|Friday 30th of September 2016
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Prompt Board Next day settlement
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BUILT IN 1093 TO HOUSE THE SHRINE OF ST CUTHBERT, DURHAM CATHEDRAL
Originally built as a monastic cathedral for a community of
Benedictine monks, Durham Cathedral boasts some of the most intact
surviving monastic buildings in England. The Cathedral holds an annual
Benedictine Week when there is an opportunity to explore in more depth
the historical and living tradition of St Benedict, focusing on its
expression at Durham Cathedral in the past and present.
World leaders have hailed the vision of the late Israeli leader, Shimon Peres, as he is laid to rest three days after he died at the age of 93. BBC
Law & Politics
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described him as "a great
man of the world", as he led the eulogies.
"Shimon lived a life of purpose," he told the dozens of foreign
dignitaries gathered at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery.
"He soared to incredible heights. He swept so many with his vision and
his hope. He was a great man of Israel. He was a great man of the
Former US President Bill Clinton, who helped negotiate the Oslo peace
accords between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s that led to a
Nobel Peace Prize for Shimon Peres, said he was Israel's "biggest
"He imagined all the things the rest of us could do. He started life
as Israel's brightest student, became its best teacher and ended up
its biggest dreamer.''
Indian soldiers guard a border fence at an outpost along the line of control in Suchit-Garh. Photograph: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images
Law & Politics
Elite troops have launched “surgical strikes” on Pakistan-based
terrorists in the contested territory of Kashmir, India said on
Thursday, in a major escalation of a deepening crisis between the
The Indian army said troops conducted multiple nighttime raids across
the line of control (LOC), the ceasefire line agreed in 1972 that
divides the Himalayan region, to attack militants preparing to cross
into Indian-controlled territory.
Pakistan said two of its soldiers had been killed in exchanges of
fire, but denied India had made any targeted strikes. Pakistan later
captured an Indian soldier on its side of the border, military
officials from both countries said. An Indian army spokesman said the
soldier had inadvertently crossed the frontier and had nothing to do
with the earlier raids.
It is the first time the Indian army has publicly acknowledged that
its troops have launched raids across the LOC. Lt Gen Ranbir Singh,
India’s director general of military operations, said there were
“significant casualties … to terrorists and those trying to shield
Mexico Raises Interest Rate After Peso Plunges to Record Low
Mexico raised borrowing costs for the third time this year on concern
that the peso’s tumble to a record low may fuel faster inflation and
threaten to roil the nation’s financial markets.
Banco de Mexico increased the overnight rate a half point to 4.75
percent on Thursday, the highest level since 2009. Economists surveyed
by Bloomberg before the decision had never been so divided, with
forecasts for an increase ranging from a quarter-point to three
quarters of a point.
African Economies Need Deeper Diversification and Better Policies #Africapulse report from World Bank
Economic growth across the continent is projected to fall to 1.6% this
year, the lowest level in over two decades.
Despite this decline, economic growth is showing signs of resilience,
particularly in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, and
Senegal, suggesting that Sub-Saharan Africa is growing at diverging
Increasing agricultural productivity is central to transforming
Sub-Saharan African economies and promoting sustained and inclusive
While economic growth across the continent is projected to fall to
1.6% this year—the lowest level in over two decades—GDP growth is
showing resilience in about a quarter of countries. Some of the best
performers—Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania—have continued to post
annual average growth rates of over 6%, and Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal
have recently climbed into the ranks of top performing countries.
“Adjustment to low commodities has been limited in several commodity
exporters, even as vulnerabilities have mounted,” says Punam
Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Lead Economist for Africa. “Adjustment efforts
should include measures to strengthen domestic resource mobilization,
so as to reduce overdependence on resource-based revenues.”
