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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Tuesday 06th of March 2018
 
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Africa

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Macro Thoughts

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"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal." - Rabindranath Tagore
Africa


“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity
to receive it”

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#ItalyElection2018: Projections suggested the Five Star Movement and the anti-migrant League, could reach a majority in at least one of the houses of parliament should they join forces
Law & Politics


#ItalyElection2018: Projections suggested the two forces with the most
gains, the euroskeptic Five Star Movement and the anti-migrant League,
could reach a majority in at least one of the houses of parliament
should they join forces

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Italy's Populist Winner Courted Investors Without Losing His Base
Law & Politics


The newest star of Europe’s anti-establishment movement courted
investors in London, met American legislators and wooed Italian
businesses – all without losing his exasperated, angry base.

Luigi Di Maio, 31, has turned the Five Star Movement into Italy’s
single biggest political force, winning the most votes in Sunday’s
election, upending experts’ calculations and casting doubt on the
country’s political future: “Di Maio victory, Italy ungovernable,”
blared Turin’s La Stampa newspaper.

While no party won a majority, Di Maio emerged with huge bargaining
power in talks to form a government. That could help him champion the
party platform of more spending for the poor, curbs on immigration and
renegotiating European Union treaties.

His style couldn’t be more different from that of party founder Beppe
Grillo, a disheveled former comedian known for his public rants, his
politically incorrect language and his rabid euro-skepticism. The
short-haired, clean-shaven Di Maio, by contrast, calmly discussed
“Byzantine” banking laws and non-performing loans in a pre-election
interview with Bloomberg Television.

“The image Di Maio projects underlines the change of season in Five
Star,” said Fabio Bordignon, a political science professor at the
University of Urbino who has studied the party’s rise. “Grillo
represents the anger of Italians, he sweats, screams, swears. Di Maio
is the cold leader, he never swears, he’s always impeccable.”

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14-NOV-2016 "This is the deflagration of an epoch. It's the apocalypse of this information system" @beppe_grillo @Mov5Stelle
Law & Politics


“ 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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Kim Jong-un agrees to summit with South Korean president, after spending hours with Seoul's envoys @SCMP_News
Law & Politics


The envoys delivered Moon’s intention to hold the summit with Kim, and
the two Koreas made a “satisfactory agreement” on the proposal, North
Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
“Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae-in for a summit from the
special envoy of the south side, he [Kim Jong-un] exchanged views and
made a satisfactory agreement,” the Korean Central News Agency said.
Kim “gave the important instruction to the relevant field to rapidly
take practical steps for it,” KCNA added, according to a translation
by Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

Conclusions

The Brother and Sister have peeled President Moon off.

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12-FEB-2018 :: Kim Yo Jong Cuts Through the Noise @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics


At a geopolitical level, we have to see things for what they are. The
US has been triangulated. Kim has his nuclear deterrence. His sister
Kim Yo Jong is now playing the soft power game.

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock,
which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft,
and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another
paradox: What is soft is strong,” Lao Tzu

South Korea is set to be peeled off and going by his puppy dog smiles
President Moonriver will be in PyongYang before you can pronounce Kim
Yo Jong correctly. Russia always had their back. China was never
interested in bringing him to heel. After all, he is the buffer state
between China and more than 30,000 US soldiers parked on their
doorstep in South Korea. What we saw unfold in Pyeongchang marks a
significant and iconic moment for the Mount Paektu Bloodline (a
three-generation lineage of North Korean leadership descended from the
country’s first leader, Kim Il-sung).

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Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the @realDonaldTrump Dossier @NewYorker
Law & Politics


in January, 2017. The dossier painted a damning picture of collusion
between Trump and Russia, suggesting that his campaign had “accepted a
regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his
Democratic and other political rivals.” It also alleged that Russian
officials had been “cultivating” Trump as an asset for five years, and
had obtained leverage over him, in part by recording videos of him
while he engaged in compromising sexual acts, including consorting
with Moscow prostitutes who, at his request, urinated on a bed.

