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"The resignation of Johnson will add to market fears of a leadership challenge, in the process risking further U.K. political paralysis," said Jeremy Stretch
“The resignation of Johnson will add to market fears of a leadership
challenge, in the process risking further U.K. political paralysis,”
said Jeremy Stretch, head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Canadian
Imperial Bank of Commerce.
“Events of the last 24 hours suggest that more extreme Brexit
conclusions are on the rise, suggesting sterling volatility should
move appreciably higher.”
The pound fell 0.3 percent to $1.3241 as of 4:40 p.m. in London, after
advancing as much as 0.6 percent earlier in the day. It fell 0.3
percent against the euro to 88.71 pence.
Strategists said last week that the pound could fall as low as $1.25
on a leadership challenge, rallying as high as $1.34 on a Brexit
strategy deal which also gains the backing of the EU.
Sand dunes on Namibia's Skeleton Coast @ Michael Turek @ft
There is something final about the town of Mowe Bay. Tracing a line up
the Skeleton Coast, the band of desert on Namibia’s north-western
seaboard, it marks a full stop: this is where the road runs out. Turn
to the Atlantic, and you are met by a thundering swell; turn inland,
and you reach a dreamlike sea of sand dunes. For centuries, ships have
been wrecked on this shore, overcome by strong, swirling currents. The
sailors were succeeded by diamond prospectors, who arrived overland in
the 19th century in search of new beginnings, only to lose fortunes.
Today, the thousand-strong population of the town’s barking seal
colony vastly outnumbers the human one.
This is a place where the garden ornaments are the bleached bones of
whales, the skulls of elephants, giraffes and birds. Mowe Bay’s dusty,
single-room museum is a collection of memento mori: turtle shells,
lion foetuses in formaldehyde. A few doors down, a mast and two oars
form the skeletal frame of an abandoned house.
And yet, this is not the end of the world. Thirty miles north, in one
of the most highly protected parts of this sparsely populated country,
is the Shipwreck Lodge. Each of its 10 implausibly luxurious cabins
looks like a child’s drawing of a tugboat, with wooden ribs and
portholes and little black chimney stacks emerging from their roofs.
Filled with beachy bric-a-brac — rope and timber shelving, mismatched
pegs for hanging coats — they seem to sail serenely across the dunes.
It is the only lodge in this restricted section of the Skeleton Coast
National Park, and our second stop in a safari through the deserts of
north-west Namibia, a place far removed from the crowds and racing
4x4s of Kenya and South Africa, more well-established safari
We had landed four days earlier in Sesfontein, a remote town encircled
by orange granite hills. It’s a two-hour flight from the capital,
Windhoek. “The route we’re going,” says Dewald von Solms, our young
pilot, as he ushers me and my wife through customs, “you can see just
how much nothingness there is.” From the windows of his Cessna 210, a
propeller plane fitted out like a classic car with ageing leather
fittings and mock mahogany ashtrays, vast landscapes unscroll 10,000ft
below us. There are tarmacked roads, then dirt roads — then, the
nothingness. We land in a field of white-gold grass gently going to
seed, as the sun begins to set.
The road to the Hoanib Valley Camp traverses a dry, grey riverbed,
two-and-a-half hours along what feels like an endless cattle grid. Our
guide is Nico Uararavi, who grew up in Sesfontein: the camp is a joint
venture between the local community and safari outfit Natural
Selection, and hires almost exclusively from the closest towns. For
the next three days, Uararavi will drive us up rocky passes, through
stone canyons and across golden plains, each landscape seemingly
infinite, in search of the desert-adapted lion, elephant, rhino and
giraffe who wander through them. In this time, we will pass only two
In the desert, animals look and behave differently. They follow crazy
paths — start by tracking a rhino east, says Uararavi, and you will
inevitably find it far to the west. The riverbed may be crowded with
animal tracks, but many of the creatures we encounter travel alone: a
sleeping jackal, a startled springbok, a solo ostrich, a lone lioness,
lazily making her way along the riverbank. The first we come across is
a solitary giraffe, negotiating a meal from a thorny ana tree in the
cool morning air.
At six o’clock, as the light fades, he takes us for a walk through the
tussocky dunes that extend from the Shipwreck Lodge down to the
Atlantic shore. “We must start,” he says, squatting down, “with the
production of sand.” From first principles, he expounds on the
digestive system of the giraffe, and the important distinctions
between animal pellets, droppings and dung. He picks up a piece of
donkey dung and turns it in his hand as if it were a kaleidoscope,
each angle offering a new vista on mammalian behaviour.