After slowing to 3% in 2015, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is
projected to fall to 1.6% in 2016, the lowest level in over two
08-FEB-2016 :: Kenya and East Africa on The Up as The Rest of SSA Slumps @TheStarKenya
For a while, I have been saying that Kenya and East Africa looks like
a bright star in what increasingly looks like a darkening sub-Saharan
Meanwhile Nigeria, the biggest economy in SSA, will surely contract in
2016 and not least be- cause its president is determined not to
devalue the naira. The curve of history [from Soros skinning the Bank
of England in 1992, to the Mexican peso crisis in 1994, to the Thai
baht crisis in 1998 and many more too numerous to mention] confirm
that maintaining an artificial foreign exchange rate is a fool’s
errand and eventually carries the risk that the breakdown spirals out
of control and can become seriously disorderly. The official naira
rate is just below 200 to the dollar but no one is holding any store
by that price and that’s why absolutely no one is putting any more
money in Nigeria because they all know when the haircut is finally
imposed it’s going to be a big one. I find it just extraordinary that
such a brilliant president would risk it all on a bet on a single
number in a game of roulette. Those are the odds. South Africa which
is the second biggest economy in SSA will also contract or be at zero
per cent GDP this year. Here again, the David Van Rooyen interlude at
the Finance ministry was a step too far. A 10 per cent fall in a
currency in a single hour [the rand flash crash] confirms the complete
loss of any credibility that President Zuma might have had. Barclays
PLC is desperately seeking the Africa exit button and the reasons are
around SA volatility. The third biggest economy in SSA is Angola. Here
we are in uncharted and possibly revolutionary territory. The currency
whose official rate is about 155 to the dollar is trading at 400 on
the black market. When it comes to SSA, the markets are the message.
Africa's Pulse, No. 14, October 2016 World Bank Full Report
Indeed, the pattern of growth across countries is far from
homogeneous, suggesting that Sub- Saharan Africa is growing at
The “established” and “improved” performers tend to have stronger
quality of monetary and fiscal policies, better business regulatory
environment, more diverse structure of exports, and more effective
Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside On the external
front, old risks remain salient and include slower improvements in
commodity prices and tighter global financial conditions On the
domestic front, policy makers may not enact the reforms needed to
rebuild policy buffers and achieve macroeconomic stability
Uncertainties around upcoming elections, referenda, and policy
direction in a number of countries represent risks as well In some
countries, security threats pose an additional source of risk
Increasing agricultural productivity is central to transforming
Sub-Saharan African economies and promoting sustained and inclusive
growth However, agriculture output growth in the region has largely
been a result of expanding the area under cultivation rather than
productivity gains: the contribution of area expansion accounted for
more than three times as much of the growth in agriculture in the
region relative to other developing countries
Sub-Saharan African countries grossly underfund high-return
investments, and rebalancing the composition of public agricultural
spending could reap massive payoffs
Underlying the weak aggregate regional performance is deteriorating
economic performance in Sub- Saharan Africa’s largest economies:
Nigeria and South Africa—which together account for 50 percent of the
Growth remained under pressure in commodity-exporting countries in the
third quarter of the year
In Angola, production has slowed as the national oil company continued
to restructure its operations and revise its investment plans In
Nigeria, the composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a
record low 46 3 in August, remaining below the 50-mark—which denotes
contraction—for the sixth consecutive month
However, Angola saw a sharp contraction in export earnings that is
expected to widen its current account deficit to over 11 percent of
GDP in 2016 from 8 5 percent of GDP in 2015
Rising debt burdens, difficult economic 50 conditions, and rising
risks were reflected in a spate of sovereign credit rating downgrades
by the big three rating agencies—Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch In the first
six months of this year alone, Angola, Gabon, Lesotho, Mozambique, the
Republic of Congo, and Zambia saw downgrades The pace of downgrades
has accelerated over the past year, keeping the relative cost of
borrowing high for Eurobond issuance in the region has also Sovereign
bond spreads in the region remain high compared with other emerging
Pass-through of deep currency depreciations contributed to a surge in
inflation in Angola, Mozambique, and Nigeria In August, headline
inflation reached 17 6 percent (y/y) in Nigeria, 38 percent (y/y) in
Angola, and over 20 percent (y/y) in Mozambique
However, in Angola and Nigeria, real interest rates remain negative
Angola will continue to struggle with slow economic growth, as a
combination of low oil prices, high inflation, and tight policy weighs
on private consumption and investment.