The dossier had infuriated both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump by
divulging allegedly corrupt dealings between them. “You’ve got
oligarchs running both superpowers,” the friend said. “And,
incredibly, they both hate this same guy.”

Nobody had alleged that Trump knew of any fifa crimes, but Steele soon
came across Trump Tower again. Several years ago, the F.B.I. hired
Steele to help crack an international gambling and money-laundering
ring purportedly run by a suspected Russian organized-crime figure
named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. The syndicate was based in an apartment
in Trump Tower. Eventually, federal officials indicted more than
thirty co-conspirators for financial crimes. Tokhtakhounov, though,
eluded arrest, becoming a fugitive. Interpol issued a “red notice”
calling for his arrest. But, in the fall of 2013, he showed up at the
Miss Universe contest in Moscow—and sat near the pageant’s owner,
Donald Trump.
“It was as if all criminal roads led to Trump Tower,” Steele told friends.

Steele wasn’t aware that by August, 2016, a similar debate was taking
place inside the Obama White House and the U.S. intelligence agencies.
According to an article by the Washington Post, that month the C.I.A.
sent what the paper described as “an intelligence bombshell” to
President Obama, warning him that Putin was directly involved in a
Russian cyber campaign aimed at disrupting the Presidential
election—and helping Trump win. Robert Hannigan, then the head of the
U.K.’s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to
Washington and briefed the C.I.A.’s director, John Brennan, on a
stream of illicit communications between Trump’s team and Moscow that
had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become
public.) But, as the Post noted, the C.I.A.’s assessment that the
Russians were interfering specifically to boost Trump was not yet
accepted by other intelligence agencies, and it wasn’t until days
before the Inauguration that major U.S. intelligence agencies had
unanimously endorsed this view.

Talbott regards Steele as a “smart, careful, professional, and
congenial” colleague who “knows the post-Soviet space, and is exactly
what he says he is.” Yet, Talbott said, “they’re trying to turn him
into political polonium—touch him and you die.” ♦

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05-DEC-2016:: I have no doubt that Putin ran a seriously 21st predominantly digital programme of interference which amplified the Trump candidacy.
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 (and some folks here at home need to remember those
words).
The second thing is non-linearity, you have to learn how to navigate a
linear system (the new 21st digital ecosystem) in a non-linear way.
When you launch a social media campaign where a 100 bots repeat the
same thing verbatim, like Mombasa did last week, then your very
linearity is a monumental ‘’look its me’’ sign.

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Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November? @realdonaldtrump
Law & Politics


Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump
Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in
November? Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented.
Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.

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This tweet is a great example of your paranoia, constant misrepresentation of the facts, and increased anxiety and panic (rightly so) about the Mueller investigation @JohnBrennan
Law & Politics


This tweet is a great example of your paranoia, constant
misrepresentation of the facts, and increased anxiety and panic
(rightly so) about the Mueller investigation. When will those in
Congress and the 30 percent of Americans who still support you realize
you are a charlatan?

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To Putin, Assad's enemies in Syria are the same as Russia's in Chechenya @indyvoices' Robert Fisk
Law & Politics


Now what does this remind you of? “After an attempt to seize Grozny by
land ended in defeat, Yeltsin resorted to...pounding the city from the
air. Thousands of civilians died in the attacks on the capital. Two
years of gruesome fighting (in Chechnya) killed tens of thousands of
civilians and probably fifteen thousand Russian soldiers.
Putin...cemented his rise to power by launching a new campaign that
would be equally bloody, but would eventually bring the territory back
under Moscow’s control. He filled the airwaves with tough talk,
promising to hunt down the Chechen bandits... The Chechen battle was
portrayed as a terrorist struggle against the legitimate Russian
state. This was partly true – the Chechens did begin to use terror as
a weapon.”

