|Friday 10th of February 2017
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0930-1500 KENYA TIME
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 on the Front Page of the site
very much looking forward to hosting H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Former
President of the Republic of Ghana (2012- 2017) at #Mindspeak This
We will be at the Norfolk Hotel
John Dramani Mahama is a Ghanaian politician who served as President
of Ghana from 24 July 2012 to 7 January 2017.  He previously served
as Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and took office as
President on 24 July 2012 following the death of his predecessor, John
Atta Mills. A communication expert, historian, and writer, Mahama
was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of
Communications from 1998 to 2001. He is a member of the National
Mahama made political history by becoming the first Ghanaian head of
state to have been born after Ghana's declaration of independence on 6
John Dramani Mahama is married to Lordina Mahama (née Effah, 6 March
1963). Mahama has three children on the record named Farida, Sharaf
and Jesse. He is a Christian, born and raised a Presbyterian but is
now a member of Assemblies of God, Ghana due to marriage. His
family is multi-faith, consisting of Christians and Muslims.
Mahama is also a devotee of Afrobeat music, especially that of Fela Kuti.
John Dramani Mahama's first book, a memoir called My First Coup d'État
and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa, was published
by Bloomsbury on 3 July 2012. The most promising son
of an affluent government minister, he spends his childhood shuttling
in his father's chauffeur-driven cars, from his elite boarding school
Achimota School in Accra to his many homes. He recalls in its first
chapter the day in 1966 when he learned of the ousting of Ghana's
founding president, Kwame Nkrumah, in a military coup: "When I look
back on my life it's clear to me that this moment marked the awakening
of my consciousness. It changed my life and influenced all the moments
Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index -- a more than five-year high
Increased Chinese demand has seen prices for the world’s most prized
wines -- as measured by the Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index -- rise to a
more than five-year high, racking up gains that would be the envy of
any stock or currency investor wary of Donald Trump’s protectionist
policy or upcoming European elections this year.
My Excuse is Rumi who was very partial to a fine glass of wine.
Once more we come like dust adance in air From beyond the skies of love, aturn
On the field of love like polo balls we roll skittering to the side,
coming to the fore
Love reduces one to need – if that’s your lot
it suits you – not us, who come from the beyond
This gathering’s in your honour and the guests have all arrived. But
not for bread alone we come here; pour out the firewater!
As you course through our veins, made wretched by
our wounds for you, thank God we come quick to life!
Shams of Truth this love of yours thirsts for my blood I head straight
to it, blade and shroud in hand!
Tabriz aboil your salt alone can simmer!
We – pride of all the earth in caring for you – have come to help you
stir the age up.
Translation from Franklin Lewis Rūmī, p. 347-8
.@Potus Trump backs One China policy in first call with Xi @FT
Law & Politics
US President Donald Trump has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that
the White House will respect the “One China” policy, in a move that
will ease tensions between the powers, according to two people
familiar with the call.
In his first conversation with the Chinese leader since entering the
Oval Office, Mr Trump said he would abide by the diplomatic formula
that Beijing and Taipei agreed in 1992.
Mr Trump had angered China in December by speaking to Tsai Ing-wen,
the Taiwanese prime minister, in what was the first conservation
between a US president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader since
Washington and Beijing established diplomatic relations in 1979.
The phone call - on Thursday evening Washington time - came one day
before Mr Trump will welcome Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister,
to the White House. The decision to speak to Mr Xi on the eve of the
Trump-Abe summit was designed to reduce the fallout from the lavish
welcome planned for the Japanese leader. Mr Abe will dine with Mr
Trump four times, fly on Air Force One to the president’s resort in
Florida, and play golf with his US counterpart.
Beijing will welcome the move by Mr Trump to back the “One China”
policy, which has been the central principle governing relations
between China and Taiwan, which the Chinese communist party regards as
a renegade province. Mr Trump also angered China in December by
suggesting after his call with Ms Tsai that he would only support the
“One China” policy if China agreed to do some kind of deal on trade
with the US.
China, U.S. Warplanes Had 'Unsafe' Encounter in South China Sea @Business
Law & Politics
Two military aircraft from China and the U.S. had an “unsafe”
encounter over a disputed part of the South China Sea, the U.S.
Pacific Fleet said on Friday, the first publicly confirmed incident
since May last year.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force KJ-200 surveillance plane had “an
interaction characterized by U.S. Pacific Command as ‘unsafe’” with a
Navy P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft, Pacific Command spokesman Major
Robert Shuford said in an e-mail. CNN earlier reported the planes flew
within 1,000 feet of each other in the general vicinity of the
“We will address the issue in appropriate diplomatic and military
channels,” Shuford said. “The U.S. Navy P-3C was on a routine mission
operating in accordance with international law.”
