|Wednesday 08th of March 2017
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Somalia to print first banknotes in 25 years @FT @davidpilling
Use of Somali shillings, largely limited to the less well-off rural
population, comes a poor third to US dollars and electronic money in
what is a mostly dollarised economy. Dollars in circulation come from
the sale of livestock, aid or remittances, which, at $1.4bn, make up
nearly a quarter of Somalia’s gross domestic product. Some dollars in
circulation are also fake, though the IMF said it had “no clue” how
Peter Little, author of Somalia: Economy Without State, said the
country became a darling of libertarians because the absence of
government obliged its citizens to figure things out for themselves.
Somalis have used an honour-based underground money-transfer system
called hawala and were pioneers of mobile money.
However, Mr Little said, “the economy without a state has kind of run
its course”. He said lack of effective government meant there were no
public institutions. “Public health and education have really lagged.”
Aly-Khan Satchu, a Kenya-based investment consultant, said Somalia’s
banknote plan needed a credible international partner.
“If they print somewhere in a basement in Mogadishu it’s not going to
work,” he said.
I am reading @NgugiWaThiongo_ 's Wizard of the Crow
“The condition of women in a nation is the real measure of its
progress.” ― Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wizard of the Crow #WomensDay.
“That was one of the most rewarding things about spending nights in
the open. Birds were bound to wake you up, and whether they carried
good or bad luck, at least they woke you up with music.” ― Ngũgĩ wa
Thiong’o, Wizard of the Crow
07-MAR-2017 :: Where Meteorology intersects with Monetary Policy @Thestarkenya
About this time of year, I would park myself on the Verandah at the
Mombasa Club and search for the sea breeze. Later I would learn that I
was in fact sniffing the sea breeze for Petrichor [Petrichor
(/ˈpɛtrᵻkɔər/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry
soil]. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning
"stone", and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods
in Greek mythology Wikipedia]. According to Wikipedia, Some scientists
believe that humans appreciate the rain scent because ancestors may
have relied on rainy weather for survival. I like the idea that my
sojourns to that verandah at the Club, tied me somehow to my
ancestors. And from that time I have always been interested in the
Weather and Meteorology which is the interdisciplinary scientific
study of the atmosphere. The study of meteorology dates back
millennia. For those who are Weather enthusiasts, the current drought
conditions in East Africa is being caused by an ''obscure'' climate
Phenomenon called the the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) [an oscillation of
sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean] It wasn’t until the
1990s that Japanese scientists discovered the Indian Ocean Dipole, a
warm pool of water that migrates between western and eastern “poles”
and affects atmospheric temperatures and rainfall. The phenomenon
occurs in cycles of positive (warmer) and negative (cooler) sea
temperatures, but it has become more extreme in recent years due to
climate change. A negative Indian Ocean Dipole results in less
rainfall over East Africa, and that’s contributing to the current
drought that aid agencies warn could trigger mass famine. The
Scientists found that before 1924, the IOD occurred approximately
every 10 years, but since 1960, IOD events have been occurring
approximately 18 months to three years apart.The researchers suggested
that global warming effects on the western Indian Ocean have driven
the observed shift in IOD variability and note that the IOD has
replaced the El Nino-Southern Oscillation as the major driver of
climate patterns over the Indian Ocean region. It is this negative
Indian ocean Dipole which has parched the Country and the region.
Wagyu from Japan is often held up as the best beef in the world.
The meat is tender as the night. It’s so soft, steak knives are
optional. Its marbled fat dissolves into a buttery flavor so rich it
could retire to Florida.
The cattle lead a relatively pampered life. They are registered with
the Japanese government soon after birth and raised according to
strict regulations, though the idea that they are all raised on a diet
of beer and Beethoven is something of an exaggeration.
You pay for the privilege, of course. At Wolfgang Puck’s CUT in
Beverly Hills, $140 will get you 4 ounces of USDA Prime aged 35 days
but only 2 oz. of wagyu from Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture.
It must be brilliant, right?
Italian-style wagyu at Bella Cosa.Photographer: Richard Vines/Bloomberg
Like father, like son: Who is Felix Tshisekedi, and can he keep Congo's opposition together?
