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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Thursday 02nd of February 2017
 
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Africa

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Macro Thoughts

Home Thoughts

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Delicious litchees straight off a tree in Thika. @Samooner
Africa


“this was a moment of magic revealing to us all, for a few moments, a
hidden world of grace and wonder beyond the one of which our eyes told
us, a world that no words could delineate, as insubstanttial as a
cloud, as iridescent as a dragon-fly and as innocent as the heart of a
rose.” ― Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of Thika

“...when the present stung her, she sought her antidote in the future,
which was as sure to hold achievement as the dying flower to hold the
fruit when its petals wither.” ― Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of
Thika

“The sky, at sunset, looked like a carnivorous flower.” - Roberto Bolaño, 2666

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17-SEP-2012 ::The Madding Crowd
Law & Politics


Now set these events alongside these comments from the US army war
college quarterly 1997. The US officer assigned to the deputy chief of
staff (Intelligence), charged with defining the future of warfare,
wrote "One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the
conflict between information masters and information victims."

This information warfare will not be couched in the rationale of
geopolitics, the author suggests, but will be "spawned" - like any
Hollywood drama - out of raw emotions. "Hatred, jealousy, and greed -
emotions, rather than strategy - will set the terms of [information
warfare] struggles".

Now what are the consequences of this new 21st century madding crowd?
A madding crowd which can be inflamed by a fellow with a camera and an
account with YouTube.

There are plenty of flame throwers in a population of seven billion.

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It's Putin's World The Atlantic
Law & Politics


In 2012, vladimir putin returned to the presidency after a four-year,
constitutionally imposed hiatus. It wasn’t the smoothest of
transitions. To his surprise, in the run-up to his inauguration,
protesters filled the streets of Moscow and other major cities to
denounce his comeback. Such opposition required dousing. But an
opportunity abroad also beckoned—and the solution to Putin’s domestic
crisis and the fulfillment of his international ambitions would roll
into one.

After the global financial crisis of 2008, populist uprisings had
sprouted across Europe. Putin and his strategists sensed the
beginnings of a larger uprising that could upend the Continent and
make life uncomfortable for his geostrategic competitors. A 2013 paper
from the Center for Strategic Communications, a pro-Kremlin think
tank, observed that large patches of the West despised feminism and
the gay-rights movement and, more generally, the progressive direction
in which elites had pushed their societies. With the traditionalist
masses ripe for revolt, the Russian president had an opportunity. He
could become, as the paper’s title blared, “The New World Leader of
Conservatism.”

Putin had never spoken glowingly of the West, but grim pronouncements
about its fate grew central to his rhetoric. He hurled splenetic
attacks against the culturally decadent, spiritually desiccated
“Euro-Atlantic.” He warned against the fetishization of tolerance and
diversity. He described the West as “infertile and genderless,” while
Russian propaganda derided Europe as “Gayropa.” At the heart of
Putin’s case was an accusation of moral relativism. “We can see how
many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their
roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of
Western civilization,” he said at a conference in 2013. “They are
denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national,
cultural, religious, and even sexual … They are implementing policies
that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God
with the belief in Satan.” By succumbing to secularism, he noted on
another occasion, the West was trending toward “chaotic darkness” and
a “return to a primitive state.”

Few analysts grasped the potency such rhetoric would have beyond
Russia. But right-wing leaders around the world—from Rodrigo Duterte
in the Philippines to Nigel Farage in Britain to Donald Trump in the
U.S.—now speak of Putin in heroic terms.

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05-DEC-2016 :: The Parabolic Rebound of Vladimir Putin
Law & Politics


So much has happened in 2016, from the Brexit vote to President-elect
Trump, and it certainly feels like we have entered a new normal. One
common theme is a parabolic Putin rebound. At this moment, President
Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded.  The intellectual father of the
new Zeitgeist that propelled Brexit, Le Pen, the Five Star movement in
Italy, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, is Vladimir Putin.

In the Middle East, it is Putin who is calling the shots in Aleppo,
and in a quite delicious irony it looks like he has pocketed Opec as
well.

However, my starting point is the election of President Donald Trump
because hindsight will surely show that Russia ran a seriously
sophisticated programme of interference, mostly digital. Don DeLillo,
who is a prophetic 21st writer, writes as follows in one of his short
stories:

The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice
breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable
poignancy”.

