people by 2040.

"Any statistics you take are uni-directional so I don't see why demand
should look the other way," Singapore-listed commodities trader Olam
Africa and the Middle East regional head Venkatramani Srivathsan said.

"For businesses like ours looking into Africa as a market, as a
destination, countries like Nigeria and Mozambique are very, very
interesting," he said in a telephone interview during the Reuters
summit on African business, held in several African cities.

For Mr Srivathsan, whose employer sources a quarter of its sales
revenues from Africa and has invested 1.66-billion Singapore dollars
($1.33bn) on the continent, the secret is knowing how to adapt to the
tastes and changing consumption patterns of each individual market in
Africa.

Olam, which invests in plantations, food processing and the packaged
food business, has introduced subtle differences in its West African
tomato paste to suit different palates and is adapting to Nigerian
demand for more sophisticated biscuits.

"You have to keep innovating. Even if you acquire brands you still
need to keep adapting to changing tastes and changing levels of
income," he said.

Top oil trader Vitol has also targeted investments in Africa's
downstream sector, and is bidding for a new refinery in Uganda, to
help it meet demand for the $440m-a-day fuels market.

Oil traders still export Africa's crude oil to sell as refined
products in the West, but Vitol now sees robust growth in fuel demand
on the continent of about 3% a year, driven partly by growing power
markets.

The company is targeting supplies of niche fuels like liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG) -- which can be distributed in portable canisters --
into large cities of North Africa and Nigeria, a country of
170-million people that recently overtook South Africa as the
continent's largest economy.

"LPG will be a growing requirement because it fills the wealthier
consumer market that needs alternative fuel as biomass becomes
unsustainable in most urban settings," Vitol director of origination
and investments Chris Bake said.

One way that Africa could seek to supply local markets with
commodities is by using mineral resources as bargaining chips to
persuade investors to set up processing and manufacturing plants,
United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa executive secretary
Carlos Lopes said.

He cited data showing that the continent had 12% of the world's oil
reserves, 40% of its gold, 80% to 90% of its chromium and platinum,
70% of coltan reserves, 60% of its unused arable land, 17% of the
world's forests, and 53% of the world's cocoa.

"Resources such as these should be leveraged," Mr Lopes told African
finance ministers in Abuja on March 29.

"We have to find our own recipe, our miracle recipe, if we want to
become one of the factory floors of the world."

Barclays Capital Investment Banking MD Hasnen Varawalla said that he
has an Indian client interested in shipping coal to a new power plant
in West Africa from South Africa. "This is not about taking resources
out of Africa to the rest of the world, they are seeing the
opportunities within the continent and developing them," he said.

But while such trade is feasible between two African ports -- and could
partially redraw export routes now dominated by flows to Asia and
Europe -- poor land infrastructure is a factor limiting the internal
trade in commodities across the continent.

A UN study last year found that intra-Africa trade represents just 11%
of the total, compared with around 70 percent within Europe, partly
due to insufficient infrastructure.

Investors also say that an important factor limiting their ability to
process locally is power supply, as many African countries struggle to
increase generation capacity in pace with demand.

South Africa-based miner Exxaro said that Africa should consider
trying to sell more commodities within the continent and process them
there, as Chinese demand begins to slow.

"What would be fascinating for Exxaro would be if we supplied the iron
ore from the Republic of Congo to steel mills within the Republic of
Congo or in that region," said executive head of strategy and
corporate affairs Mzilane Mthenjane, referring to the company's new
10-million tonne-a-year iron-ore project.

But he said that power prices meant production costs were more
expensive than China and that this would limit Africa's potential to
process raw materials locally.

"For the continent to really make that huge step forward and step up
in terms of development, electricity supply is one or two of the basic
infrastructures that need to be in place."

read more


14-APR-2014 :: Times Media Buys Stake in Kenya's Radio Africa
Kenyan Economy


LATE Friday, we learnt that Times Media of South Africa was set to
acquire a 49 per cent interest in Radio Africa Limited in Kenya.

This transaction had been flashing on my Radar ever since Ghafla had
broken the story. The total purchase consideration is $18.62 million
(Sh1.61 billion), which equates to a value of $38 million (Sh3.29
billion) for the entire business.

As a comparison, the Standard Group has a market capitalisation of
$25.9 million (Sh2.24 billion).

Patrick Quarcoo (a West African 'Sapeur') and William Pike have been
Friends since the day I set foot in Nairobi and they have been real
gutsy, entrepreneurial and insurgent and proof that with guts and
brains, you can navigate your way amongst much bigger beasts.

Radio Africa Group is a radio, TV and newspaper business in Kenya,
operating three of the top five radio stations in Nairobi, namely Kiss
FM, Radio Jambo and Classic 105. Its radio busi- ness also broadcasts
XFM and EastFM.