Mbinga grew up in a village in the Kalahari, where his mother
instilled in him a fascination for the natural world. “She knew
everything about the chameleon and the hornbill,” he says. “I remember
when I read about them in my textbooks later, everything was exactly
as she had told me.”
The Skeleton Coast is both hostile and fragile, and Mbinga is its
respectful custodian. Near the sea, the sand is covered with a dirty
crust of black and red gypsum; a car crunching over the surface will
leave tracks that will remain visible for 100 years. Further down the
coast, the ghostly trail of a 19th-century German oxen wagon can still
be seen, heading into the great nowhere.
The traces left by humans on this windswept shoreline are by turns
tragic and futile. We take elevenses in the lee of the shipwrecked
Karimona, a Japanese ship first discovered here in 1971.
Further along the shore, among bright green sea anemones and fluted
snail shells, I find a two-inch piece of electrical wire and bring it
dutifully to Mbinga as proof of my commitment to a clean environment.
Gently, he tells me to return it to where I found it. Everything here
must remain where it is, and perhaps this will be a valuable piece of
evidence for the investigators of the Shipwreck Commission.
At the Shipwreck Lodge, meanwhile, the aim is to leave no trace. It
operates on sustainable principles — solar power, water from bore
holes. Trucks take a three-day round trip from Swakopmund to bring in
supplies and take away refuse. The lodge is designed so that it could
be swept away without leaving a mark on the environment. Yet,
surrounded by monuments to human fallibility, it surely deserves to
On the Great Indian Mango Trail @WSJ
Here the frostless winters and tumultuous summers provide the perfect
weather cycle for complex and memorable fruit: warm to the touch even
days after being picked and redolent of one or all of honey, lemon,
peach, rose, cinnamon, pepper or sugar cane.
The mangoscape of India—where the mango originated, somewhere in the
northeastern foothills near modern Myanmar—is immense. Some 4,000
years of spontaneous proliferation and studied cultivation, plus the
dozens of new varieties developed in recent centuries by grafting and
calculated hybridization, have allowed a vast diversity of mangoes
(called “cultivars” in the scientific literature or, more evocatively,
“landraces”) to proliferate. The most comprehensive list, prepared in
1998 by the mango scientist S.N. Pandey, lists 1,663 kinds of mangoes.
More than a thousand are found solely in India.
Of these, the vast majority are not easily found in markets, being
either too small or unpredictable in output, or having too short a
season, or being single trees in a grove of one of the major
landraces. Even the most dedicated of mango-eaters in India has
sampled only a small fraction of the mangoscape, and most lay eaters
only know the major commercial cultivars like the Banganapalli, the
Alphonso, the Dussehri and the Langda. I asked R.R. Virodia, professor
of agriculture at Junagadh Agricultural University in Gujarat and an
important name in the mangosphere, how many kinds of mangoes he had
eaten. He said, “Probably no more than a hundred.”
In a hotel room in Panjim, the Goan capital, I set down a stash of
Mancurados, Hilarios, Fernandins, Musarrats and Xaviers that I had
bought at dawn at the municipal fruit market (their baroque names
pointing to their origins in Catholic botany). I ate them with a
steadily escalating elation—and disbelief that I had lived less than
400 miles north in Mumbai for half of my life and never encountered
one of these superstars.
I became a mango bum.
“He who has eaten a mango has but eaten a mango,” I replied, wise from
so much ambrosial eating. “But he who has eaten many mangoes, has
truly seen the world.”
Trump suggests China might be interfering in U.S.-North Korea talks @Reuters
Law & Politics
President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that China might be seeking
to derail U.S. efforts aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but said
he was confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would uphold a
pact the two agreed on last month.
n his first remarks about challenging diplomatic talks held at the
weekend that sowed fresh doubts over North Korea’s willingness to give
up its nuclear arsenal, Trump said China “may be exerting negative
pressure” in reaction to punitive U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported progress from the first
high-level talks since Trump and Kim met in Singapore, although he
said a hard road lies ahead - North Korea accused him of
“gangster-like” diplomacy after he left Pyongyang.
“Now is the time for all of us, the State Department and others to
deliver, to implement the agreement between President Trump and
Chairman Kim,” Pompeo told NATO troops at the end of a visit to
“To think this would happen in the course of a handful of hours would
have been ludicrous,” Pompeo said.
"the world is a gangster."
Inside China's Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras @nytimes
Law & Politics
ZHENGZHOU, China — In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer
wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a
In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras
powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen
criminal suspects in the midst of a big annual beer festival.