Sound familiar? I owe the above quotation to Shaun Walker’s new take
on the Putin years in his book The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia
and the Ghosts of the Past and it doesn’t stop there. In early 2000,
in one of his first interviews, Putin told the Chechens they were not
under attack from Russia – they were being brought under its
“protection”. The Chechens were not a defeated people, Putin
announced. “They are a liberated people.” And all this, according to
Walker, as Putin’s fighter jets “were bombing Grozny, raining more
misery down on a city that already seemed as though it had reached
total devastation”.

Walker himself is an old-school reporter, padding the broken pavements
and shattered buildings rather than pontificating from Moscow – he
wrote for The Independent before moving to what we used to call
“Another Newspaper” – and he assiduously follows through on the
Chechen story, observing the rise to power of the faithful Akhmad
Kadyrov and then, after the latter’s assassination, of his equally
faithful (and brutal) son Ramzan. Their enemies were liquidated. By
the time Walker arrived in Grozny in 2009, “the city was
unrecognisable from the eerie photographs of Stalingard-level
destruction... Neat tree-lined avenues, of new apartment blocks and
pleasant cafes...a whole street in which the tree-lined husks of
apartment blocks had been replaced with brand-new versions; empty
squares filled with white marble-effect ministerial buildings; and to
top it all off, Grozny City, a thirty-two storey skyscraper housing a
five-star hotel with a rooftop restaurant, a gym and plush bedrooms
with luxury toiletries.”

The parallels should not be drawn too closely. Putin was trying to
restore Chechenya to Russian sovereignty. In Ghouta – or in Aleppo –
he was and is trying to restore sovereignty to Syria. The Chechen
“bandits” and “terrorists” were real enough. And so, slowly and
ponderously, we ourselves are beginning to admit – amid the bloodbath
of civilians – that al-Qaeda and fellow Islamists are real enough in
Ghouta. And of course, by “restoring” eastern Ghouta (or Aleppo) to
the Damascus government, Putin is furthering Russian power. Besieged
autocrats can count on Moscow. Could Moubarak count on Washington? Or
could Ben Ali count on France?

There are, however, other small Chechen ghosts floating over Syria. A
large number of Chechen Islamists, fleeing the forests of Chechenya
after Russia’s victory, arrived in Syria to attack the regime. One of
the Syrian army’s most devastating setbacks occurred on a mountain top
south of the Turkish border when a Chechen jihadi suicide bombed a
military base by driving a captured armoured car into the compound. He
killed every one of the Syrian defenders. The explosion was so vast
that an eyewitness on a neighbouring hilltop told me he saw fire
reaching into the clouds – and then continuing above the clouds into
the empty sky.

The Russians know exactly whom they are fighting in Syria; which is
why Russian pilot Roman Filipov blew himself up with his own grenade
rather than be captured by Islamists. For Putin, those Chechens who
resisted his firepower inside Russia are merely continuing their
struggle inside a Russian ally further to the south. Eliminate them,
Putin believes, and then make peace with your erstwhile enemies later.
It’s been a policy maintained, up to a point, by Damascus. The earlier
siege of Deraya on the edge of Damascus was ended in a series of
“reconciliation” committees and mutual ceasefire promises.

The distance between Grozny and Damascus is less than 900 miles. From
the Kremlin walls, the minarets of Damascus are not in the “Middle
East”; they are due south. Russian power doesn’t end at its own
frontiers – nor did it in Stalin’s day. His Red Army did not halt at
the Soviet frontier in 1945. It pursued the “fascist beast” to its
lair in Berlin. And Chechenya remains very much in Putin’s mind today.

This does not mean that Putin is somehow recreating Russia’s past
struggles inside Syria. What it does means is that Putin has learned
from the Chechen war and has not forgotten its lessons – which include
both ruthlessness and cunning. For him, Assad’s enemies today were
Russia’s enemies in Chechenya – in a few cases, the very same
individuals – and, however much horror we express at the outrageous
killing of civilians, we should not be surprised. Once superpowers
become involved in Middle East wars, “terms and conditions” do not
apply. Until it’s over. Did anyone mention Iraq?