Marine Le Pen : la Russie pousserait sa candidature, selon la DGSE RFI
Law & Politics
Selon la DGSE, la Russie compte appuyer la candidature de Marine Le
Pen "sur les réseaux sociaux, grâce à des robots informatiques qui
généreront des messages positifs par milliers. Ou en révélant les
données et mails confidentiels de ses adversaires". Contacté par
RTL.fr, le vice-président du Front national Florian Philippot explique
s'en remettre à "l'État afin de sécuriser l'élection présidentielle".
Il souligne aussi la "forte odeur de complotisme qui règne".
Stephen Bannon boasted his approach to documentary filmmaking was "kinetic" and that he sometimes tried to "almost overwhelm an audience" with material.
Law & Politics
Stephen Bannon boasted to Variety that his approach to documentary
filmmaking was “kinetic” and that he sometimes tried to “almost
overwhelm an audience” with material.
Now Bannon is overseeing a new ideological production as President
Donald Trump’s chief strategist, and he has embraced the same
overwhelming aesthetic. From an executive order banning immigrants
from seven Muslim countries, to antagonizing the leaders of Mexico,
Australia and France, to putting Iran “on notice,” the new
administration has loosed a firehose of executive actions and
statements that have alarmed fellow Republicans, angered foreign
allies, and sparked street protests at home and abroad.
But Bannon’s radical approach carries big risks, and amounts to a
high-stakes gamble that Trump can deliver sufficiently on his
ambitious promises to satisfy both his loyal supporters and those
ready to roll the dice who voted him into office.
The disruption strategy works only “if you deliver,” said author
Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor who served in senior roles in Bill
Clinton’s administration. If Trump fails to bring jobs back to the
Rust Belt or to coal country, if Obamacare is repealed and something
worse replaces it, or if Trump’s government-by-tweet sparks a trade
war or even a shooting war in the Middle East, then that fervent
support in his political base could dissolve.
“Trump has used Twitter in a way which allows him to control the
agenda, and to set the agenda,” Nye said. “So when a story comes up
which is not helpful, not favorable, or when he wants to get people
disrupted . . . he throws a ball and everybody scrambles after it and
neglects the story they should be following.”
Nye calls the president’s spontaneous twitter salvos “Zeus tweets,”
thunderbolts from on high that shock the body politic. The chaos and
disarray displayed in the first weeks of the administration makes
sense if Trump and his team are gunning for a political transformation
to reshape the Republican Party and bypass the established leadership
in Washington, said Nye.
“If Trump’s objective is to realign American politics and to create a
populist party, then the appeal to his base is understandable,” he
The administration so far has offered no detailed plans on replacing
Obama’s healthcare reforms, or how it will conduct trade policy based
on its protectionist campaign promises, how it will revive the coal
industry, or defeat the Islamic State.
“This is actually a little bit closer to nihilism. It’s simply a
desire to destroy things,” said Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins
University who served in the Bush administration.
As for Bannon’s writings and ideas, “it’s a mistake to dignify it too
much,” he said. “This is crackpot thinking.”
Russia and America: Donald Trump seeks a grand bargain with Vladimir Putin @TheEconomist
Law & Politics
GEORGE W. BUSH looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and thought he saw
his soul. He was wrong. Barack Obama attempted to “reset” relations
with Russia, but by the end of his term in office Russia had annexed
Crimea, stirred up conflict elsewhere in Ukraine and filled the power
vacuum that Mr Obama had left in Syria. Donald Trump appears to want
to go much further and forge an entirely new strategic alignment with
Russia. Can he succeed, or will he be the third American president in
a row to be outfoxed by Mr Putin?
Going by the chatter around Mr Trump (see Briefing), the script for
Russia looks something like this: America would team up with Mr Putin
to destroy “radical Islamic terror”—and in particular, Islamic State
(IS). At the same time Russia might agree to abandon its collaboration
with Iran, an old enemy for America in the Middle East and a threat to
its allies, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. In Europe Russia would
stop fomenting conflict in Ukraine, agree not to harass NATO members
on its doorstep and, possibly, enter nuclear-arms-control talks. In
the longer term, closer ties with Russia could also help curb Chinese
expansion. Stephen Bannon, Mr Trump’s most alarming adviser, said last
year that he had “no doubt” that “we’re going to war in the South
China Sea in five to ten years.” If so, America will need allies, and
Russia is a nuclear power with a 4,200km (2,600-mile) border with
China. What’s not to like?
