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Prompt Board Next day settlement
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I find Wilson Airport like a magic portal to another world
I did not take the ‘ox-cart’ but an aeroplane from Wilson. The airport
was once located on the outskirts of Nairobi but today it is in the
city. It is very retro and has a style from a bygone era, which is to
be treasured in this 21st Century of ours. I find Wilson Airport like
a magic portal to another world.
12-JUN-2017 :: Rolling Over Qatar @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics
Global market volatility continues to plumb new lows and is in
complete contrast to Geopolitical volatility which has become
seriously ''whiplash'' The ''Youthquake'' in the United Kingdom, the
arrival of the Geopolitical Wizard Emmanuel Macron on the World Stage
and what looks like a tectonic political shift in France and so much
more. The latest development concerns the State of Qatar and its
erstwhile GCC Band of Brothers [Egypt is also a part of the Lynch Mob]
where Qatar finds itself blockaded and under siege, its Airline cut
off from Middle Eastern airspace. One can imagine the Deputy Crown
Prince MBS' trigger finger is real itchy and he is thinking lets just
roll the tanks into Doha.
Robert Fisk recalls; When I asked his father, Sheikh Hamad (later
uncharitably deposed by Tamim) why he didn’t kick the Americans out of
Qatar, he replied: “Because if I did, my Arab brothers would invade
Qatar is a tiny little Emirate but this tiny Emirate has parlayed its
Gas reserves into a meaningful global position. With less than 300,000
actual Qatari citizens, the State has beamed Aljazeera into billions
of homes and exercised ming boggling soft Power [Joe Nye coined the
term soft power, defining it simply as "the ability to get what you
want through attraction rather than coercion or payments."] Bloomberg
Gadfly spoke to ''Whenever crisis hits the West, the pint-sized yet
deep-pocketed nation of Qatar sails into view with the promise of cash
lifeboats'' I imagine that the hard-core wing of the GCC is looking at
ways to get these trophy Qatari assets disgorged at firesafe prices.
Qatar has also played an outsize hard power role. In fact, in October
2011, Qatar’s chief-of-staff even admitted that Doha was serving as
"the link between NATO and rebel forces". Qatar was a big Promoter of
the Muslim Brotherhood [as was Erdogan and the Turkish President is
apparently ready to send his military to Doha] and has all sorts of
political ''ne'erdowells'' holed up in Doha ostensibly for reasons of
promoting dialogue. Of course, Qatar has also been a supporter of
Hamas and the increased alignment between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
and Israel [President Trump's Flight direct from Riyadh to Israel -
which was the first flight between those two destinations] also
confirms Bibi would like to skin this Qatari Cat.
Returning to the Riyadh Summit where the Kingdom committed 1/5th of
its remaining FX reserves [which will fall off a cliff when Oil slumps
towards $32.00 a barrel] to a purchase of ''beautiful'' American Arms
speaks to a heist. The House of Saud's Protector has always been the
US but this time an American President has excelled himself at
extracting a mindbogglingly egregious price. I have to surmise that
the Emir of Qatar baulked at the Price and that his Adversaries are
saying ok we can always do it by force because this looks like a
mugging in a dark alley, now.
It has been reported that there have been two recent phone calls
between Emir Tamim Al-Thani and President Hassan Rouhani, both of
which were supposed to have called for "stronger ties than ever
before". This possible re-alignment of Qatar [Qatar called it hedging
- and we are surely going to find out the value of these hedges over
the next few days] towards the resistance axis of Iran, Syria and
Hezbollah might well have been the straw that broke the [GCC] Camel's
Tiny Qatar needs all its wits about it now because its in a fight and
up against some ''monster'' egos.
Cool Qatar: Riyadh plan backfires after Trump flip-flop & Turkey ruse RT
Law & Politics
Saudi Arabia’s standoff against Qatar was fraught with miscalculations
and comically ill-conceived notions from the start. But now the crisis
is becoming a threat to Riyadh’s own prominence and security in the
“Almost all relationships begin and continue as mutual forms of
exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be determined when one
or both parties run out of goods.” - English-American writer, W. H.