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05-MAR-2018 :: Xi Jinping President for Life @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics


Xinhua pronounced this historical announcement; the Central Committee
of the CCCP “proposed to remove the expression that ‘the president and
vice-president of the People’s Republic of China shall serve no more
than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s constitution.”

In one fell swoop, President Xi Jinping was President for Life as this
will surely be confirmed at the National People’s Congress session in
Beijing.

The New Yorker Magazine wrote

''Last year, during several trips in which I travelled across China by
train, two things in particular caught my attention. First, the red
hammer and sickle—Second, the only image I saw more frequently—in
elementary-school classrooms, in airports and shopping malls, on
billboards on highways and in rice paddies—was the face of President
Xi Jinping. Each image was identical: the country’s supreme leader,
with raven-black hair and a face fastidiously airbrushed to erase any
hint of human blemish, smiling calmly, against a sky-blue background:
an unimpeachable deity in an officially atheist state''

It is difficult to measure Push-Back but The China Digital Times,
reported a list of terms excised from Chinese websites by government
censors includes the letter 'N', Orwell's novels Animal Farm and 1984,
and the phrase 'Xi Zedong'.  Search terms blocked on Sino Weibo,
include “disagree”, “personality cult”, “lifelong”, “immortality”,
“emigrate”, and “shameless”. Even Winnie the Pooh recently found
himself subject to China’s latest internet crackdown. In July,
references to the cartoon bear on Sina Weibo were removed after his
image was compared to President Xi. Dissent is measured and snuffed
out very quickly in China. China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in
Xinjiang where a combination of data from video surveillance, face and
license plate recognition, mobile device locations, and official
records to identify targets for detention [CDT]. Xinjiang is surely a
Precursor for how the CCCP will manage dissent.  The actions in
Xinjiang are part of the regional authorities’ ongoing “Strike-Hard”
campaign, and of President Xi’s “stability maintenance” and “enduring
peace” drive in the region. Authorities say the campaign targets
“terrorist elements,” but it is in practice far broader, and
encompasses anyone suspected of political disloyalty,

Xi Jinping has set out his stall. He is deploying ''sharp Power''
rather than ''soft Power'' I appreciate that the USS Carl Vinsson is
sailing around the South China Sea but make no mistake, China has
elbowed everyone aside in that Sea and is now accelerating its
position in the Indian Ocean.

"It seems that we are in the middle of a base race across the Indian
Ocean," David Brewster, senior research fellow at at the Australian
National University, wrote in a February note published on think tank
The Lowy Institute. "Watch this space."

The Indian Ocean, which borders Africa, the Middle East, Asia and
Australia, is home to major sea lanes and choke points that are
crucial to global trade. Nearly 40 percent of the world's offshore
petroleum is produced in the Indian Ocean, which also has rich mineral
deposits and fisheries. From Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port[which China
has snaffled up for 99 years], to Gwadar Port in Pakistan's
Baloochistan to Djibouti to the Maldives and surely soon somewhere in
East Africa, China is growing its ''geopolitical'' footprint.
President Obama's Pivot to Asia which has metasized into the QUAD [US,
Japan, India and Australia] and was intended to contain to China is
being bust wide open. Xi Jinping is making a Pygmy of India's Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, who is surrounded on all sides.

Pepe Escobar [Asia Times] says ''Xi has all but announced his major
moves. The Chinese Dream – or China as a stable, middle-income nation.
BRI as a connectivity vector integrating not only Eurasia but also
Africa and Latin America. The increasing influence of the Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank as well as the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation'' I wrote last year that Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road
[OBOR] program binds the world to Beijing because all the roads and
railways have but one destination and that is China.