Pretty much everything. Russian hacking may have helped Mr Trump at
the polls, but that does not mean he can trust Mr Putin. The Kremlin’s
interests and America’s are worlds apart.
Inside the crash of Fling, the London startup whose founder partied in Ibiza while his company burned through $21 million Business Insider
London-based social media app Fling burned through $21 million in less
than three years.
Fling never brought in any revenue.
The founder splashed out on 1st class flights, Ibiza hotels, and
The app struggled after Apple pulled it from the App Store last summer
for becoming too sexually explicit.
In early July 2015, temperatures were rising in the boardroom on the
top floor of a 12-storey office block in Hammersmith, West London.
Marco Nardone, the 28-year-old CEO and founder of social media app
Fling, had called an emergency meeting the day after his app was
removed from the App Store by Apple for being too similar to the
notorious Chatroulette platform.
The atmosphere was tense and Nardone was furious, three former
employees said, because his COO, Emerson Osmond, had gone behind his
back. Specifically, he was angry because Osmond had told Nardone's
personal assistant not to order tents for the office that would allow
staff to sleep by their desks and work around the clock to get Fling
back onto the App Store, a former employee told Business Insider.
Nardone shouted and swore at Osmond before squaring up to him as if he
was about to do something more, said two former employees. At this
point, Nardone's Italian father, Remo Nardone — a man in his eighties
and Fling's biggest investor — stepped in to try and cool the
situation down, one of the employees said. But his son didn't react
well. He swore at his father before hurling a partially-open Pret a
Manger baguette in his direction. The baguette, believed to be
prosciutto ham, narrowly missed and collided with a glass window above
his head. The event was described to Business Insider by four former
In the lead-up to the incident, Fling — a social media app that raised
$21 million (£17 million) from investors — had become inundated with
explicit photos. Built by a London startup called Unii, Fling allowed
people to send photos and videos to strangers around the world. The
random recipients could then chat and reply to the sender. The app
also showed "Flingers" a map of where their Flings had landed.
At its peak, Fling claimed to have 4 million users on its app, who
sent a total of 50 billion messages. However, the revenue-free company
burnt through the last of its millions in August 2015, according to
documents produced by bankruptcy administrators.
The app — built by up to 50 staff and backed by a network of wealthy
individuals from the UK, Italy, and Asia — struggled to retain users.
Mismanagement at the top of the company was a major issue, according
to nine former employees that Business Insider has spoken to over the
last three months.
Banco de Mexico, led by Governor Agustin Carstens, increased the key rate by 50 basis points to 6.25 percent, more than twice the level of December 2015
Mexico’s economy is facing the prospect of low growth and high
inflation thanks in part to Trump’s threats to renegotiate free trade
in North America and slap a tax on companies that send jobs south of
the border. The peso’s 11 percent decline since the Nov. 8 election
through yesterday and the end of government fuel subsidies combined to
send the inflation rate up by the most in 21 years in January. Banxico
now faces the challenge of reining in consumer prices just as some
economists are warning the country may slip into recession.
Underscoring policy makers’ dilemma, consumer prices in January rose
4.72 percent from the year earlier, up from 3.36 percent the previous
month, the statistics institute said today. That was the biggest
increase in the inflation rate for 21 years. Forecasts for annual
inflation this year have also soared, reaching 5.32 percent, according
to a Citibanamex survey of economists released Tuesday.
A man everyone calls Cheese won Somalia's presidency on Wednesday By JEFFREY GETTLEMANFEB. 8, 2017
Mr. Mohamed, better known in Somalia by his nickname, Farmajo (from
formaggio, the Italian word for cheese, for which his father was said
to have acquired a taste when Somalia was an Italian colony), was
considered the protest candidate and less manipulated by foreign
interests than the departing president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Mr. Mohamed is rare on the Somali political scene for one reason: He
is popular. Crowds of ordinary people poured into Mogadishu’s streets
to cheer and whistle on Wednesday night.
As one Somalia analyst put it: The least corrupt and most-well-liked
candidate won Somalia’s most corrupt and least democratic election. Go
Before entering politics, Mr. Mohamed worked as a diplomat for the
Somali government and later for the New York State Department of
Transportation in Buffalo. He holds American and Somali citizenship,
and when he returned to his cubicle in Buffalo after his short stint
as prime minister, his co-workers baked him a cake.
