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TRUMP SAYS SLEEPING ONLY FOUR HOURS A DAY NOT AFFECTING HIS ABILITY TO CLJJRYFF @BorowitzReport
Law & Politics
Donald J. Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning that his practice of
sleeping only four hours a day was having no impact whatsoever on his
ability to cljjryff.
Trump, who repeatedly touted his high energy level during the 2016
campaign, tweeted that, despite his gruelling Presidential schedule,
he still had enormous reserves of stamina, which he called
In the same tweetstorm, he lashed out at news reports questioning his
fitness for office, denouncing them as “fakequez%(™.”
The White House said that, despite pleas from his legal team to delete
his Twitter feed, Trump planned to continue tweeting, and that
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would continue to spell-check his
How China's Growing Naval Fleet Is Shaping Global Politics Bloomberg
Law & Politics
Ship by ship, port by port, China has over the past two decades been
assembling one of the essential engines of global power: a modern navy
capable of projecting force far from home.
China’s “blue water” navy -- and how to respond to it -- will be on
the minds of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, U.S. Defense
Secretary James Mattis and others gathering in Singapore this weekend
for Asia’s most high-profile security conference, the Shangri-La
Dialogue. From the East China Sea to the Horn of Africa, the growing
presence of Chinese warships is already shaping world affairs, a trend
that will only accelerate.
“By 2030, the existence of a global Chinese navy will be an important,
influential and fundamental fact of international politics,” said
Patrick Cronin, director of the Center for a New American Security’s
Asia-Pacific security program. The U.S. and its allies “need to begin
preparing for a ‘risen China,’ rather than a rising China.”
To be sure, projecting naval power across oceans often means aircraft
carriers. And deploying carrier strike groups around the world -- like
the 10 the U.S. now operates -- requires a network of overseas bases.
China lacks both. Frigates and other small vessels are expected to
comprise the bulk of the country’s future fleet.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is nonetheless making preparations to be
able to project force into the Indian and Pacific oceans, which
surround the country’s growing economic interests in Africa, the
Middle East and Southeast Asia. China launched its first domestically
built aircraft carrier in April, the second of as many as six such
The country is also developing its first overseas base -- Chinese
officials call it a “support facility” -- in the East African country
of Djibouti, where the French and U.S. also have military
installations. Such opportunities are expected to grow as China helps
develop ports around the world under Xi’s 21st Century Maritime Silk
Road trade-and-infrastructure program.
China has created new facts on the islands. Japan and India have been
unable to box China in.
02-DEC-2013 The Pivot to Asia bares its Fangs
Law & Politics
I see the pivot to Asia as the encirclement of China, then the
shrinking of its operating theatre and then lighting the tinderbox
that is the periphery and Xinjiang might well morph into China’s
Afghanistan. You will recall that the architect of Russia’s defeat in
Afghanistan was Zbigniew Brzezinski and he remains a foreign policy
eminence grise with the president’s ear. The US probably feels it
holds a decisive hard power advantage at this moment and given that
the trajectory is one of gradual erosion of that decisive advantage
leads me to the view that this pivot to Asia has a logic and momentum
of its own. Therefore, I see the US being increasingly determined to
press its advantage One of the key elements of the Pivot to Asia is
the air-sea battle concept. This concept envisages the battle
beginning with a “blinding attack” against Chinese anti-access
facilities and incorporates “distant blockade” operations. China’s
dependence on foreign oil is increasing just as the US’ dependency is
decreasing. And interestingly, given my belief that the Eastern
seaboard is a fabulous energy prize, that puts the Indian Ocean in
many respects right into the geopolitical frame. If you are
considering ‘’distant blockade’’ operations, one of those areas you
will be blockading is this part of the world, given the amount of
energy that is likely to be sold into Asia, in the future.
Putin denies a Russian state role in U.S. election, but says 'patriotic' hackers may have mounted attacks LA TIMES
Law & Politics
After months of categorically denying Russian involvement in
cyberattacks during last year’s U.S. presidential election, Russian
President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that although the Kremlin has
never used state-sponsored cyberattacks to meddle in other countries’
elections, some “patriotically minded” volunteer hackers may have
acted on their own to defend Russian interests.
“Hackers can be anywhere and pop out from anywhere in the world,”
Putin said in an address to Russian and foreign media during the
opening day of an annual economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Russian president compared hackers to artists who can act
creatively, particularly when they are motivated by international
relations and in the defense of Russia’s interests.
“If they woke up today, read that there is something happening in
interstate relations,” he said. “If they are patriotic, they start
contributing, as they see it, in the fight against those who do not
speak well about Russia.”