This Ramadan will surely be remembered in the Middle East by Saudi
Arabia’s inflated idea of a new zealous relationship formed with the
US. Following Donald Trump’s ‘Arab Summit’ visit in May, Riyadh is
reinvigorated with a new sense of importance and power, and has
indulged itself on just how far warm sentiments from the Trump
administration can take its new government and its struggle against
Iran, an enemy of convenience that gives Saudi Arabia an important
role in the region. But who needs the other more? The Saudis or the
In recent days, Saudi Arabia’s bold plan to isolate tiny Qatar in a
bid to get it to agree to Riyadh’s geopolitics appears to be coming
off the rails. But worse than merely suffering a modicum of
humiliation when Riyadh inevitably climbs down and admits its zany
plan didn’t come off, there are signs that the attempt to destabilize
Qatar is going to backfire. Indeed, King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s new,
inexperienced government has yet to recognize, let alone even
understand an important maxim in politics: ‘When in a hole, stop
“Most worrying is that Saudi Arabia and the UAE may repeat the
mistakes that were made when the Saudi leadership decided to launch a
war in Yemen,” said Yezid Sayigh, a Beirut-based senior fellow at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “They had no clear
political strategy, based their action on false assumptions, have
incurred heavy financial costs and a growing human toll, and are
probably now worse off in terms of their security,”according to
Theresa May pledged to lead a minority government at Downing Street yesterday in an address described as "tone deaf" ANDY RAIN/EPA @thetimes
Law & Politics
Theresa May was clinging to power last night but at the mercy of her
cabinet, opponents in her party and the ten Democratic Unionist Party
MPs she needs to form a minority government.
A diminished prime minister was forced to promise Philip Hammond — the
chancellor she was planning to sack — a greater say over Brexit as she
faced up to the realities of having lost her absolute majority in an
election she was under no pressure to call.
The results put the Tories on 318 seats, down 13 and well short of the
326 needed to be sure of governing alone. Jeremy Corbyn also defied
predictions to end with 262 seats, up 32, increasing Labour’s vote
share by more than any of the party’s leaders since 1945. The SNP lost
19 seats to end up with 35 and the Liberal Democrats won 12, up 3.
After consulting the Queen yesterday, Mrs May said that she would seek
to run a minority government with “our friends and allies” in the DUP
to provide “certainty”, adding: “This will allow us to come together
as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit
Mrs May’s statement outside No 10 was criticised by Tories as “tone
deaf” and “devoid of humanity”. Hours later she made a TV appearance
to express contrition for an electoral gamble that has plunged her
party and country into uncertainty. She told Sky News: “I am sorry for
those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren’t successful
but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs or
ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost
their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats.” The apologetic
appearance was predicted by Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench
1922 Committee, prompting speculation that she had been advised to
Five things you need to know about DUP politicians and science @newscientist H/T @krishgm
Law & Politics
Having failed to win an overall majority in the UK’s general election,
Theresa May’s Conservative party is hoping to foster an informal
coalition with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Members of the party have taken controversial stances on everything
from climate change to evolution, with one assembly member being
unaware that heterosexual people can contract HIV. Here are five
things you need to know when it comes to science and the DUP
The party has a history of speaking out against climate change. Senior
member Sammy Wilson has called climate change a “con”, and described
the Paris Agreement as “window dressing for climate chancers”. During
his time as Northern Ireland’s environment minister, he said that
people would eventually “look back at this whole climate change debate
and ask ourselves how on Earth we were ever conned into spending
billions of pounds” on the issue.
It isn’t just Wilson though – in 2014, DUP ministers tried to oppose
proposals to introduce local measures against climate change in
Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK where women cannot
access abortion unless their life is endangered by pregnancy – a legal
situation that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human
Rights, according to a Belfast High Court ruling in 2015.
But on taking leadership of the party in 2016, Arlene Foster promised
to block any attempt to change these laws, telling reporters “I would
not want abortion to be as freely available here as it is in England.”
Foster did, however, say she might consider an amendment in cases of
rape. But the DUP’s Jim Wells – formerly the health minister for
Northern Ireland – opposes abortion even in these circumstances.
