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Monday 02nd of July 2018
 
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Macro Thoughts

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Did a lot of suckers get taken for a ride in bitcoin? Sure. @JamesGRickards
Africa


Did a lot of suckers get taken for a ride in bitcoin? Sure. But, the
bigger story is how the entire bubble was a fraud that used tether to
manipulate bitcoin prices. Here's the evidence in a 66-page academic
study with data and flow charts:

read more













Word of the day: "thalassophile" - a lover of the sea; someone who is powerfully drawn to & by the ocean @RobGMacfarlane
Africa


Word of the day: "thalassophile" - a lover of the sea; someone who is
powerfully drawn to & by the ocean.  From the Ancient Greek θάλασσα
(thálassa, “sea”), and φίλος (phílos, “dear, beloved”).

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US now pushing zero tolerance i.e. no waivers on cessation of Iran oil purchases by EU/ROK/Japan/India/China. It's showtime for Iran regime change IMO @chinahand
Law & Politics


US now pushing zero tolerance i.e. no waivers on cessation of Iran oil
purchases by EU/ROK/Japan/India/China.  China only holdout AFAICT.
Signal from Trump he wants Iran crushed in next few months.  It's
showtime for Iran regime change IMO.

read more


Democrats badly underestimated Trump @CNN
Law & Politics


The last two weeks have been another a loud wake-up call for Democrats
who have railed against President Donald Trump but who thought that
this reality star commander-in-chief was so incompetent, corrupt and
self-centered that it was only a matter of time before he went away.
In their view, the President who surrounded himself with third-rate
advisers and who had no legislative skills to speak of would be
hampered in how much damage that he could inflict before his term
ended.
It's looking very different right now.
The minute that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he was
retiring, every Democrat who has been paying attention to the Court
realized the implications. With the evangelical right cheering him on,
President Trump now has the opportunity to push through a giddy
Republican Senate a judicial nominee who will dramatically swing the
majority of the Supreme Court much further to the right.
Although he was pressured into backing down from his draconian policy
of separating children from their parents at the border, Trump sent
his message loud and clear. He is willing to go as far as he thinks is
necessary to fight for stringent border policies. He is willing to
inflict psychological damage on kids and subject border crossers to
the toughest security measures possible until he convinces Congress to
build the physical wall that he has been promising.
Trump is also demonstrating that the power of the President to tear
things down is immense, especially if that President is not
particularly interested in putting something different in its place.
Interestingly enough, the real estate developer President has not
turned out to be much of a builder. He prefers to take things apart
and then walk away from the rubble without looking back.

read more


@Underground_RT with @afshinrattansi Seymour (Sy) Hersh Special
Law & Politics


The Irony and be careful about what you wish for ~ Matters
@NajibRazak @facebook ‘’fake news’’

https://twitter.com/alykhansatchu/status/1013008706932494336

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Brexit is like being told that actually you don't have a terminal illness after all @creamywillbrie
International Trade


Brexit is like being told that actually you don’t have a terminal
illness after all, but you’ve already booked the tickets to Dignitas
and you don’t want to make a fuss.

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Merkel's interior minister Horst Seehofer offers to resign, issues German chancellor w/ another ultimatum on immigration in a blow to German coalition @Schuldensuehner
International Trade


Good morning from #Germany where Merkel showdown goes into extra time.
Merkel’s interior minister Horst Seehofer offers to resign, issues
German chancellor w/ another ultimatum on immigration in a blow to
German coalition.

read more


Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1644
Dollar Index 94.74
Japan Yen 110.75
Swiss Franc 0.9927
Pound 1.3166
Aussie 0.7371
India Rupee 68.645
South Korea Won 1119.26
Brazil Real 3.8771
Egypt Pound 17.8867
South Africa Rand 13.7925

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Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference...Prices to high! He has agreed! @realDonaldTrump
Commodities


Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that,
because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am
asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to
2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference...Prices to high! He has
agreed!

read more






#Russia Ruble suffered worst performance in H1 2018 among its 11 ex-Soviet peers for the first time in half a decade @Schuldensuehner
Emerging Markets


#Russia Ruble suffered worst performance in H1 2018 among its 11
ex-Soviet peers for the first time in half a decade. After the toll
taken by sanctions, currency down >8% against dollar in 2018, more
than double the loss of any other currency in the group.

Frontier Markets

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02-JUL-2018 :: Ethiopia Rising. @TheStarKenya
Africa


Abiy Ahmed Ali (Amharic: አብይ አህመድ አሊ, Oromo: Abiyyi Ahimad Alii; born
15 August 1976) was appointed the 12th Prime Minister of Ethiopia on 2
April 2018. He grew up in a Muslim family (Ahmed Ali, his Oromo
father; Tezeta Wolde, his mother) and with Oromo Muslim and Christian
grandparents. He is evidently a Virilian and Gladwellian Figure.