In Wuhu, a fugitive murder suspect was identified by a camera as he
bought food from a street vendor.
With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is
building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing
technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to
identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and
unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its
thriving technology industry.
China is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great
democratizer, bringing people more freedom and connecting them to the
world. In China, it has brought control.
In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted.
Billboard-size displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the
names of people who can’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners
guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an
estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the
Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and
communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel
in some places.
“This is potentially a totally new way for the government to manage
the economy and society,” said Martin Chorzempa, a fellow at the
Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“The goal is algorithmic governance,” he added.
Xinjiang is the Laboratory.
Turkish Lira Slumps as Erdogan Names Son-in-Law as Economy Chief @business
Turkey’s lira plunged after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed
his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, as economic chief of his new
administration, fueling investor unease that the government can calm
Albayrak will be in charge of a new ministry of treasury and finance,
replacing roles previously held by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet
Simsek, a former Merrill Lynch banker, and Finance Minister Naci
Agbal. Investors considered both to be market-friendly counterweights
to a pro-growth bias under Erdogan that has weighed on sentiment.
The lira fell 3.8 percent to 4.7488 per dollar, extending one of the
biggest slides across emerging markets this year. Albayrak served as
energy minister since 2015.
If a U.S. or global recession is looming, it's time to own the Swiss franc, Singapore dollar, U.S. dollar and Japanese yen -- and ditch emerging market currencies, according to analysts from @jpmorgan Chase & Co. @business
“Recessions are when creditors get to ask for their money back,”
analysts including Paul Meggyesi said in a note dated July 6. “Three
of the top four currencies to own during a recession are those of
countries that boast extremely strong external positions.”
The yen is the cheapest of the recessionary hedges, while the
Singapore dollar is the least attractive, the team concluded. The U.S.
currency benefits because, as the world’s default funding currency,
the rest of the world needs to buy back dollars when banks and
companies deleverage during recessions, the JPMorgan strategists said.
The greenback has already been outperforming in recent months as trade
Emerging market currencies are a “clear stand-out” as particularly
susceptible to slowdowns, depreciating on average by 17 percent over a
two-year period straddling the start of a recession, JPMorgan said.
The New Zealand dollar is “by far” the worst performer among the G10
currencies in a recession, losing an average 7 to 8 percent, the
JPMorgan drew on research of currency performance over the last five
recessions. While the yen historically had less impressive performance
than the other three key hedges, this time around its real effective
exchange rate -- a measure that adjusts for relative inflation and
trade flows -- is 23 percent below its 40-year average. Ahead of the
last three recessions, it was 8 percent overvalued, the bank
That means Japan’s currency should “form a central part of any
recessionary hedge,” the strategists wrote. JPMorgan forecasts the yen
to appreciate to 108 per dollar in September and 106 in December. It
was at 110.51 as of 6:06 p.m. in Tokyo.
The bank separately said the dollar should extend recent gains against
the euro after improved economic data from the 19-nation currency
“This week we increase our overall long position in European FX
through euro-dollar as European data surprises have now edged ahead of
the U.S. and could support another 1 to 2 percent rally in the
European bloc,” Meggyesi and his colleagues wrote.
Zimbabwe opposition chief eyes 'Obama effect' in historic poll @AFP @SusanNjanji
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and presidential hopeful Nelson
Chamisa believes he will ride a wave of youthful optimism to election
victory, emulating Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau.
In an interview with AFP, the 40-year-old Chamisa said Zimbabweans
were craving generational change in the landmark July 30 elections.
The vote will pitch him against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a
septuagenarian who was once a pillar of the Mugabe regime.
"People are connecting with young leadership," Chamisa declared.
"The world is moving... young people are taking charge, look at
France, look at Canada, look at New Zealand -- look at the United
States," he said.
Barack Obama became US president aged 47, Justin Trudeau became
Canadian prime minister at 43 while France's Emmanuel Macron became
president at just 39.
"Most of the young people out there are connecting with our message,
are connecting with my age -- they are connecting with the vision I'm
articulating," said Chamisa.
He will face off against 75-year-old Mnangagwa, whose ZANU-PF party --
which has ruled Zimbabwe since independence 38 years ago -- has sought
to portray Chamisa as a political novice.
"I'm happy that they are accusing me of being young, it's an offence
that I take," said Chamisa from behind an Apple laptop in his office
overlooking Harare's Africa Unity Square.