DUP assembly member Thomas Buchanan has previously called for
creationism to be taught in schools. In 2016, he voiced support for an
evangelical Christian programme that offers “helpful practical advice
on how to counter evolutionary teaching”. He has expressed a desire to
see every school in Northern Ireland teaching creationism, describing
evolution as a “peddled lie”.
Buchanan told the Irish News “I’m someone who believes in creationism
and that the world was spoken into existence in six days by His
power,” adding that children had been “corrupted by the teaching of
The DUP’s leader narrowly survived a no-confidence motion following a
disastrous attempt to bolster green energy in Northern Ireland by
providing subsidies for wood burners. Arlene Foster introduced the
scheme in 2012 when she was head of the Department of Enterprise,
Trade and Investment. The original budget was £25 million, but a lack
of price controls meant that, over five years, almost £500 million
went up in smoke.
Last year, DUP assembly member Trevor Clarke admitted that he had
thought only gay people could be infected with HIV, until a charity
explained otherwise. He made the comments during a parliamentary
debate around a campaign to “promote awareness and prevention” of HIV
in Northern Ireland and to increase support for those living with HIV.
Gaddafi's Body in a Freezer - What's the Message? 24th October 2011
Law & Politics
I am left thinking, this dead Gaddafi business is one powerful
message. And today Marshall McLuhan’s prediction in The Gutenberg
Galaxy (1962) that ‘The new electronic interdependence recreates the
world in the image of a global village’ has come to pass. The image of
a bloodied Gaddafi, then of a dead Gaddafi in a meat locker have
flashed around the world via the mobile, YouTube and Twitter.
Who is in charge of the messaging? Through the fog of real time and
raw footage, I note a very powerful message. The essence of that
‘Don’t Fxxk with us! Because you will end up dead and a trophy
souvenir in a fridge.’
That same person is probably repeating Muammar’s comment, “I tell the
coward crusaders: I live in a place where you can’t get me. I live in
the hearts of millions.”
And asking ‘Really? Are You? Or are you now very dead and in a meat locker?’
@TeslaMotors Just Passed @BMW in Market Cap
After climbing as much as 1.9 percent and surpassing BMW’s $61.3
billion market value, Tesla shares reversed gains after Hedgeye Risk
Management added shorting Tesla to its best ideas list. The stock
dropped 3.4 percent to $357.32 at the close in New York, dropping its
market cap about $2.6 billion below BMW’s.
Musk, 45, engendered optimism this week by telling shareholders
Tuesday his most affordable electric car thus far, the Model 3, will
start production as scheduled in July. Within two to three years, Musk
sees following that sedan up with a cheaper crossover model, the Model
Y, that eventually will draw more demand and need its own assembly
Best Commodity of 2017 Is One of the Smallest Metals Markets
Palladium is up 30 percent in 2017, reaching a 16-year high
Gains are accelerating as demand picks up amid a shortage
In the main commodity markets, nothing is doing better than palladium this year.
The metal is up 30 percent, beating 33 other raw materials, including
lean hogs and aluminum, tracked by Bloomberg. On Friday, prices surged
as much as 7.9 percent to a 16-year high of $928.36 an ounce as some
traders were said to scramble to get hold of physical supplies.
Canny Kabila Africa Report
The president has allocated ministries to former adversaries but he
has not ceded any meaningful power to the opposition. The key
portfolios – interior, defence, mining, finance, oil, justice and
foreign affairs – remain in the hands of regime loyalists.
It seems that the future is yet to play for. In mid-May the MP’s
spokesman said that a “referendum is an inalienable constitutional
right” and noted that “the people” did not sign the accord. “Look at
the referendums which happen systematically in Europe”, observes
Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba, a member of the MP’s political bureau. “We
should go to the people and ask them the precise question: what do
they want?”, he says.
Throwing his weight behind a dauphin is the alternative but as yet, as
one Western diplomat puts it, “no one can think of the obvious
Co-opted or marginalised, the opposition has hardly landed a punch on
Kabila during the six months since the supposed conclusion of his
presidency. But the hinterland is increasingly unstable and much less
biddable than the incestuous domain of Kinshasa politics.