Nigeria's president is missing in action @FT @davidpilling
For two weeks, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s septuagenarian president,
has been out of action, receiving medical treatment in London for an
undisclosed illness. His absence has sent the rumour mill of Africa’s
most populous nation spinning, with frequent erroneous reports that
the president is dead. The tragedy for Nigeria is that policymaking
has been so ponderous during the 20 months since Mr Buhari took office
that, dead or alive, it is not always easy to tell the difference.
Under Mr Buhari’s slow-blinking leadership, Africa’s largest economy
has drifted into crisis. Brought low by the weak oil price, on which
government revenues are woefully dependent, the system has been
starved of dollars. That has driven businesses into the ground, people
on to the margins and the economy into its worst recession in 25
years. What had been a growing middle class is being daily
eviscerated. High inflation, especially for food, is damaging the poor
in whose name Mr Buhari ran for office.
There are signs that Nigerians — among the most resilient and adaptive
people on the continent — are losing patience. This week, there were
small, but rowdy, protests in Lagos and Abuja, at which demonstrators
complained about their “missing president”.
There is an irony that Mr Buhari, a retired major general, is missing
in action. He ran the country as a military ruler in the mid-1980s
after seizing power in a coup. In civilian guise, his leadership style
has verged on the invisible. After winning power in 2015 on the fourth
attempt at the ballot box, he set out at a pace that has marked his
presidency: it took him six months to name a cabinet. Hopes that he
had surrounded himself with a lean team of capable technocrats
empowered to get policy cranking have come to naught. Policymaking —
such that it is — has been crafted instead by a tiny cabal of loyal,
less qualified, stalwarts. Mr Buhari has failed to articulate anything
approaching a vision.
During his campaign, Nigeria’s soldier-turned-politician promised to
train his sight on three main objectives: to improve security, crack
down on corruption and diversify the oil-dependent economy. Progress
on the first two has been patchy, and on the third dismal.
On security, Mr Buhari has managed to galvanise a demoralised army and
make gains against Boko Haram, a terrorist organisation that had been
metastasising beyond its northern base. Boko Haram has been pushed
back into a north-eastern redoubt and across the border into Cameroon
and Chad. But that displacement has been offset by security flare-ups
elsewhere, most seriously in the Niger Delta where militants have been
sabotaging oil production.
Mr Buhari’s anti-corruption drive can be boiled down to a few symbolic
gestures and a few high-profile cases against members of the previous
administration. Yet, systemically, little has changed. The confused
exchange rate policy — in which the central bank doles out scarce
dollars at an advantageous rate — is a recipe for opacity. The dollar
shortage is killing off industry rather than nurturing it.
Seventy per cent of Nigeria’s 170m people were not born when Mr Buhari
was last running the show, so they might not notice that his policies
are stuck in the same 1980s groove. Statist and redistributionist by
inclination, he finds himself in charge of a dysfunctional state and
an economy with few revenues to recirculate.
To be fair, Mr Buhari inherited a dire situation courtesy of his
hapless predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan. He did the country a service
simply by beating Mr Jonathan in an election and sparing the country
of further wilful misrule. Yet Dele Olojede, a Pulitzer prizewinning
journalist, says Mr Buhari’s government has been “spinning around in
As well as the president’s flawed policies, he blames a bloated
political system in which most of the 36 states (far too many) spend
their time grovelling for federal funds. The mosaic of Nigerian
politics is complicated by the need to balance power between north and
south and between the plethora of regions and linguistic groups
represented in the cabinet. That makes for a parasitic state, not one
that can solve problems. “This is a system designed to fail even if
you have capable people in charge,” says Mr Olojede, who does not put
Mr Buhari in that category.
Nigeria has drifted before, though rarely at a time of such pressing
crisis. In 2010, President Umaru Yar’Adua died in office after months
in which his illness had been covered up. The man supposedly in charge
of the country had been literally sleeping on the job. Mr Buhari may
not be as ill as the rumours suggest. Politically, though, rigor
mortis set in quite some time ago.
Nigeria Returns to Eurobond Market as Investors Look Past Naira
Africa’s most-populous country returned to international capital
markets for the first time in almost four years Thursday, selling $1
billion of 15-year bonds at 7.875 percent, below the the initial
target of about 8.5 percent. Indications are that investors bid for
more than five times the amount offered, according to Kevin Daly at
Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, who bid for the bonds.
It was priced to clear and its in Dollars.