"Change is in the air -- it's almost everywhere," Chamisa said,
suggesting that Mugabe's exit from public life was "the beginning of
"People are very clear on their choices, they know that (Mnangagwa)
represents the past with myself representing the future," said Chamisa
who beamed confidently and wore a charcoal suit and a burgundy tie.
"There is no way Mnangagwa is going to beat us, he is going to be a
distant second -- we are ahead by miles."
But Chamisa and his MDC party face an uphill battle to win the
"Whereas in the past we have seen overt and flagrant violation of
human rights, what we are seeing is almost a subtle, subterranean
approach," he said.
Chamisa alleged that issues with the voter roll and ballot papers were
examples of "technical violence" and accused the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission of "manipulating the processes".
Multibillion-dollar Kenya city developers refuse to pay foreign investors @ft
A former Kenyan central bank governor and a prominent east African
businessman are embroiled in scandal after they defied a British court
order to pay $17m in damages to foreign investors over the development
of a multibillion-dollar city outside Nairobi.
The case highlights the legal and commercial challenges many foreign
investors encounter in east Africa’s dominant economy, analysts say.
The London Court of International Arbitration ruled this February that
Vimal Shah, chairman of consumer goods manufacturer Bidco Africa,
Nahashon Nyagah, former Central Bank of Kenya governor, and their
associates should pay $17m for damages, interest and costs to SCF
Holdings II after ruling they had defrauded the developer.
SCF Holdings II is a subsidiary of Rendeavour, which has projects
across Africa. It is the majority shareholder and developer of Tatu
City, a residential and industrial project 12km north-east of the
Mr Shah and Mr Nyagah did not challenge the settlement awarded by the
London court within the permitted 28 days — but failed to pay.
SCF Holdings II has now begun legal proceedings in Mauritius to
enforce the ruling. Manhattan Coffee Investment Holding (MCIH), Mr
Shah and Mr Nyagah’s holding company, is registered in the Indian
Ocean tax haven. In response, MCIH, which is also a shareholder in the
Tatu City development, has applied to the Mauritius courts to set
aside the London ruling.
Stephen Jennings, Rendeavour chief executive, said the legal battle
with the group’s Kenyan partners had delayed the Tatu City project by
three years and illustrated the “significant obstacles to doing
business” in Kenya.
“You’ve got to have the temperament and nerves to fight, because there
are extortionists who take advantage of some institutions to drag out
court cases,” said Mr Jennings, who founded Renaissance Capital, the
The case is centred around MCIH’s failure to pay a $20m deposit to the
sellers of some of the land on which Tatu City is being built, despite
repeatedly claiming it had.
The London court ruled that the “false misrepresentation” affected SCF
Holdings II’s investment strategy. In his 127-page written judgment
the arbitrator described part of Mr Shah’s testimony during the
hearing as “insufficiently consistent with the documentary evidence”.
Mr Shah said MCIH was refusing to comply with the award on the grounds
that it “was procured by Jennings’ dishonest evidence” and because of
“errors in the way the arbitrator handled the case”.
He did not explain why he had not challenged the arbitration ruling in
London, saying he could not “discuss our strategy in public”.
Mr Nyagah did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Mr Jennings rejected Mr Shah’s allegations, stressing that the Kenyan
businessman participated in two years of arbitration proceedings,
agreed to abide by the result and did not challenge it.
Kenya is often hailed as east Africa’s top investment destination as
it boasts the region’s most industrialised economy. But it is blighted
by weak rule of law and endemic corruption.
“Our companies largely get away with a lot of things,” said Samuel
Kimeu, executive director of Transparency International Kenya, a
non-governmental organisation that monitors graft. “Our law
enforcement agencies have not been firm on companies and their role in
Mr Jennings admitted he did not do sufficient due diligence on his
local partners before investing.
“They thought foreigners come here, they panic when things get tough
and they pay up. They thought we’d be like anyone else, panic and pay
up,” he said of his Kenyan partners. “We’ve fought them instead and
they didn’t expect that. “
In spite of persistent challenges, Mr Jennings added that Kenya’s
business environment had “improved dramatically” in recent years,
helped by the digitisation of many services, and that the “market
share of the clean people is going up gradually”.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose family has vast business interests,
recently launched an anti-corruption drive following the exposure of
several government scandals.
Bob Godec, the US ambassador, to Kenya, said this week that corruption
“is a cancer killing this country and the theft needs to end”.