As 2016 slid into 2017, things weren’t going well, exactly, in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, but they weren’t going as badly as they
might have, either. The bloodbath that some analysts had expected on
December 19 – when President Joseph Kabila’s term officially expired –
never materialised, and the government and opposition had reached a
landmark deal to hold new elections by the end of this year. In
addition, the main opposition coalition had agreed to participate in a
transitional government until those elections took place, with Kabila
remaining president and veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi
slated for prime minister.
And then, on a cold Wednesday in Brussels on February 1, the
84-year-old Tshisekedi died. Death is rarely convenient, but his
timing was exceptionally poor. Suddenly, just when the DRC seemed to
have found some answers, there were more difficult questions: Who
would succeed Tshisekedi as party leader? Can the “Rassemblement”
opposition coalition hold in his absence? Is the deal with Kabila
still valid, and who will be prime minister?
After weeks of wrangling, it was announced at the end of last week
that Tshisekedi’s son Felix Tshisekedi would take over from his father
as leader of both party and coalition, and probably as prime
There is a neat symmetry to Tshisekedi junior’s accession, echoing as
it does the manner in which President Kabila slipped into Laurent
Kabila’s shoes upon the assassination of Kabila père in 2001. But it’s
also hard to escape the conclusion that even the country’s opposition
is focused more on creating dynasties than true democratic
Felix Tshisekedi is a newcomer to the political scene. Although
elected as a member of parliament in 2011, he never served, heeding
his father’s call to boycott the legislature in the wake of a disputed
vote. Prior to that, he spent some time working in Belgium, where he
"Welcome to the era of riding a wild horse...2016 was a bad year for volatility and 2017 has the makings of being even worse" @njorogep @WSJ #wsjafrica
LONDON—The new U.S. administration spells trouble for frontier
economies because its policies are breeding volatility that
discourages investors from taking risks, the Kenyan central bank
governor said Tuesday.
Patrick Njoroge, a 30-year veteran of the International Monetary Fund
who returned to his native Kenya in 2015 to lead the central bank,
said President Donald Trump’s impact on markets was going to make 2017
the toughest year yet for open, investment-friendly frontier economies
such as Kenya’s.
Mr. Njoroge has become one of the continent’s most senior policy
makers to consistently warn of the negative impact the new White House
leadership could have on African economies that yearn U.S. investments
and a continued positive trade environment for their goods to solidify
decades of economic progress that has helped millions out of poverty
on the continent.
The contours of the Trump administration’s policy on Africa remain a
mystery, with the White House yet to outline policy prescriptions for
trade and security relations with the continent.
“Welcome to the era of riding a wild horse...2016 was a bad year for
volatility and 2017 has the makings of being even worse,” Njoroge said
in an interview at the margins of the inaugural Wall Street Journal
Africa conference. Asked whether he was comfortable being a principal
spokesman to warn against the impact a more protectionist U.S., the
governor said: “I have no choice.”
Kenya gets about 10% of its annual foreign direct investment from the
U.S., and Mr. Njoroge said investors would think twice about taking
risks in Africa in a volatile world, which tends to drive money to
stable, predictable choices.
Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, speaks to WSJ
Africa Bureau Chief Joe Parkinson on how technology has driven growth
in Kenya at the Wall Street Journal Investing in Africa event in
Kenya has emerged as one of the winners of the commodity crisis that
has roiled several major African economies, such as Nigeria’s, that
are dependent on oil or mining.
Instead, the East African nation has a diversified economy and is a
net importer of oil. Its relatively strong institutions and the
circumstances of the last two years have kept Kenya afloat, growing at
just shy of 6%, which is nearly four times the sub-Saharan Africa
average, according to the IMF.
Mr. Njoroge credited the country’s flexible exchange-rate system for
part of the resilience, and said neither he nor any politicians would
go near changing the longstanding policy of a free-floating Kenyan
“We are fully wedded to our flexible exchange rate,” he said.
He also said that a controversial interest-rate cap imposed by
parliament on bank loans would be “temporary.”
The IMF said in February that the cap, which was introduced in
September 2016 and prohibits banks from charging more than 400 basis
points above the central-bank benchmark rate for loans, will shave
nearly a full percentage point off the country’s growth rate this
Kenya’s elections in August this year won't negatively impact the
economy, Mr. Njoroge said. Investors have been observing Kenyan
politics ahead of the elections, wary of a repeat of postelection
violence in 2007-08 that left thousands dead and led the president and
deputy president of the country to the dock of the International
Criminal Court in The Hague.