05-DEC-2016 :: The first thing is plausible deniability.
Law & Politics
I have no doubt that Putin ran a seriously 21st predominantly digital
programme of interference which amplified the Trump candidacy. POTUS
Trump was an ideal candidate for this kind of support. Trump is a
linguistic warfare specialist. Look at the names he gave his
opponents: Crooked Hillary, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, ‘Low-energy’ Jeb
— were devastating and terminal. The first thing is plausible
deniability. The second thing is non-linearity, you have to learn how
to navigate a linear system (the new 21st digital ecosystem) in a
Iron Ore Sell-Off Deepens as New Month Opens With Same Old Pain
The commodity has been on a wild ride this year -- coming close to
challenging the $100 level in February before collapsing over the next
three months -- as investors sought to gauge the impact of greater
supply and the outlook for steel demand in China. Iron ore’s latest
leg down has happened even after a manufacturing gauge for the world’s
largest steel industry rose to the highest in a year, suggesting
another month of bumper production.
“Cargoes from the four largest exporters have remained at high levels,
causing port inventories to repeatedly hit new highs,” Dang Man and
Ren Jiaojiao, analysts at Maike Futures Co., a Chinese brokerage, said
in a note. While steelmakers may be churning out record output,
“they’re making hand-to-mouth purchases of raw materials. Iron ore’s
fundamentals are pretty weak.”
Spot ore with 62 percent content in Qingdao dropped 2.5 percent to
$57.02 a dry ton on Wednesday, the lowest since Oct. 13, according to
Metal Bulletin Ltd. Prices have declined 28 percent this year, a
bigger loss than posted by all 22 members of the Bloomberg Commodity
"The macadamia story is a beautiful one," said Richard Mattison
“The macadamia story is a beautiful one,” said Richard Mattison, one
of the biggest private growers in South Africa, who has about 600
hectares of the trees on his farm near Port Edward, south of the
coastal city of Durban. “In 2009, we got about 5 rand a kilogram of
nuts. Now we’re getting between 110 and 120 rand.”
Estimated global consumption of macadamia nut kernels surged 59
percent between 2010 and 2014, according to INC data. Yet the nuts,
which are either sold in their shiny, brown shells or processed to
extract a round, creamy kernel, only account for about 1 percent of
global tree nut production, with almonds, cashews and walnuts leading
Frontier markets are still unloved @FT
Plenty of money has pursued emerging markets this year, not so the
outer realm of the investing universe. Flows into frontier markets —
countries whose markets are considered too small or illiquid to be
included in MSCI’s flagship EM Index, such as Argentina, Kuwait,
Pakistan, Vietnam, Morocco and Nigeria — remain negative. Much may
depend on perceptions of Africa, a large slice of the frontier world,
particularly with Pakistan being promoted to emerging market status by
MSCI in June and expectations that Argentina could follow suit in
Sub Saharan Africa
The last couple of years have seen a rise in Russia - Africa trade, with aggregate turnover reaching USD 14.5 billion in 2016, up by USD 3.4 billion year - on - year
The bulk of it (USD 10.1 billion) was done by four countries,
including Egypt (USD 4.16 billion), Algeria (USD 3.98 billion),
Morocco (USD 1.29 billion) and South Africa (USD 718 million), with
Algeria as the major growth driver adding USD 2 billion.
The rising trend was seen by 28 out of 55 African nations, with
Ethiopia, Cameroon, Angola, Sudan and Zimbabwe doing better than
According to the Eurasian Economic Commission, Africa was the only
region to have expanded its trade turnover with Russia in 2016 (unlike
the EU, MERCOSUR, APEC, and others).
While the bilateral potential has not yet been fully tapped, Russia’s
economic penetration into the African continent is lagging behind
major western counterparties and China, boasting USD 100 billion (the
US) and USD 300 billion (China) trade levels.
Russia’s historically strong arms trade with African countries has
been growing in recent years, despite tough competition.
According to Rosoboronexport, Russia ranks first in arms imports to
sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 30% of all supplies in 2011–2015.
Missiles, artillery, small arms, and automotive equipment are key
Russia’s export items to Africa, with helicopters taking an
increasingly important share.
Agriculture is another significant contributor to the bilateral trade.
Africa is becoming a promising market for Russian grain and
agricultural machinery, with the country’s wheat exports heading to
Morocco, South Africa, Libya, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria and Egypt.
Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, CAR, Guinea,
Burkina Faso and Mali are in turn increasing supplies of fruit and
vegetables to Russia, benefiting from Russia’s counter-sanctions
against European food products.