It was not very long ago that the US was pronounced a Hyper Power, a
Colossus that bestrode the World unchallenged. Fast Forward and You
will note that Xi Jinping and his able Wing-Man Vladimir Putin have
chipped away at the foundations of the HyperPower.

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China's president is also looking to boost his country's military might abroad. @BBGVisualData
Law & Politics


He’s overhauled China’s military to challenge U.S. supremacy in the
Indo-Pacific, most visibly with a plan to put half-a-dozen aircraft
carriers in the world’s oceans. Still, Xi has a problem: He needs
bases around the world to refuel and repair his global fleet. So far,
China only has one overseas military base, compared with dozens for
the U.S., which also has hundreds of smaller installations.

China is on the path to becoming a military peer the likes of which
the United States has not seen since the Soviet Union. “The China
Reckoning” Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East
Asian and Pacific Affairs, Ely Ratner, Council on Foreign Relations,
writing in Foreign Affairs magazine.

The PLA Navy has led the way. Since 2000, China’s seven main shipyards
have produced more submarines, destroyers, frigates and corvettes than
the collective output of South Korea, Japan and India, according to
the 2018 Military Balance published by the International Institute for
Strategic Studies.

Chinese military strategists have long felt boxed in by the so-called
First Island Chain, a string of U.S.-aligned governments off its coast
stretching from Japan to Taiwan to the Philippines. When the Liaoning
sailed through the Miyako Strait for the first time at the end of
2016, the transit was hailed as a milestone in China. Even so, the
U.S. and its allies will still be able to track the comings and goings
of Chinese vessels through the region’s waterways until Xi is able to
base part of his fleet elsewhere in the world. The U.S. suffers no
such hindrance. Its fleet can sail out of San Diego unobserved and
disappear into the vast Pacific Ocean.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.2354
Dollar Index 89.95
Japan Yen 106.40
Swiss Franc 0.9396
Pound 1.3850
Aussie 0.7789
India Rupee 65.010
South Korea Won 1076.06
Brazil Real 3.2426
Egypt Pound 17.6220
South Africa Rand 11.8277

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Crude Oil 6 Month Chart INO 62.68
Commodities


Emerging Markets

Frontier Markets

Sub Saharan Africa

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New beginnings: Zimbabwe, back from the brink @guardian
Africa


Three weeks ago a young elephant wound her trunk around my arm and
began – politely, elegantly, insistently – to pull my hand into her
mouth and suck the salt sweat off my fingers. It was the happiest I’ve
been this year, that moment; partly because of the elephant and partly
from that knee-jerk joy; the one that says home.

My mother was born and raised in Zimbabwe, and I spent part of my
childhood in Harare; we left in 2001, but I go back every year. This
January, I returned to a new regime, and a new feeling in the streets.
Nothing yet has visibly changed, except that the police road blocks
which used to spore across the city on payday have gone, but the air
felt newly oxygenated.

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Sierra Leone will hold elections on Wednesday amid voter discontent
Africa


Sierra Leone will hold elections on Wednesday in which an
unprecedented number of political parties will compete as discontent
over the government’s handling of an economy battered by the Ebola
outbreak has soared.

The vote marks a departure from a decades-old tradition that mainly
divided the balance of power between the All People’s Congress and the
opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, with a newcomer, the National
Grand Coalition, expected to win a significant amount of votes. In
total, 16 parties have put candidates forward in the West African
nation of about 6.5 million people.

“The election has the potential to seriously disrupt the two-party
system that has existed in Sierra Leone since independence” in 1961,
said Charlotte King, an analyst of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s
Middle East and Africa team.

As outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma has to step down after two
terms in office, his party has named Samura Kamara, a former foreign
affairs minister who hails from the same northern district as Koroma,
to run as its candidate. Julius Maada Bio, who briefly ran the country
in the 1990s as head of a military junta, will run for the SLPP.

None of the candidates is expected to win the 55 percent majority of
the votes required to secure victory in the first round.