“Kenyans have said ’never again,’” Mr. Njoroge said. And, he added,
whoever wins the election will be good for the economy, as there are
no candidates who oppose the free market and private sector. The
incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta, is seen ahead in the race.
A moratorium on new banking licenses, imposed by Mr. Njoroge in late
2015 to force a consolidation and strengthening of domestic banks,
will be lifted “when the time is opportune,” Mr. Njoroge said. He said
his intention had been to allow local banks to shore up capital and
strengthen their positions, and he felt that goal was nearly complete
The proposal is "inconceivable thinking," said @michaelj2
“The whole idea that you want to split a company up because it is
successful to me is just completely ridiculous,” he said, referring to
the lawmaker’s proposal to break up the company. “You are punishing
success. Why would you do that?”
“I don’t know why you need a regulatory intervention in a free-market
economy,” Joseph said. “I cannot see why you need to have regulations
for a guy who cannot be successful because they have never invested.”
Shilling trades below 103 against dollar for first time since January @bd_africa
“The last time the shilling printed an all-time low was in 2011 when a
toxic combination of sky high oil prices ($80-$110 a barrel versus $56
now), a drought and a slow-motion monetary response all combined to
send the shilling into a tail-spin and a record low of 107,” said
independent analyst Aly Khan Satchu.
“The big difference today is the lower price of crude oil, the single
biggest expense item for Kenya. I suspect some shorts have gotten
burned at 103.50 plus and news of a number of acquisitions such as
Sadolin and Java have levelled out the demand side for the shilling. I
do not see it trading past its all-time low at any time this year.”
@Kenolkobil reports FY 16 PAT +19.764% Earnings here
Par Value: 0.50/-
Closing Price: 13.95
Total Shares Issued: 1471761200.00
Market Capitalization: 20,531,068,740
FY Net sales 103.493925b vs. 86.557936b +19.565%
FY Cost of sales [96.110370b] vs. [80.720486b] +19.066%
FY Gross profit 7.383555b vs. 5.837450b +26.486%
FY Other income 464.353m vs. 830.391m -44.080%
FY Administrative and operating costs [2.481277b] vs. [2.077117b] +19.458%
FY Impairment provision for KPRL Yield shift receivable [600.000m] vs.
FY Exchange gains/ [Losses] 2.525m vs. [232.064m] -101.088%
FY EBITDA 4.770371b vs. 4.213180b +13.225%
FY Finance costs [354.690m] vs. [651.344m] -45.545%
FY Depreciation and amortization [969.886m] vs. [863.324m] +12.165%
FY Profit before income tax 3.538256b vs. 2.782421b +27.165%
FY Profit for the year from continuing operations 2.413207b vs.
FY Profit for the year from discontinued operations – vs. 117.044m
FY Profit for the year 2.413207b vs. 2.014974b +19.764%
EPS (Basic & diluted) 1.64 vs. 1.37 +19.708%
FY dividend 0.45 vs. 0.35 +28.571%
Shareholders’ funds 9.865151b vs. 8.555639b +15.306%
Total Assets 24.201705b vs. 17.377103b +39.274%
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year 3.886332b vs.
company recorded volume growth in all the sectors which resulted in
total volume growth by 30% as compared to 2015.
The Group added a total of 30 retail network stations in the year.
an improved gross margin of 7.1% in 2016 as compared to 6.7% in the
gearing ratio at 26%
Management is optimistic that the good performance will be sustained
in the foreseeable future
Final dividend of 30cents + 15cents already paid
Coffee earnings up 63pc at Nairobi auction on higher prices and volumes
Coffee earnings improved by 63 per cent last month compared to a
similar period in 2016 on the back of higher international prices and
an increase in volumes at the Nairobi auction.
Statistics from Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) show that the worth of
Kenya’s coffee sold last month stood at Sh9.3 billion ($90.97 million)
compared to Sh5.7 billion ($55.51 million) that was sold in February
The volumes of the produce grew by 30 per cent from 13 tonnes in
February last year to 16.9 tonnes in February 2017.
High prices at the auction last month were attributed to the
anticipated shortage of high quality beans in the coming months,
raising the demand of the commodity at NCE.