|Thursday 29th of May 2014
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0930-1500 KENYA TIME
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Government of Mozambique and the IMF conference May 29th-30th @IMFNews
The Government of Mozambique and the IMF will convene a high-level
conference in 2014 to take stock of Africa's strong economic
performance, its increased resilience to shocks, and the key ongoing
economic policy challenges. The Africa Rising conference will be held
May 29-30, 2014, in Maputo. The event is intended to follow up on the
2009 Tanzania Conference, which helped galvanize international support
for Africa after the 2008 financial crisis.
Calling millennials the "most engaged, altruistic, informed, technically advanced and entrepreneurial" generation in history, Coke's chairman and CEO
"Never before has a generation had more promise, potential or power to
change the world for the better," he told the graduates. "I believe in
you... you have the head and the heart (to go far)."
Here are 10 pieces of advice Kent shared with the class of 2014:
1. Nothing is more important than personal relationships. "Never
eat alone, never stop making new friendships, and never stop nurturing
those you have."
2. Stay humble. "Carry your own bags, literally and metaphorically."
3. Remember that one-time success can be a fluke. "Repeating
success proves your worth."
4. Build an abiding respect for cash. "Keep some on you at all
times. Never let money become an abstraction."
5. Learn something new every day.
6. Keep growing. "Everyone needs growth: nations, companies,
individuals. You're either growing or you are losing ground. There's
no standing still."
7. Take care of the job at hand. "The next one will take care of itself."
8. Reject doubt, fear and cynicism. "All three are corrosive.
Instead, whatever you do, do with all you have. That will make all the
9. Remember that a commencement is not an ending, but a beginning.
"The door to the future is swung wide before you. Step through with
confidence and purpose."
10. There's no substitute for excellence and quality. "Pursue both
Easing Egypt Debt Risk Shows Investors Favor El-Sisi Victory
To gauge how Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's likely victory in
this week's Egyptian presidential election is winning over investors,
look no further than the country's creditworthiness.
The cost of insuring the nation's debt fell to the lowest since July
2011 this month, according to data provider CMA. It was at 348 basis
points today, about half its level in the run-up to the 2012
presidential race, in which the Islamist Mohamed Mursi beat 12
contenders into office.
Since Mursi was ousted July 3, the military-backed interim government
has attracted billions of dollars in aid from the Persian Gulf and has
promised reforms to cut the Middle East's highest budget deficit and
boost investment. Egypt's default-swap contracts, now priced at about
half for those of similarly-rated Pakistan, may signal improving
investor sentiment and better prospects for the most populous Arab
state to tap international capital markets.
"Investors view an El-Sisi win as a near certainty that would bring
about more stability in Egypt and, going forward, this can generate
some sort of economic resurgence," Farouk Soussa, London-based chief
Middle East economist at Citigroup Global Markets Ltd., said by phone
May 22. "The way they see Egypt is that it's going to give you a
decent return and is less likely now to blow up in your face."
The yield on the government's 5.75 percent Eurobonds due in April 2020
fell less than one basis point to 4.96 percent as of 2:46 p.m. in
Cairo, the lowest since December 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg
The benchmark EGX 30 Index of stocks slipped 0.3 percent yesterday
from an almost six-year high, paring gains in the past six months to
40 percent, the best performing equity gauge worldwide after Dubai,
the data show. The stock market is closed today for a public holiday
announced by the government last night to encourage people to vote.
The commission in charge of supervising the election extended voting
by one hour to 10 p.m. today, saying they may keep stations open
beyond that if necessary "depending on conditions at each polling
Unofficial results are expected to start streaming in overnight as
vote counts are completed at each station. The official result will be
announced by June 5, Nile News reported today.
Egypt's economy will probably grow 2.5 percent this year, up from 2.1
percent in 2013, according the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey
of economists. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have
pledged about $15 billion in aid.
"Aid inflows from the Gulf have substantially improved Egypt's debt
fundamentals, as have the ever more convincing signs that a new
political order is finally coalescing," Simon Williams, chief
economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC Holdings Plc in
Dubai, said by phone yesterday. "Should that be reversed, that will
necessarily reflect on the country's credit fundamentals."
The extra yield investors demand to own Egypt's dollar debt rather
than U.S. Treasuries dropped five basis points to 349 on May 22, the
lowest level since August 2011, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
indexes. Egypt's dollar bonds have returned 14 percent this year,
compared with a 7.3 percent average gain for developing nations
worldwide, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
28-APR-2014 Rising Fiscal Imbalance is Region's Achilles Heel
3. Rising fiscal imbalances in some countries. This for me remains the
Achilles' Heel. The IMF said: "In a few cases, policy missteps, such
as large fiscal imbalances, threaten to undermine the hard-won
macroeconomic gains of recent years that have supported growth. In
addition, important home-grown risks arise from fiscal vulnerabilities
in a number of countries such as Ghana and Zambia.'' Ghana's cedi has
been in free-fall and the Zambian kwacha not far behind. The price the
markets are exacting for 'policy mis- steps' is brutal.
4. Security conditions remain difficult, in some areas threatening
spill-over effects. The IMF has focused on the dreadful situation in
South Sudan and in Central African Republic, but I would also raise
the red flag around the risks posed by the likes of al-Shabaab and the
Boko Haram whose leader Abubakar Shekar taunted President Goodluck
Jonathan with the comment ''I am in your city.''
The main downside risk to this generally positive baseline scenario is
the risk that growth in emerging markets might slow much more abruptly
than currently envisaged.
My takeaway is; the tailwinds remain favourable but that the markets
are no longer as benign and that we would be wise to look very closely
how policy makers are getting crunched in places like Ghana. A more
than 30 per cent collapse in a currency is a direct cause-and-effect
of poor policy making. Putting Humpty Dumpty together again is not an
"It doesn't seem to me the government really has a handle on what is going on," Rashid Abdi, an independent Horn of Africa said by phone from Nairobi.
"All these dodgy deals, and much else, have failed to make Kenya less
vulnerable to terrorism," he said by phone from Sevenoaks, England.
"The terrorists have got more sophisticated, while the state has just
become more bloated."
Kenya's direct involvement in the civil war in Somalia started in
October 2011 when it sent troops to the Horn of African nation after a
series of kidnappings and the murder of a British tourist in northern
Kenya, which the militants said they didn't carry out. At the time,
the Kenyan army said it planned to end its intervention by that
"It wasn't clear what they wanted; now they almost own the entire
Somalia problem," Salim said. "I don't see them exiting any time soon,
but I don't see how they're going to get out of this mess."
Abdi said real reform in the intelligence and security services is vital.
"Foreign governments are frustrated at the government, but even within
the Kenyan security services these people feel helpless," Abdi said.
"They are not getting anywhere. Officers who are doing this job are
not happy, they feel demoralized."
19-MAY-2014 The Dash-Board is Blinking Amber
Don DeLillo writes in Point Omega;
''When you strip away surfaces, when you see into it, what's left is
terror. This is the thing that literature was meant to cure. The epic
poem, the bedtime story."
Disbelief can be suspended, of course but eventually we reach a Marx
Brothers in duck soup moment.
''Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?''
And if you mine social media like I do, you will know that duck soup
moment was crossed during Westgate. And continuing resolutely down
this path is eroding political capital.
"Look at the world around you. It may seem like an im- movable,
implacable place. It is not, with the slightest push - in just the
right place - it can be tipped." Malcolm Gladwell.
Everything is looking ex- tremely fragile.