In the region’s frontier markets, the outlook is relatively more
favorable Growth in Ghana could slow in 2016 due to oil production
outages However, the outlook for 2017 is largely positive
Economic activity will bottom out in Zambia in 2016 and begin a modest
recovery in 2017 Improving rainfall, as El Niño abates, will help
support an increase agricultural output and hydroelectricity
production Copper mining sector activity is also expected to begin to
pick up gradually as improving copper prices encourage companies to
raise production By contrast, growth will remain strong in Côte
d’Ivoire in 2016 and 2017, boosted by government investment projects
Activity in Kenya is also expected to continue to expand at a steady
and robust pace, driven by private consumption and public
infrastructure investment As a large commodity importer, Kenya
continues to benefit from low oil prices, which have helped stabilize
the Kenyan shilling and keep inflation within the target
Growth will remain below trend in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as
weak investment due to political tensions compounds the effects of low
copper prices, and as inflation driven by a weakening exchange rate
weighs on private sector demand
Political uncertainties will continue to exert a drag on economic
growth in Burundi, the Comoros, and Zimbabwe For most other low-income
countries, including Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania, growth is expected
to remain robust, supported by public investment In Ethiopia, the
government’s commitment to the second phase of its Growth and
Transformation Plan will see continued state infrastructure buoy
growth despite adverse weather conditions
The baseline assumes a smooth transition to sustainable growth in China.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia stand out as the most
vulnerable to a significant slowdown in Chinese growth
In some countries, political divisions present an added risk, as they
may prompt the adoption of populist policies by the governing party or
lead to a protracted legal and political crisis, hampering efforts to
tackle important fiscal challenges
Falling behind This group of economies displayed the weakest growth
trajectory throughout 1995–2008 and 2014–16; that is, GDP growth
failed to surpass the bottom tercile in both periods The falling
behind group is comprised mostly of fragile states, as well as small
(mainland and island) countries, namely, Burundi, the Comoros, Guinea,
Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe The six countries in the falling
behind group house 4 4 percent of the region’s total population and
produce only about 2 percent of its total GDP
Congo's political crisis A burnt-out case The Economist
FROM the outside, the offices of FONUS, a political party in Congo’s
capital, Kinshasa, look relatively unchanged. The gate is still in the
blue and yellow colours of the national flag; the party president’s
picture still hangs in the doorway. Inside, however, is chaos. Two
large printing machines have been turned into a pile of blackened and
twisted metal. The corrugated iron roofing is on the floor. A party
member explains how at 3am on September 20th two jeeps full of
soldiers arrived, broke in and poured petrol everywhere. Then one of
them fired a rocket into the printing room.
After trying, and failing, twice to change the rules to allow him to
run again, Mr Kabila has opted for a strategy of “glissement”, or
slippage. He has refused to organise elections, citing logistical
problems, while manoeuvring to stay in power after his term ends on
Not many people in Congo much like the president. Conspiracy theories
fly that he is not really Congolese, or not really his father’s son.
Educated in Tanzania, he speaks Lingala, the language of the Kinshasa
street, poorly. And he is rarely seen in public: on September 26th he
appeared for the first time since the protests: in Rome, shaking hands
with the Pope. He is particularly unpopular in Kinshasa, a filthy,
buzzing mega-city of perhaps 13m people, where the economy is turning
sour. “The misery is at a level we have never seen,” says Jean-Pierre
Tshibangu, who runs a street stall selling milk, sugar and rice. “The
government gives us nothing.”
What happens now depends on how the events of September 19th changed
the bargaining power of each side. For the opposition, the protests
proved that they can get people onto the streets and cause havoc. But
Mr Kabila also showed that his personal security services remain loyal
and will happily shoot at crowds. That may make it harder to get
protesters out again, says Jason Stearns of the Congo Research Group,
a New York-based outfit.
According to Soraya Aziz, a campaigner for better governance, the
opposition parties are probably hoping to get Mr Kabila to give them
big jobs in government, in particular the post of prime minister. In
Congo, that means access to money, and they hope to build war-chests
for the eventual election. They hope that, with luck, they will then
be able to eject the president.
It is possible that Mr Kabila will accept such a deal. He is already
on the ropes economically, says one businessman: the money he needs to
pay the salaries of the police could run out in months. Over the past
year the local franc has lost 20% of its value against the dollar. On
September 28th, two senior security officials were hit with American
financial sanctions, freezing their assets. Others may follow. Making
some concessions would buy Mr Kabila time, with which he could look
for a new opportunity to change the constitution, or at the least to
promote a successor who as president would protect his interests.
Mr Kabila has constraints of his own. Not all of his allies will want
to risk giving up power meekly; some would probably prefer to shoot
more protesters and lock up more opposition leaders than lose their
seats. And not everyone in the opposition will compromise. Mr
Tshisekedi, for example, wants to be president—and at 83, he cannot
wait much longer. As Mr Kabila’s time runs out, this latest outburst
of violence may just be the beginning of a round of bloody
Can Kabila side-step the Tsunami?