However, Mr Kimeu said Kenyans would not take the president seriously
until people close to him were punished. “Until we’re able to stop
such people, it’s hard to see how we can make progress as a country,”
7 things to see in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya
If you think about places to visit in Kenya, make sure to include
Tsavo West National park on your list. Tsavo West and Tsavo East
National Parks together form one of the largest national parks in the
world, covering 4% of Kenya's total land area. It’s about the same
size as Jamaica, Michigan, Wales or Israel. The park is named after
the Tsavo River that flows from west to east. For administrative
purposes, it has been divided into Tsavo East and West with a division
line going by the Nairobi to Mombasa road. Tsavo West is 9000 km2 in
size, characterized by a rugged arid landscape. It ranges from
200-1000 metres in altitude. This park is marked with a number of
rocky outcrops and volcanic hills. It’s lesser known due to its large
size and a smaller concentration of wildlife compared with other
parks. A great advantage of Tsavo West National Park is more than
2,000 kilometres of well-maintained roads.
CEO of Kenya's @ARMCement1 denies report of concealed debts @ReutersAfrica
Kenya’s ARM Cement on Monday denied a report in the Business Daily
newspaper that said it had concealed debts.
The newspaper quoted a report by ARM’s auditor Deloitte, saying debts
had been accumulated by the company’s subsidiaries.
“This is absolute rubbish,” Pradeep Paunrana, ARM’s chief executive,
told Reuters. He said he would comment further on the report later in
Deloitte declined to comment, citing client confidentiality.
Shares in the cement maker were down more than 5 percent at 3.70
shillings by 0813 GMT.
ARM has seen its market share plunge after a clinker plant it built in
Tanzania in 2014 failed to generate income.
The news that Boris Johnson the UK Foreign Minister had bailed sent
Sterling down a full cent before it started a gradual recovery to
trade at 1.3243 Last.
On balance, I believe Theresa May has delivered a ''Put Up or Shut
If the Merry Band of Brexiteers topple her then they are opening the
door of No.10 wide for Jeremy Corbyn. Therefore, I expect that their
bluff has been called. Sterling is a Buy.
The Turkish lira fell 3.8 percent to 4.7488 per dollar, extending one
of the biggest slides across emerging markets this year on the news
that Erdogan has named is Son-in-Law as Economy Chief
Ethiopian Dollar bonds rose to a ten week high after the Love-In we
all witnessed in Asmara between PM Abiy Ahmed and the previously very
dour President Isiais Afawerki.
It was indeed a pleasure to meet with and interview President Alain
Berset President of the Swiss Confederation.
He is a mercurial, erudite and charming President.
Switzerland of course announced a significant development in the Fight
I also learnt that Switzerland has signalled $7b worth of suspect
transactions in the matter of 1MDB and the now incarcerated former
Prime Minister of Malaysia Najjib Razzak.
The Equity market firmed a little.
Volume remained sub par at 515.287m
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services
Safaricom closed unchanged at 29.00 and traded 5.693m shares worth
165.861m. Buyers outpace Sellers signalling its very firm underfoot.
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment
KCB Group rallied +2.631% to close at 48.75 [marking a +4.838% two day
upwards thrust] and closing at a 3 and 1/2 week high. KCB traded
3.916m shares worth 191.871m.
Equity Group firmed +0.515% to close at 48.75 and traded 1.732m shares.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied
ARM Cement has witnessed a dramatic 48 hours. ARM Cement on Monday
denied a report in the Business Daily newspaper that said it had
concealed debts. The newspaper quoted a report by ARM’s auditor
Deloitte, saying debts had been accumulated by the company’s
subsidiaries. Deloitte Kenya pointed at a Sh21bn debt cover-up. “This
is absolute rubbish,” Pradeep Paunrana, ARM’s chief executive, told
Reuters. He said he would comment further on the report later in the
day. Deloitte declined to comment, citing client confidentiality.
Today Business Daily is reporting that ARM has skipped an interest
payment “The company (ARM) did not pay interest that was due on June
6 and we are in the dark,” said one of the bondholders who did not
wish to be named. ARM traded all over the place today. Early in the
session it traded limit down at 3.25 [-9.72%] before turning around
and closing out the session trading at session high of 3.90 +8.33%.
The closing price was 3.40 -5.56%. ARM remains -73.84% in 2018 but
+33.33% above its multi-year closing low of 2.55 reached earlier in
Athi-River Mining Ltd.share price data here
KenGen eased -1.42% to close at 6.95 and traded 63,300 shares. Its
oversold its overdue a bounce but someone has been trying to shake out
supply down here with little luck.