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Tiger Falls as Factory Blamed for Outbreak That Killed 180
Africa


Tiger Brands Ltd. tumbled after the South African company’s processed
meat was identified as a source of the listeriosis outbreak that’s
killed 180 people and infected about 1,000.

Africa’s largest packaged food maker has been ordered to recall
certain Enterprise brand ready-to-eat items and has suspended
operations at two plants, while South Africans are being advised to
avoid all similar processed meat products.

The listeriosis outbreak in South Africa was believed to be the
largest ever of the disease linked to food poisoning, the United
Nations health agency said in January. There are at least 948
confirmed cases since the start of 2017, according to the nation’s
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

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It's Much Ado About Nothing as Tanzania Frets Over Credit Rating
Africa


Moody’s said while annual growth would probably average 6.7 percent
until 2020, the outlook was negative because of Tanzania’s “very low
institutional strength” and “moderately effective monetary policy.”

Tanzania already has $333 million of floating rate notes outstanding,
which mature in March 2020 and pay Libor plus 600 basis points. The
price has fallen since late January to 103.6 cents on the dollar,
around the lowest in more than a year.

Still, that fall is more or less in line with the selloff of other
African securities in that period. And the new rating itself shouldn’t
be too much of a barrier if Tanzania decides to sell a Eurobond:
Moody’s has placed it one level higher than regional neighbors Kenya,
Rwanda and Uganda.

Kenya’s ability to attract $14 billion of orders for a $2 billion deal
last month suggests yield-hungry bond investors are more than happy to
buy the debt of junk-rated African sovereigns.

Conclusions

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Top American diplomat won't meet opposition during Kenya tour @BD_Africa
Africa


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not expected to meet with
opposition leader Raila Odinga during his Nairobi visit this week, a
State Department official said on Monday.
Mr Tillerson is set to hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta in his
week-long visit to Kenya and four other African countries commencing
Tuesday.
Donald Yamamoto, the acting assistant secretary of state for African
Affairs, however noted in a Press briefing that he and US Ambassador
Robert Godec have spoken with Mr Odinga and other Nasa figures on
numerous occasions.
“We’re not ignoring the opposition,” the acting head of the Africa
Bureau said. “It plays a critical role.”
But “the main focus is to talk to the government,” said Mr Yamamoto,
while revealing that there were regular “behind-the-scenes” contacts
taking place between US officials and leaders of the opposition in
Kenya.
Mr Yamamoto also firmly endorsed the performance of Mr Godec, whom the
opposition has accused of siding with Mr Kenyatta in disputes over the
validity of recent elections.
Some Nasa Members of Parliament have called for Mr Godec to be
recalled from Kenya.
Mr Yamamoto said Washington’s envoy to Nairobi is among the most
senior US diplomats serving in Africa. He said Mr Godec stands as “a
model of leadership and engagement.”
The two are also expected to discuss Kenya’s role in Somalia and
al-Shabaab’s continuing ability to take advantage of Kenya’s internal
lapses in security.
US concerns about rising debt levels — and China’s contribution to
them — will be on Mr Tillerson’s Kenya agenda as well.
China is playing an “unhelpful role” by extending low-interest credit
to many African countries that find themselves mired in debt that acts
as a drag on development, the State Department official said. He noted
that deepening indebtedness is undoing the achievements of the Heavily
Indebted Poor Countries’ initiative that saw many African countries
forgiven their debts in the 1990s.

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Majid Al Futtaim, the holder of Carrefour's franchise in Kenya, last year recorded Sh8.2 billion in sales from its local business
Africa


Carrefour, which launched its first store in Nairobi in 2016, now
operates four branches in the Kenyan capital – at Two Rivers Mall,
Thika Road Mall, the Junction Mall and The Hub, Karen.
Majid Al Futtaim also operates one indoor entertainment unit, Magic
Planet, that is located at Two Rivers, but the business accounts for a
small portion of the Kenya revenue.