Major Russian businesses see Africa as a promising investment
destination and are mostly into energy, mining, agriculture,
manufacturing, transport and infrastructure sectors.
Nuclear power development options in Africa are now a hot topic, with
relevant agreements already signed with Sudan, Zambia, Morocco, South
Africa and other countries.
Sudan, Congo and Senegal have recently indicated interest in pursuing
joint oil and gas projects. Last year, Russia and Zimbabwe signed an
agreement for the joint development of the world's second largest
Darwendale platinum project.
Russian businesses are successfully tapping into other African market
Why Joseph Kabila;s ambition endangers Congo @TheEconomist
“LET’S march on the president’s palace and drive him out,” howled the
speaker, and a couple of hundred supporters, packed into a sweaty
courtyard at the headquarters of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s
main opposition party, yelled their agreement. Outside, a contingent
of police, heavily outnumbered, waited nervously. The march never
happened. It would not have got anywhere near the president, and no
one, for the moment, wants to risk a repeat of the violence last
September, when police opened fire on crowds and a hundred or so
people died. But the economy is tanking, civil war is raging again in
the centre of the country, and patience is wearing thin with Congo’s
dictatorial president, Joseph Kabila, whose final term in office
expired five months ago.
At the Momo supermarket in the capital, Kinshasa, a ramshackle city of
12m people, you will find tin pans from Pakistan, toilet paper from
Turkey, sandals from Thailand and glass tumblers from Brazil: but
virtually nothing from Congo itself apart from some of the chicken and
The world copper price halved between 2011 and 2016. Cobalt is still
well down, too, after a crash in 2008. The two commodities have
recovered a bit this year, but this has not prevented the collapse of
the Congolese franc, as the central bank printed more money in
response to falling receipts: it has lost 50% of its value since
The news from central Congo is much worse, if little known outside.
Back in August, in murky circumstances, a tribal chief and militia
leader nicknamed Kamuina Nsapu (“Black Ant”) was killed by the
security services in the province of Kasai Central after protests
following the national government’s refusal to endorse him as the next
“customary chief” in his area. His militia, also called Kamuina Nsapu,
hit back. The government retaliated in typically heavy-handed fashion,
and the violence has spread. No one knows how many have died
(estimates run from 500 to 3,000 and more). The UN says that more than
1.2m people have been displaced by the fighting in the three Kasai
provinces. Together with refugees from other conflicts, Congo now has
more displaced people than any other country in Africa, and probably
more than any country in the world bar Syria.
The opposition, a collection of parties grouped together under the
name Le Rassemblement, smell a rat. They accuse the government of
inflaming the situation in Kasai to delay the election and give Mr
Kabila longer in office. Long enough, perhaps, to organise a
referendum on a change to the constitution that would allow him a
third term, a trick pulled off across the river in 2015 by
Congo-Brazzaville’s own veteran despot.
The opposition has other grievances, too. Under the terms of the
December 31st agreement, the president was meant to appoint a new
prime minister on the recommendation of Le Rassemblement. They picked
their leader, Mr Tshisekedi, for that job, but instead Mr Kabila
defiantly appointed a minor opposition figure, neatly dividing and
weakening his enemies. “For now, we are trying to resolve this through
diplomacy,” says Mr Tshisekedi, a mild-mannered man of 53 who affects
his father’s somewhat incongruous flat cap for public appearances.
“But when that is exhausted, we will ask our people to chase the
dictator out.” Anything might happen in that sort of situation,
including the return from exile of another popular opposition
politician, Moïse Katumbi, mightily complicating things.
An hour’s drive outside Kinshasa, the shell of a palace testifies to
the impermanence of power. Startlingly obscene graffiti adorn the
walls of the salon where a ruler once entertained his guests. Weeds
choke what was once an ornamental crocodile pool. Every fitting has
been stolen. It is exactly 20 years since Mobutu Sese Seko, the tyrant
who ruled the country he called Zaire from 1965 to 1997, was
overthrown by Rwandan-backed rebels who installed Mr Kabila’s father
in his place. Shortly afterwards, Congo plunged into a horrific civil
war, sucking in several neighbours. The next few months will show
whether the country can manage a peaceful transition of power this
time or endure another lurch back towards chaos.