Times Media Group (TMG) publishes South African newspa- pers Business
Day and The Sunday Times and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock
Exchange. TMG says it is "a media and entertainment company that
informs, educates, entertains and connects people.''

As rationale for the move, TMG said that the acquisition represents a
"significant opportunity to realise TMG's strategy of geographical and
format diversification as well as harness its existing content and
management expertise."

In the past year, TMG has successfully acquired a stake in Ghana's
Multimedia Group Ltd and bought controlling interests in two radio
stations in South Africa - Rise FM and Vuma FM.

"Radio attracts by far the largest share of advertising spend in the
Kenyan market and television is second but with strong growth
prospects," TMG said.

"The business fits well into TMG's broadcast expansion strategy in
South Africa and the continent, and provides a growth opportunity in
print not available in SA."

The group also noted that Kenya has a highly developed mo- bile
market, which will provide "advertising and e-commerce opportunities"
for the group.

It is very clear that South Africa Inc. is carving out a more 'forward
position' in sub-Saharan Africa and this time around it's a 2.0
version.

PQ and Radio Africa have excelled at talent retention and if I were
TMG, I would be very keen on having management stay in the driver's
seat.

The pace of buyouts in the EAC continues to accelerate, this being the
latest transaction in a string of them that has spanned banking (GT
Bank), advertising (WPP), beauty (L'Oreal), and IT (Dimension Data).
Kenya has a vibrant media sector. It is a media hub. TMG's acquisition
of 49 per cent of the Radio Africa Group does confirm that.

It is clear that South Africa Inc. is carving out a more 'forward
position' in sub-Saharan Africa and this time round it's a 2.0 version

read more



Times Media Group acquires 49 pct stake in Radio Africa Limited
Kenyan Economy


* Total purchase consideration of $18.62 million, being approximately
zar195 million

* A portion of share sale proceeds, being $5.9 million, will be placed
into escrow until certain warranties are met.

* R36 million of purchase consideration will be used to subscribe for new shares

* Purchase consideration to be paid through acquisition of existing
ordinary shares in RAG, subscription for new ordinary shares in rag
and acquisition of shareholder loans

* RAG's full year normalised ebitda for year ended 30 june 2014 is
forecast at r45 million with 3 months of trading remaining in current
financial year Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

Radio Africa Group Managing Director Patrick Quarcoo speaks PHOTO
| DIANA NGILA | FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/corporates/Radio-Africa-Limited-Times-Media-Group-Shares-Purchase/-/1954162/2277866/-/xgggo2/-/index.html

Kenya faces uphill battle to revamp police, stem insecurity AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/kenya-faces-uphill-battle-revamp-police-stem-insecurity-101515921.html

Nairobi (AFP) - Their capital tarred with the nickname "Nairobbery"
and under almost constant threat of attack by Islamist militants,
Kenyans are losing patience with the ill-equipped and notoriously
corrupt police force.

A catalogue of security failures has exposed the inability of
Nairobi's underpaid police to deal with the severe security problems,
prompting President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and promise a massive
overhaul.

In a state of the nation address to parliament last month, Kenyatta
admitted an "unacceptable lack of coordination in our handling of
crime", and said "public frustration and anger" over bad policing had
"occasionally boiled over into mob injustice".

The president vowed to put more officers on the streets and give them
better salaries, housing and health insurance.

He said the government would also provide the force -- whose officers
have been known to beg for a lift if called out to a crime scene --
with more sophisticated surveillance equipment and 1,200 new vehicles.

Some police, particularly the anti-terrorism unit, have come under
fire for alleged abuses including torture, arbitrary detentions and
disappearances, particularly against Muslims suspected of being
militants.

Western diplomats have also voiced frustration over the lack of police
capacity in a region subject to complex terrorist threats from
Al-Qaeda sympathisers in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.

"Most policemen would sooner take a bribe than stop a terrorist
attack, and there are others who are happy to bump people off and feed
them to the hyenas," said a European law enforcement expert, who asked
not to be named.

A senior Kenyan police detective admitted the situation was dire and
that years of neglect had left the force out of sync with the changing
security situation -- whether in terms of small arms proliferation or
last year's siege of the Westgate shopping mall.

"There's a need to have a paradigm shift within the police force to be
in tandem with the changing patterns of crime and other emerging
threats," he said.

Kenya Shilling versus The Dollar Live ForexPros 86.937

http://j.mp/5jDOot

Nairobi All Share Bloomberg +6.212% 2014

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

145.14 +0.78 +0.54%

Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg -0.426% 2014

http://j.mp/ajuMHJ

4,905.46 +26.58 +0.54%

Every Listed Share can be interrogated here

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

read more



 
 
by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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April 2014
 
 
 
 
 
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