He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm
officers at Colorado Command:

“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”

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"This is the deflagration of an epoch. It's the apocalypse of this information system'' @beppe_grillo
Law & Politics


Comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, co-founder of Five Star, said

“ This is the deflagration of an epoch. It’s the apocalypse of this
information system, of the TVs, of the big newspapers, of the
intellectuals, of the journalists.”

And this is another important point, traditional media has lost its
position of control. It’s been upended by the internet which allowed
insurgent politics to broadcast over the top.

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@Potus warned in a phone call with @EPN that he was ready to send U.S. troops to stop "bad hombres down there"
Law & Politics


Washington (AP) -- President Donald Trump warned in a phone call with
his Mexican counterpart that he was ready to send U.S. troops to stop
"bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to
control them, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the
conversation obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpt of the call did not detail who exactly Trump considered
"bad hombres," nor did it make clear the tone and context of the
remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It
also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's response.
Mexico denies that Trump's remarks were threatening.

Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new
president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump's remarks
suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders
that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail.

Eduardo Sanchez, spokesman for Mexico's presidential office, denied
the tone of the conversation was hostile or humiliating, saying it was
respectful.

"It is absolutely false that the president of the United States
threatened to send troops to Mexico," Sanchez said in an interview
with Radio Formula on Wednesday night.

"You have a bunch of bad hombres down there," Trump told Pena Nieto,
according to the excerpt given to AP. "You aren't doing enough to stop
them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just
might send them down to take care of it."

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Why China could declare a South China Sea ADIZ right about now
Law & Politics


So, if China did decide to act swiftly, and specifically in the South
China Sea, what would be its best play? My money is on an action that
is bold, reinforces China’s claims of sovereignty and, most
importantly, won’t be easy to retaliate against.

If I was President Xi Jinping here is what I would do to test the new
administration’s intentions and at the same time see Trump squirm:
declare an Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, in the South
China Sea.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.0793
Dollar Index 99.54
Japan Yen 112.90
Swiss Franc 0.9910
Pound 1.2667
Aussie 0.7642
India Rupee 67.495
South Korea Won 1146.61
Brazil Real 3.1297
Egypt Pound 18.8480
South Africa Rand 13.4242

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Qatar's Bets
Emerging Markets


Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar is tiny, but it’s made a name for itself
by placing big bets. Thanks to its vast reserves of natural gas, its
2.6 million residents enjoy the world’s highest per-capita income:
$129,700 a year. It made huge investments to become the largest
exporter of liquefied natural gas. Qatar has acquired more than $335
billion worth of assets around the globe, buying up stakes in trophies
such as London’s Shard, the tallest building in Europe. The emirate
has drawn international attention as an outsized power-broker in a
volatile region, and it will be center stage globally in 2022 as the
host of the World Cup. Qatar’s bets haven't always panned out as it
expected. A glut in production facilities worldwide has driven down
LNG prices; Qatar’s support for opposition groups challenging other
Arab governments has enraged its neighbors, and so far its soccer
preparations have attracted mostly bad press. Now Qatar is figuring
out whether it can lower its profile while remaining a player in
Middle Eastern politics.

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Congo Opposition Leader's Death Jeopardizes Political Deal
Africa


The death of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition
leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, puts in jeopardy a political deal aimed at
getting President Joseph Kabila to leave office.

Tshisekedi, president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress
and one of the country’s longest-serving political leaders, died
Wednesday in a hospital in Brussels, party spokesman Augustin Kabuya
said, after struggling with illness for many years. He was 84.

Tshisekedi’s death comes four weeks after opposition parties organized
around Tshisekedi agreed in December that Kabila, in power since 2011,
would step down after delayed elections this year. Efforts to
implement the accord have been stalled.

"His death is a huge blow to the opposition and to the chances of
success for this political deal," said Jason Stearns, a director of
the Congo Research Group, said by phone from New York.

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Political tensions, weak growth major risk to South Africa rating: Moody's
Africa


Political tensions and weak economic growth in South Africa are the
biggest challenge to its sovereign credit rating, Moody's said on
Wednesday.