President Kabila has the support of Presidents Zuma and Dos Santos and
his Adversaries are largely scattered. The Cost is penal as we can
The return of the resource curse Economist
WEARING a cowboy hat and holding two scrawny goats at the end of a
tether, the farmer scowls when asked how business is going at Nyamata
Market, a patch of dusty earth about 25km south of Kigali, Rwanda’s
capital. “People have no money,” he grumbles, pointing at his unsold
animals. As if to underscore the point one of the goats jets a stream
of urine at your correspondent’s shoe. Rwanda’s economy, like many
across Africa, has been hit by the twin blows of drought and low
prices for minerals.
Growth in sub-Saharan Africa slumped to 1.4% last year, its slowest
pace in two decades, reckons the IMF. Since the region’s population is
growing at about twice that rate, this means that GDP per head fell
for the first time in more than 20 years. Economies slowed in
two-thirds of countries south of the Sahara.
A year earlier, cheaper oil helped speed growth in some countries.
Nigeria and Angola, where the black stuff used to account for as much
as 90% of exports, were walloped. But countries that import most of
their fuel, such as Kenya and Ethiopia, enjoyed a boomlet.
When the price of crude slumped further in the early months of last
year, the big oil exporters fell into recession. This time there
seemed to be no offsetting benefit for others. The misery was more
widespread than in 2015, and more sustained than expected, for two
main reasons. The first was a drought across much of east and southern
Africa that shrivelled crops, driving up food prices and slashing
The second was that ill fortune was exacerbated by government policies
that have hobbled growth in Africa’s two biggest economies, Nigeria
and South Africa. In Nigeria the government refused to let its
currency float freely in response to the sharp drop in its export
earnings from oil. Faced with an overpriced currency investors held
back, waiting for the naira to fall. In South Africa, meanwhile,
investment and growth dried up as news of government corruption and
economic mismanagement spurred credit-rating agencies to downgrade the
country’s debt to junk.
Even many of the region’s faster-growing countries have passed foolish
economic policies. Kenya has capped the rate of interest banks can
charge, prompting most of them to stop lending to businesses. Tanzania
has barred its main gold producer from exporting gold concentrate.
Cameroon’s government, fearful of dissent, shut off the internet to
English-speaking parts of the country, which is where technology
More worrying is that as economies slowed, the parlous state of public
finances became clear. The ratio of public debt to GDP has jumped ten
percentage points to 42% on average since 2014—the highest level for
many countries since they had their debts written off a decade or so
ago. The level may not look high by the standards of rich countries,
but interest rates in Africa are much higher. The governments of
Nigeria and Angola now spend more than half of all their revenue on
servicing their debts. Countries such as Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique
risk drowning in red ink, having ramped up government spending when
GDP growth was stronger and global credit was easy.
Growth should pick up a little this year—the IMF hopes for about
2.6%—but its fragility highlights how the region has yet to kick its
addiction to commodity exports, and how it can ill afford to keep
piling on debt as it has in recent years.
.@Barclays is offering about 187 million @BarclaysAfrica shares in an accelerated bookbuild
Barclays Plc said it will sell a further 22 percent stake in South
Africa’s Barclays Africa Group Ltd., a holding worth about $2 billion
at current prices, as part of the U.K. bank’s plan to shrink its
operations and bolster capital strength.
Barclays is offering about 187 million Barclays Africa shares in an
accelerated bookbuild after it received approval from South African
authorities, the London-based lender said in a statement Wednesday.
The bank has demand for all the shares on offer, according to a person
with knowledge of the plan. The final amount of stock to be placed and
the sale terms will be determined after the bookbuild is over.
Public Investment Corp., South Africa’s biggest money manager, plans
to purchase a 7 percent stake through the sale, subject to regulatory
approvals. Barclays, which currently holds 50.1 percent of Barclays
Africa, said it has a long-term target of reducing its shareholding in
the unit to 15 percent.
The second sale follows the disposal of a 12.2 percent stake to fund
managers in South Africa and abroad in May 2016.
Eskom chief executive to be sacked 20 days after he was rehired FT
Lynne Brown, the public enterprises minister who oversees Eskom, on
Wednesday instructed its board to remove Mr Molefe less than 20 days
since his reappointment divided the ruling African National Congress
and deepened concerns over the chaotic management of Africa’s biggest
Mr Gigaba’s Treasury underwrites the R320bn ($24bn) net debt of Eskom,
which is the largest of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises and is
set to escalate as it invests to replace ageing coal power stations.
But banks in South Africa and abroad have grown wary of lending to
Eskom because of its links to the Guptas and other scandals.
“Everybody’s looking at this the same way,” an executive at a South
African bank said. “One problem is the level of Eskom’s debt. The
second is the governance problem. The third is that people at the top
are not only PEPs [politically exposed persons], but the kind of PEPs
that banks do not want to deal with. They are being treated with
Although “it’s not easy to cut off a relationship”, the executive
added, “nobody is going to increase their exposure any more than what
they have now”.