The Diamond Magnate at the Heart of Och-Ziff's Africa Ambitions
Dan Gertler, an Israeli diamond tycoon, gave Och-Ziff access to some
of the richest mineral deposits in Africa.
Using his close ties to the president of the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Gertler developed a virtual monopoly in the country’s diamond
exports for a time. He then expanded into other types of mining,
becoming a billionaire. Capitalizing on his resourcefulness, Och-Ziff
Capital Management Group LLC created a joint venture in 2008 that
invested in Gertler’s operations in Congo through a web of companies.
Now an Och-Ziff unit has acknowledged paying millions in bribes to
gain access to lucrative deals in Africa, and the fund operator has
agreed to pay $413 million in penalties, all related to violations of
the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. U.S. prosecutors are continuing to
investigate Gertler and several others with ties to the hedge fund
operator, according to people familiar with the matter. Gertler hasn’t
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit unveiled on Thursday
says that Och-Ziff formed an unwritten partnership in 2008 with a
person described as “DRC Partner,” “an infamous Israeli businessman
with close ties to government officials at the highest level” in
Two Och-Ziff employees “understood that DRC Partner would use the
funds Och-Ziff provided to him to pay bribes to government officials
in order to maintain his corrupt relationships,” according to the
complaint. In a 2006 e-mail cited by the SEC, one of them said that
Gertler “has some skeletons.”
In the interview, Gertler described Kabila as “the new Mandela” for
his role in bringing peace to Congo.
U.S. MILITARY IS BUILDING A $100 MILLION DRONE BASE IN AFRICA Nick Turse
FROM HIGH ABOVE, Agadez almost blends into the cocoa-colored wasteland
that surrounds it. Only when you descend farther can you make out a
city that curves around an airfield before fading into the desert.
Once a nexus for camel caravans hauling tea and salt across the
Sahara, Agadez is now a West African paradise for people smugglers and
a way station for refugees and migrants intent on reaching Europe’s
shores by any means necessary.
Africans fleeing unrest and poverty are not, however, the only
foreigners making their way to this town in the center of Niger. U.S.
military documents reveal new information about an American drone base
under construction on the outskirts of the city. The long-planned
project — considered the most important U.S. military construction
effort in Africa, according to formerly secret files obtained by The
Intercept through the Freedom of Information Act — is slated to cost
$100 million, and is just one of a number of recent American military
initiatives in the impoverished nation.
KCB in Talks With Facebook, Apple on Kenya Digital Payments Bloomberg
KCB Group Ltd., Kenya’s biggest bank by assets, is in talks with
companies including Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and Alibaba Group
Holding Ltd. about collaborating on digital payments through its new
financial-technology unit, Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara said.
The discussions, which are also being held with Alphabet Inc. and
Tencent Holdings Ltd., form part of the lender’s efforts to double the
number of customers on its mobile-phone platform to 20 million by the
end of 2017, Oigara said in an interview at his office in the capital,
Nairobi, on Wednesday. The unit, known as KCB Fintech, will officially
begin operations in June 2017, he said.
The subsidiary will “partner with different players, whether it is
M-Pesa, Facebook, Google, Apple and that business will have a new
digital-payments platform,” he said. M-Pesa is the mobile-phone
payments system pioneered by Vodafone Plc unit Safaricom Ltd., which
handled 5.29 trillion shillings ($52 billion) of transactions last
year, equivalent to more than 80 percent of the country’s gross
Banks in East Africa’s biggest economy are scrambling for market share
in digital transactions with 25 million mobile-money subscribers
spending 312 billion shillings ($3.1 billion) on goods and services in
the three months through March, according to data compiled by the
Communications Authority of Kenya. Lenders are seeking new sources of
revenue after the government capped lending rates, pressuring margins.
KCB is doubling capacity on its mobile-phone systems so it can handle
600 transactions per second by next year, Oigara said. A surge in
demand for loans caused the platform to collapse last week.
KCB is also in talks with Paypal Holdings Inc., Samsung Electronics
Co. and Twitter Inc., Chief Digital Officer Edward Ndichu, who will
head KCB Fintech, said in an interview.