"Political tensions impeded key structural reforms such as
comprehensive reforms of state-owned enterprises which are yet to take
place and hampered growth, another key credit challenge," said
Moody's, which rates South Africa two notches above junk status with a
negative outlook.

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Investors started to factor in Pravin Gordhan's fight-back against rogue policy-making
Africa


South African asset prices have of course been battling a ''Zuma''
haircut which began to ebb into year end 2016 [The Rand closed the
Year +11% versus the Dollar] as Investors started to factor in Pravin
Gordhan's fight-back against rogue policy-making.

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Nigeria's capital imports slumped to a nine-year low in 2016 as Africa's biggest economy battled a weaker currency and its first recession in 25 years.
Africa


The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday that capital
importation into Nigeria fell 47 percent last year to $5.12 billion,
largely because the weak currency meant fewer dollars were required
for the same naira investment.

It said $9.64 billion was imported in 2015.

"This was the lowest value since the (data) series started in 2007,
which reflects the numerous economic challenges that afflicted Nigeria
in 2016," the statistics office said.

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Ghana Finds a $1.6 Billion Hole in Budget
Africa


Ghana’s three-week-old government said it found a 7 billion-cedi ($1.6
billion) hole in the budget, a disclosure that sent its bonds
tumbling.

“We have been very surprised by the fiscal data,” Vice President
Mahamudu Bawumia said Tuesday night in a speech broadcast by Citi FM.
“We find out that there’s 7 billion Ghana cedis of expenditure that
have not been disclosed.”

Yields on Ghana’s benchmark dollar bond due in August 2023 increased
33 basis points to 8.70 percent, the highest since Dec. 19, at 11:30
a.m. in Accra. The cedi weakened for a third day against the dollar,
slipping 0.4 percent to 4.38.

Investors will be concerned about a high budget deficit and there’s
still the risk of further debt accumulation, said Courage Martey, an
economist at Accra-based Databank Group Ltd.

Conclusions

Kitchen sink Trade - Buy into this weakness.

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The new President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo is saying all the right things
Africa


The new President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo is saying all the right
things. Ghana looks primed to move from a policy-making haircut to a
policy-making premium.

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Angola's inflation rate rose to 41.95 percent in December - the highest since June 2004 - from 41.15 percent in November
Africa


Angola’s inflation rate rose to 41.95 percent in December – the
highest since June 2004 – from 41.15 percent in November, with prices
for food and non-alcoholic beverages, miscellaneous goods, and apparel
and footwear contributing most to the rise in inflation.
Angola’s inflation rate has been accelerating since early 2015 as the
fall in crude oil prices hit government revenue and foreign exchange
earnings, weakening the kwanza.
The central bank has devalued the kwanza several times in recent years
and has been quoting the kwanza at around 165 per U.S. dollar since
mid-April 2016.
In January 20916 the central bank let the kwanza ease to around 155
from around 135, the rate it had targeted since September 2015.
Angola’s LUIBOR overnight rate, also rose to 23.35 percent from 22.65
percent while credit to the economy in December rose by 1.62 percent.
But the restricted monetary base contracted by 2.82 percent in
December while the M2 aggregate fell by 0.15 percent for an annual
rise of 13.03 percent, the BNA said.

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@NationMediaGrp share price data here -18.81% 2017
Africa


Par Value:                  2.50/-
Closing Price:           75.50
Total Shares Issued:          188542286.00
Market Capitalization:        14,234,942,593
EPS:             11.8
PE:                 6.398

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Kenya Shilling versus The Dollar Live ForexPros 103.80
Africa


Nairobi All Share Bloomberg -7.93% 2017
http://www.BLOOMBERG.COM/quote/NSEASI:IND

122.77 +0.54 +0.44%

Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg -12.06% 2017
http://j.mp/ajuMHJ

2,801.85 +7.58 +0.27%

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Price of tea hits 3-year high on severe drought
Africa


Price of tea at the Mombasa auction was Sh318 per kilogramme during
this week’s trading, up from Sh301 last week.
There has been an increase in demand as buyers scramble to secure
future stocks in the wake of rising prices occasioned by fears of a
looming shortage.
The current drought is expected to cut tea production by 12 per cent
to 416 million kilogrammes from 473 million registered in 2016.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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February 2017
 
 
 
 
 
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