Eni chief Claudio Descalzi charged with international corruption related to Nigerian licences @FT
Claudio Descalzi, chief executive of Eni, has suffered a setback after
Italian prosecutors charged him with international corruption
following a lengthy investigation into the Italian energy group’s 2011
purchase of a Nigerian exploration licence.
Mr Descalzi was asked to stand trial along with Paolo Scaroni, the
former chief executive of Eni, as well as nine other individuals who
were involved in the $1.3bn transaction, according to Fabio De
Pasquale, the lead prosecutor on the case. Eni and Royal Dutch Shell,
which jointly owns the licence, have also been charged as companies,
The move by prosecutors in Milan comes at an awkward time for Mr
Descalzi, who is hoping to be reappointed as chief executive of Eni by
the Italian government when his term expires later this year.
The case also adds to the judicial travails of top managers of Italy’s
leading state-controlled companies: last week, Mauro Moretti, chief
executive of Leonardo, the Italian defence group, was sentenced to
seven years in jail in connection with his role in a 2009 rail
disaster, although he is likely to appeal.
Mr Descalzi was notified that he was under investigation in the
Nigerian case in September 2014, shortly after he was appointed to the
job by Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister. He has consistently
maintained his innocence.
In a statement, Eni’s board expressed its “full confidence” in Mr
Descalzi. An Eni spokeswoman said she wanted to “reiterate the
propriety” of the deal. She added that an independent probe by a US
law firm hired by Eni to examine the agreement had found that the
purchase of the licence had “respected the existing laws”.
Eni has not yet been notified that Mr Descalzi has been charged. A
judge will have to sign off on the prosecutors’ request for a trial in
the coming months.
The investigation focuses on an offshore exploration bloc called OPL
245, which is estimated to contain up to 9bn barrels of oil and is
considered one of Nigeria’s most highly-prized energy prospects.
Along with the investigation in Italy, the deal has also attracted
scrutiny in Nigeria: a court in the west African nation ordered Eni
and Shell to forfeit the licence temporarily, pending an inquiry by
the country’s own anti-corruption agency.
The main accusation is that Eni and Shell knew the money paid to the
government for OPL 245 would then be funnelled to other Nigerian
individuals, essentially as bribes.
But Eni and Shell have said that they simply transferred money to the
Nigerian government, without making any arrangements with third
parties or the ultimate beneficiaries.
At Eni, Mr Descalzi has been credited with shepherding the company
through the recent low oil price environment and securing big
exploration successes, such as the discovery of a giant gasfield off
the coast of Egypt called Zohr. Eni recently cashed in on Zohr by
selling stakes in the project to BP and Rosneft.
Shell declined to comment. People briefed on the matter said Shell had
not so far received an indictment from Italian prosecutors. Mr Scaroni
and Mr Descalzi could not immediately be reached for comment.
The spending habits of Youth consumers in Sub Sahara Africa
Youth consumers in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) are very image conscious
and are spending over 50% of their earnings on personal care items,
this is according to a recent GeoPoll rapid survey carried out among
youth between the ages of 18 to 35 in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria,
Ghana and Uganda. In an article appearing on Africa.com on top ten
trends in Africa in 2016 and beyond, beauty is listed as the number
one trend with the hair industry estimated to be worth US$6 Billion.
Africans aged 16-34 account for 65 percent of the continent’s consumer
spending (McKinsey 2013 report). The African millennials are vibrant,
on the move, tech savvy and image conscious. They are upping their
levels of education and are extremely optimistic about their future.
@OneCarlyle and #TPG seeking to acquire @javahouseafrica via @BD_Africa
Java is currently owned 90 per cent by Washington-based Emerging
Capital Partners (ECP), which bought the stake in 2012 from the coffee
chain’s founders, Kevin Ashley and John Wagner, who are Americans.
It was not immediately clear whether the intended acquisition is a
complete takeover or a partial one precipitated by ECP’s exit in line
with the medium-term investment plans of PE funds.
If it goes through, this will be Kenya’s largest restaurant industry
transaction that should leave ECP with a handsome return on its
The PE fund did not disclose the amount it spent to acquire the Java
stake, which it insisted did not go to the founders but was used to
fund the company’s growth.
The PE world has, however, put the amount at tens of millions of dollars.
The fact that the founders did not take out cash when ECP came on
board indicates that they are likely to cash in this time round
alongside the PE fund as a new investor buys the company.
Java’s sale will cement Kenya’s reputation as a high-return market
that offers easy exit routes for PE funds and development finance