Lenders are "entering a world where there will be smaller interest margins," Njoroge said. "Returns will be much smaller."
Return on equity in the Kenyan banking industry declined to 13.6
percent in March from 18.2 percent in June, Njoroge told reporters
Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. For the country’s biggest lenders,
the drop was more severe, slumping to 23 percent from almost 35
percent. That compares with an average of 17.4 percent for South
Africa’s four biggest banks and 22.3 percent for Nigeria’s top
lenders, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Lenders are “entering a world where there will be smaller interest
margins,” Njoroge said. “Returns will be much smaller.”
12-MAY-2017 :: @BobCollymore deserved another term at @Safaricomltd @TheStarKenya
Safaricom has done some serious heavy-lifting. CEO Bob Collymore has
presided over a golden age of shareholder value creation, presiding
over a +322.68% share price appreciation during his tenure and that is
juiced ‘’bigly’’ when you factor in the dividends that Safaricom has
paid out over that period.
In fact, I know Collymore is big on the sustainability agenda, but he
is a CEO who can afford to be because shareholder returns rank in the
top 1 percentile in the world.
29-MAY-2017 :: According to the popular definition, a bull market begins when a stock, commodity, or index rises 20 per cent from a low.
By that criteria, the Nairobi All Share, which is +10.30% in 2017 and
at nine-month highs, entered a bull market last week having rallied
+22.71% since March 9, 2017.
29-MAY-2017 :: Nairobi NSE20 +8.04% in 2017 and also at a nine-month
high, similarly entered a bull market last week, having rallied
+23.41% since January 30, 2017.
Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg +8.00% 2017 [9 month highs]
3,441.05 +2.88 +0.08%
Internationally, Crude Oil Prices continue to crash lower and Crude
oil in New York was last trading at 47.27. OPEC is now naked and I see
a collapse below $40.00.
The Nairobi All Share rallied a further +1.13% to close at 150.08 a
fresh 22 month closing High. The Nairobi All Share is +12.55% in 2017
and entered a Bull Market last week. Safaricom has led the charge
closing at a Record High and underpinning the Securities market.
The Nairobi NSE20 Index rallied +0.934% to close at 3473.19 a 10 month
high. The NSE20 Index also entered a bull market last week.
Equity Turnover clocked 868.047m with nearly all of that transacted in
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
Safaricom firmed +1.12% to close t a Fresh record closing high of
22.50 and on heavy volume action of 29.192m shares worth 656.977m.
Self evidently, the Investor Roadshow after the release of the FY
Earnings went like a Peach and one senses that Safaricom is set to
make some bold moves in the E-Commerce and AI space. Safaricom is
+17.49% in 2017 and my near term Target is 24.00.
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
The Central Bank Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge was quoted as follows by Bloomberg
Lenders are "entering a world where there will be smaller interest
margins," Njoroge said. "Returns will be much smaller." Return on
equity in the Kenyan banking industry declined to 13.6 percent in
March from 18.2 percent in June, Njoroge told reporters Tuesday in the
capital, Nairobi. F
Banks after a big Swoon came back real hard as you can see from the
number of Bank shares which are at 2017 highs.
Barclays Bank [where Barclays PLC sold 33.7% of its stake in Barclays
Africa Group at 132 rand each] firmed +0.56% to close at an 8 week
high of 9.05. Barclays has responded +5.23% higher this week and is a
real value proposition now that we ave increased certainty on the
situation at BAG.
KCB firmed +0.63% to regain a 1 Year high of 40.00 and traded 1.392m
shares worth 55.976m. KCB is +39.31% in 2017.
Equity Bank rallied +3.28% to close at a 2017 high of 39.25 and was
trading at 40.00 +5.26% at the Finish. Equity is +30.833% in 2017.
DTB Bank rallied +2.14% to close at a 2017 high of 143.00 and traded
just 7,900 shares. DTB is +21.18% in 2017.
I&M Bank was high-ticked +8.11% to close at a 2017 high of 100.00. I&M
Bank is +11.11% in 2017 and has lagged the Tier 1 Bank Rally.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
Total Kenya was upshifted by the daily maximum to close +10.00% at
22.00 a 1 month high. Total Kenya is +29.411% in 2017. Total trades on
an undemanding Trailing PE Ratio of 6.197.
KenGen firmed +0.64% to close at 7.85 and has served up a
mouth-watering +35.344% in 2017.