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Kenya's trade deficit hit Sh1.13 trillion last year from Sh853.68 billion a year earlier @dailyNation
Africa


Kenya’s trade deficit hit Sh1.13 trillion last year from Sh853.68
billion a year earlier largely because of doubling of food imports and
shipping in of transportation equipment such as SGR wagons and
locomotives amid flat exports.

The deficit — the gap between imports and exports — widened by
Sh277.25 billion compared with 2016, data from Kenya National Bureau
of Statistics shows.

Imports rose by 20.49 per cent to Sh1.725 trillion, while exports
expanded by a measly 2.78 per cent to Sh594.13 billion.

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.@National_Bank Kenya Considering Branch Closures to Cut Costs
Africa


National Bank of Kenya Ltd., which has the biggest bad-loan book in
the Kenyan banking industry, is considering closing some of its 85
branches to cut costs, Chief Executive Officer Wilfred Musau said.

Lenders in East Africa’s biggest economy are being forced to lower
expenses after a government-imposed cap on commercial lending rates
impaired their ability to provide loans and as consumers embrace
digital banking, including Safaricom Ltd.’s M-Pesa platform. Banks
have closed at least 39 branches and cut 1,620 jobs since the caps
were announced in August 2016, according to Cytonn Investment
Management Ltd., a Nairobi-based money manager.

NBK will make a decision early in the second quarter on the number of
outlets it will shut, Musau said Monday in an emailed response to
questions.

“This is a decision based on the strategic positioning and
profitability of a branch,” Musau said.

NBK, in which the Kenyan Treasury and the state-run National Social
Security Fund own a 64 percent stake, had the worst non-performing
loan book in Kenya in the third quarter at 44 percent of total loans,
according to Cytonn. Co-Operative Bank of Kenya Ltd., the
third-biggest Kenyan bank by market value, has the lowest ratio at 6.4
percent.

NBK shares have dropped 12 percent this year, under-performing the
Nairobi Securities Exchange All Share Index, which has risen 5.9
percent over the same period.

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@National_Bank Kenya share price data here -11.22% 2018
Africa


Par Value:                  5/-
Closing Price:           8.30
Total Shares Issued:          308000000.00
Market Capitalization:        2,556,400,000
EPS:             0.53
PE:                 15.660

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@NationMediaGrp share price data here -13.793% in 2018.
Africa


Par Value:                  2.50/-
Closing Price:           100.00
Total Shares Issued:          188542286.00
Market Capitalization:        18,854,228,600
EPS:             8.9
PE:                 11.236

H1 Turnover 5.2742b vs. 5.6348b -6.400%
H1 Total costs [4.103b] vs. [4.490b] -8.619%
H1 Profit before income tax 1.1712b vs. 1.1449b +2.297%
H1 Profit after income tax 819.8m vs. 811.5m +1.023%
EPS 4.37 vs. 4.17 +4.796%

read more


There has been a noteworthy spike in volumes of late. @KenolKobil is +16.42% in 2018
Africa


Par Value:                  0.50/-
Closing Price:           16.30
Total Shares Issued:          1471761200.00
Market Capitalization:        23,989,707,560
EPS:             1.64
PE:                 9.939

read more




 
 