“This is the journey we are going through,” Ndichu said. “We need to
benchmark with the needs of the customer.”
Shares in KCB Group have fallen 38 percent this year to 27 shillings
by close of Thursday trading in Nairobi.
Into Africa: Cocaine, Commodities and a Blue-Blooded Trader Bloomberg
The MSC Letizia, a container ship, set sail from Santos Port bearing
familiar bounties of Brazil like sugar and coffee.
But nesting amidships that Friday last June was one container,
MEDU3333950, that would carry a different kind of cargo all the way to
Its secret load: 200 pounds of cocaine.
The story of MEDU3333950 might have ended there, with a quick seizure
by local authorities or an unremarkable arrest, except for this: it
has now entangled a young Brit of noble birth and a storied London
commodities house in a web of global trade and illicit drugs.
More, the roundabout journey those drugs apparently took has trained a
harsh spotlight on an open secret in the commodities game:
increasingly, smugglers are using industry shipping networks to spirit
contraband around the world.
The unlikely figure at the center of all this is Jack Alexander Wolf
Marrian, grandson of the Sixth Earl of Cawdor. His clan’s ancestral
Scottish home, Cawdor Castle, is best perhaps known as the Highlands
redoubt of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. (In truth, the castle was built in
the late 14th Century, 300 years after the real Macbeth was crowned
Today Marrian, 31, stands accused of smuggling the load of cocaine
into the Kenyan port city of Mombasa. Prosecutors allege his
connection to MEDU3333950 is clear: the container was part of a
shipment to a Kenyan importer where Marrian, a top sugar trader for
ED&F Man, serves as a managing director.
“I’ve had goods disappear from containers under customs supervisions
in African countries while the seal remained intact, which completely
baffled us,” says Drake, now chief operating officer at RCMA
Commodities Asia Pte Ltd. “The containers were half empty.”
“The Spanish stressed this was a rip-off load and the recipient of the
container would have no knowledge it was being used to transport
drugs,” DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson said this week, reiterating a
previous statement from the agency.
Back in Nairobi, Marrian is trying to keep up his spirits. Given his
lineage, not to mention the 200 pounds of coke, his case has drawn
headlines in Britain. Marrian, however, says he’s no aristocrat, just
a hard-working sugar trader. He’s only visited Cawdor Castle once, as
an ordinary tourist.
Unga reports FY16 EPS +18.027% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 34.00
Total Shares Issued: 75708872.00
Market Capitalization: 2,574,101,648
FY Turnover 19.743564b vs. 18.723250b +5.449%
FY Operating profit 674.034m vs. 754.630m -10.680%
FY Other income 120.588m vs. 107.709m +11.957%
FY Foreign exchange losses [11.075m] vs. [186.402m] -94.059%
FY Profit before tax 734.401m vs. 635.695m +15.527%
FY Profit for the year from discontinued operations – vs. 192.085m
FY Profit for the year 508.816m vs. 621.866m -18.027%
EPS 4.32 vs. 5.27 -18.027%
Total Assets 9.199783b vs. 8.635129b +6.539%
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 1.102359b vs.
Dividends : 1 per share
Turnover and profit for the year from continuing operations increased
by +5.4% and 18.4% respectively.
Operating profit was impacted by higher distribution and
administration expenses, attributable to ICT system upgrades, human
resources and brand equity building.
production of maize flour and porridge declined compared to the prior
year…shortage of quality maize grain in H2.
Final dividend of 1/= a share
Could Kenya be building another 'lunatic line'? BBC
Thousands of railway workers died building Kenya's so-called "lunatic
line", some by man-eating lions. The BBC's Alastair Leithead considers
if a new railway line through a national park could get the same
Kenya is borrowing billions that it will have to pay back and critics
are asking the same questions British parliamentarians did back in the
late 1800s - why is it costing so much and is it value for money?
"It's a white elephant - we don't need it," says Kenyan economist David Ndii.
"It's not necessary, it's overpriced. It's the most expensive single
project we have done and it's not economically viable now or in the
A broader worry, voiced by economist Mr Ndii, concerns the Kenyan
government's huge borrowing spree.
"You are already beginning to see the impact of this borrowing on
government finances," the economist says.
"Debt servicing is going to consume almost a half of revenue now and
these projects are not yet delivering any return.
"We are working ourselves into some kind of fiscal crisis in a couple of years."