Kabila has control of the console but at what cost?
A woman walks past Ivorian soldiers patrolling by Ivory Coast's army headquarters, the Gallieni military camp, in Abidjan on May 12, 2017. Photographer: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images
Ivory Coast attracted almost $10 billion in bids for its Eurobond
auction on Thursday in a sale that came less than a month after a
four-day mutiny by soldiers, according to a person familiar with the
The West African nation received about $4.8 billion in orders for the
dollar portion of its debt sale and a further 4.4 billion euros ($4.9
billion) for the second tranche by the time bookrunners announced
final pricing terms, said the person, who asked not to be identified
because a public announcement hasn’t been made. Ivory Coast issued
$1.25 billion of 16-year bonds with a 6.25 percent rate and 625
million euros of eight-year notes yielding 5.125 percent.
African nations have benefited from rampant demand for emerging-market
assets this year, driven by investors’ belief that the U.S. will raise
interest rates slowly. Funds placed about $9 billion of orders for a
Landlocked Ethiopia Eyes Role in DP World-Managed Somali Port
Ethiopia is in talks to acquire shares in a joint venture involving DP
World Ltd. that will manage a port in northern Somalia, a Somali
official said, a move that could give the fast-growing yet landlocked
Horn of Africa economy its first stake in foreign docks.
Somaliland, a semi-autonomous territory that aspires to statehood, has
agreed “in principle” to give Ethiopia a 19 percent share in the
venture administering Berbera port, according to Foreign Minister Saad
Ali Shire. Somaliland’s government and Dubai-based DP World, which has
a 30-year concession to manage and develop the facility, will be the
majority shareholders in Somaliland-registered DPW Berbera, he said in
If Ethiopia takes its share, Somaliland will hold 30 percent of the
company, while DP World will have 51 percent, according to Shire.
Berbera sits on the Gulf of Aden, a waterway that leads to the Red Sea
and Suez Canal, and is also where Somaliland says the United Arab
Emirates is leasing a military airport that may be expanded into a
“A shareholding doesn’t necessarily mean recognition of Somaliland as
a state,” said Mogus Tekle Michael, deputy director of the Ethiopian
Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute and a former Foreign
Ministry spokesman. Ethiopia would be “more than willing to grab any
opportunity” to play a role in developing any port in the region,
including Berbera, he said.
The planned U.A.E. military base in the Berbera area will “add value
on the security side” to the use of Berbera port, Shire said. The use
of Berbera, Somaliland’s only major harbor, to import materials for
the construction of the U.A.E. facility is “just common sense,” he
said. The U.A.E. hasn’t publicly commented on any of the plans for a
base detailed by Shire.
Rating Action: @MoodysInvSvc 's downgrades South Africa's rating to Baa3 and assigns negative outlook
London, 09 June 2017 -- Moody's Investors Service today downgraded the
long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings of the Government of
South Africa to Baa3 from Baa2 as well as the senior unsecured Shelf
and MTN program ratings to (P)Baa3 from (P)Baa2, and assigned a
negative outlook. The government's senior unsecured short-term program
rating was also downgraded to (P)P-3 from (P)P-2. The rating actions
conclude the review for downgrade that commenced on 3 April 2017.
The key drivers for the downgrade are:
1) the weakening of South Africa's institutional framework;
2) reduced growth prospects reflecting policy uncertainty and slower
progress with structural reforms; and
3) the continued erosion of fiscal strength due to rising public debt
and contingent liabilities
Furthermore, contingent liabilities linked to state-owned enterprises
continue to pose a tail risk to the country's fiscal strength.
Operational inefficiencies, weak corporate governance, and poor
procurement practices persist in SOEs, with government guarantees
extended to SOEs rising. This has also increased the likelihood of
contingent liabilities crystalizing on the government's balance sheet.