N.S.E Today


The Dollar trades ''jittery'' on the International Exchanges. Today I
spoke with Farooq Siddiqi [Stanchart Global Head of Trade] and he
mentioned that the last big Trade War was in the 1930s and it cratered
Global GDP by 2/3rds.
That 'is a 'cliff edge'' scenario that I do not see repeating but
uncertainty around Trump's off-the-cuff announcements is not soothing
market participants' nerves.
The Dollar sold off on the news that North and South Korea have agreed
to hold summit talks in late April which was seen as a positive
Geopolitical development.
Secretary Tillerson will be visiting Nairobi and meeting with
President Kenyatta.
Ahead of that visit, Mr Yamamoto said Washington’s envoy to Nairobi is
among the most senior US diplomats serving in Africa. He said Mr Godec
stands as “a model of leadership and engagement.”
Tillerson is expected to meet with the Russian Foreign Minister and
very pithy Sergey Lavrov in Ethiopia
Moody’s has rated Tanzania one level higher than Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Kenya’s trade deficit hit Sh1.13 trillion last year from Sh853.68
billion a year earlier largely because of doubling of food imports and
shipping in of transportation equipment such as SGR wagons and
locomotives.
Imports rose by 20.49 per cent to Sh1.725 trillion, while exports
expanded by 2.78 per cent to Sh594.13 billion.
Majid Al Futtaim, the holder of Carrefour’s franchise in Kenya, last
year recorded Sh8.2 billion in sales from its local business as per
the Daily Nation.
The Nairobi All Share Index rose +0.11 points to close at 181.02.
The NSE20 Index firmed +9.21 points to close at 3735.95
Equity Turnover clocked 838.052m.



N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services


Safaricom closed unchanged at 29.25 and missed closing at 29.50 by the
lowest allowable margin [The weighted average was 29.49 which gets
rounded down to 29.25]. Safaricom traded 7.543m shares worth 222.494m.



N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment


Equity Bank which had rallied +18.23% in 2018 through this morning
eased -0.53% to close at 46.75 and traded 3.843m shares.
KCB wich had rallied +12.28% in 2018 through this morning pushed
+1.56% higher to close at a Fresh 2018 high of 48.75 and traded 2.548m
shares, ahead of its FY Earnings Release at the Radisson later this
week.
Diamond Trust Bank closed unchanged at 208.00 and traded 339,000
shares. DTB is +8.333% in 2018.
Standard Chartered rallied +2.439% to close at 210.00 and traded 6,300 shares.

Bloomberg reported that National Bank Kenya is considering Branch
Closures to Cut Costs. Bloomberg reported that ''National Bank of
Kenya Ltd., which has the biggest bad-loan book in the Kenyan banking
industry, is considering closing some of its 85 branches to cut costs,
Chief Executive Officer Wilfred Musau said''  Banks have closed at
least 39 branches and cut 1,620 jobs since the caps were announced in
August 2016, according to Cytonn Investment Management Ltd.  Bloomberg
added that NBK, in which the Kenyan Treasury and the state-run
National Social Security Fund own a 64 percent stake, had the worst
non-performing loan book in Kenya in the third quarter at 44 percent
of total loans, according to Cytonn. Co-Operative Bank of Kenya Ltd.,
the third-biggest Kenyan bank by market value, has the lowest ratio at
6.4 percent. National Bank firmed +2.409% narrowing its Year to Date
Loss to -9.09%. National Bank has lagged a rebounding banking sector



N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied


EABL closed unchanged at 239.00 and traded 307,300 shares. The share
price has been working around these levels for a few weeks now.

KenGen closed at 8.45 and traded 161,900 shares. KenGen sits slap bang
on its 50 day moving average [as does BITCOIN, interestingly].

BAT corrected -2.42% lower to close at a 2018 Low of 683.00. BAT
traded 119,100 shares. BAT is -10.315% in 2018 and recently reported a
-21.209% in Full Year PAT.

Trans-Century Ltd yesterday issued a profit warning announcement for
its FY17 results and this is the 13th Full Year Profits warning issued
by a NSE listed share.  The Company attributed earnings decline to
prolonged electioneering period (leading to delayed spending on
infrastructure projects) and constrained access to credit due to
interest rate capping. Transcentury slumped -16.66% lower to close at
4.75 [There is no limit to the price move on the day after a material
announcement]. Trans-Century is -20.833% in 2018.

Express Kenya reacted +9.76% higher to close at 4.50.



Africa


by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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March 2018
 
 
 
 
 
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