Pressures to further extend guarantees and utilize procurement
practices to advance political objectives are sources of additional
Kenya Says New Challenge to Ballot Tender Would Delay Vote
Kenya’s elections body said it may find it difficult to conduct the
national vote on Aug. 8 as scheduled if its decision to award a
ballot-printing contract to a Dubai-based company faces another
If the choice of Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing Ltd. is challenged
now, “we will not be ready for elections,” Ezra Chiloba, chief
executive officer of the Independent Electoral & Boundaries
Commission, said Friday in an interview.
The electoral body earlier said Al Ghurair won the 2.5
billion-shilling ($24.2-million) contract to print 120 million ballot
papers, even after previous attempts to award the tender to the
company were quashed by the High Court in February and a government
procurement review body in May.
“Considering available options, the commission resolved to award the
tender for ballot papers to Al Ghurair,” the IEBC said on its Twitter
Granting the contract to the company after the court ruling “makes us
suspicious that there is something sinister going on,” Odinga said in
a June 7 interview in Nairobi. He said his coalition might accept the
election being postponed if that would ensure a credible vote.
“It’s better a delayed election than a flawed election,” Odinga said.
“We don’t think this country can live with another flawed election.”
KCB prepares to buy National Bank, documents indicate
KCB proposes to acquire a minimum of a 70 per cent stake in NBK’s
issued capital through a transaction known in business jargon as a
share swap which means that KCB will not have to pay for the shares in
cash, according to documents seen by the Nation.
Under the deal, the National Treasury, NSSF and other significant
minority shareholders of NBK will instead of being paid for the shares
in cash be issued with KCB shares in exchange for NBK shares based on
the market valuation of both banks.
The deal has been designed such that after the share swap, the
National Treasury and NSSF’s collective ownership in KCB will increase
from 23.6 per cent to over 30 per cent, giving the State a bigger say
in the corporate governance of the largest commercial bank in Kenya
and in the region.
Technically, the entity buying NBK is the holding company, KCB Group.
This is why the proposed transaction has been designed in such a way
that in the initial stages, KCB Group – the non-operating holding
company – will temporarily manage and operate two separate brands: KCB
The FED is expected to raise interest rates in the US a 1/4 point this
week. The chances of a rate hike are priced at more than 99%.
The Nairobi All Share shaved -0.11 points off a 22 month high to close
at 150.42. The Securities exchange entered a Bull Market in the last
week of May.
The Nairobi NSE20 ticked +0.40 points higher to close at 3469.08.
Equity turnover was lacklustre and clocked 442.638m.
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
Safaricom closed unchanged at a record closing High of 22.75 [+18.79%
in 2017] and traded 10.486m shares worth 240.427m which constituted
54.66% of the total turnover at the Securities Exchange.
Kenya Airways followed on Fridays fall of -7.35% to slump a further
-9.52% to close at 5.70. The Catalyst for this steep Fall was the
report issued by Genghis Capital which suggested Eleven Kenyan banks,
which collectively hold Sh23 billion worth of Kenya Airways loans,
will hold a 33.7 per cent stake in the airline post the debt
conversion as per the Genghis Capital analysis. Individual and long
suffering shareholders were to be diluted out of sight. This is
clearly not an arrangement that is fair or equitable and therefore
largely untenable. The Banks lent money with their eyes wide open at I
am sure very high and handsome rates. It is ludicrous that they should
end up with 33.7% of the equity. In City of London slang, ''they have
made out like Bandits'' The Proposal as received via Genghis Capital
is egregious and not tenable.
Nation Media Group was marked down -10.43% to close at 103.00 having
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
A Report carried in the Nation spoke of KCB preparing to buy National
Bank via a share swap. National Bank bumped +9.285% higher to close at
7.65 on the news.
KCB retreated -3.13% to close at 38.75 and traded 1.462m shares with
nearly 10x the volume traded offered for sale. KCB had a similarly
poor reaction when KCB stepped into Chase Bank and Shareholders
clearly see NBK as an unnecessary distraction.
Equity Group rallied +1.92% to close at 39.75 and is +32.5% in 2017.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
KenGen rallied +3.125% to close at a Fresh 2017 high of 8.25 and is
+42.24% in 2017 in a noteworthy rally.