“To create one contagious movement, you often have to create many
small movements first.”

“Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable,
implacable place. It is not, With the slightest push — in just the
right place — it can be tipped.” — Malcolm Gladwell

He has been Prime Minster for 90 days. During those 90 days, he has
criss crossed the Country, he has ended a State of Emergency, released
thousands of Political Prisoners, thawed relations with Eritrea [29
Mar 2018 H.E. Abiy Ahmed @PM_AbiyAhmed - It is time. Lets build a wall
of love between #Ethiopia & #Eritrea], bagged a $1b from the U.A.E.'s
MBZ, announced a dramatic economic about-turn and thats not the end of
it. In Matters language and linguistics he has tapped into a ''Nelson
Mandela'' 1994 mood. These 90 or so days represent the most
consequential arrival of an African Politician on the African Stage
since Mandela walked out of prison blinking in the sunlight and
constructed his ''Rainbow Nation''

I was watching the France Argentina Game and the arrival of Kylian
Mbappe on the World Stage at the tender age of 19. I recalled watching
the Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi order on a night of a full moon
in Konya, Turkey. And i thought to myself what do they all have in
common with Abiy Ahmed. Its all about Speed and Velocity. Paul Virilio
terms it  'dromology', which he defined as the "science (or logic) of
speed“.  He notes that the speed at which something happens may change
its essential nature, and that which moves with speed quickly comes to
dominate that which is slower.

'Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory
is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a
matter of movement and circulation.'

Virilio argues that the traditional feudal fortified city disappeared
because of the increasing sophistication of weapons and possibilities
for warfare. For Virilio, the concept of siege warfare became rather a
war of movement.

Abiy Ahmed has moved at lightning speed, the Old Guard is like ''the
traditional feudal fortified city''

He said on 19 JUN 18 "The ppl of Tigray are still begging for a drop
of water; TPLF [the party[ is not the people of Tigray"

On the same day he said, "we are in debt, we have to pay back but we
can't. And secondarily, we aren't able to finish projects we have
started." and announced his economic Pivot. Of course, the downside
risk of all this infrastructure is plain to see and Sri Lanka and the
Tale of its Hambantota Port is now a cautionary Tale. FX reserves were
at less than a month's worth of imports and something needed to be
done. Expectations are high. The Prime Minister needs to execute real
quick on the economic front but if he levels the playing Field, a
whole Troop of folks will be looking to pile in. That Troop will
include the Ethiopian Diaspora, Foreign Investors and i am sure our
very own Safaricom who must have already presented the Prime minister
with a copy of the MIT research on M-Pesa which confirmed access to
mobile-money services increased daily per capita consumption levels of
two percent of Kenyan households, lifting them out of extreme poverty.

Abiy Ahmed's first 90 days have been as remarkable as the less than 90
minutes of France's Mbappe's performance on Saturday.

read more


Eritrea replies to Ethiopia's olive branch with envoys to Addis @FT @johnaglionby
Africa


When Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, accompanied by Olympic
athletes and pop stars, personally welcomed an Eritrean delegation at
Addis Ababa’s international airport last week it showed how much he
felt was at stake.

The group including Osman Saleh, Eritrea’s foreign minister, and
Yemane Gebreab, one of President Isaias Afewerki’s closest advisers,
were leading the country’s first political representation to Ethiopia
in more than two decades.

The neighbours have been in an state of “no war, no peace” since the
end of a two-year war in 2000 that left tens of thousands of people
dead and the border between them in dispute. But last week’s
delegation from Eritrea, one of the world’s most reclusive and
repressive regimes, was a response to Mr Abiy’s unexpected overture to
end the conflict.

“Our desire is to love rather than hate,” Mr Abiy said at a state
dinner he hosted during the envoys’ visit. “What we miss is to hug our
brothers in Asmara. If we are in love then the other things are minor.
And if we do that, we might not need a border.”

He also promised to resume Ethiopian Airlines flights from Addis Ababa
to Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, after a 20-year hiatus.

Mr Osman responded equally effusively. “Today is a day of joy because
two identical peoples and two generations have been separated
throughout that period,” he said. “But through struggles, we have
opened the door of peace.”

Rashid Abdi, the Horn of Africa director for the International Crisis
Group, a Brussels-based think-tank, said Mr Abiy’s decision to open up
Ethiopia’s authoritarian system of government could well be resonating
with the Eritrean dictator: “If you see the rise of a dynamic young
leader changing the region, that sends jitters through a regime like
the one in Asmara,” he said. “The impact of Abiy’s positive reforms
could have repercussions for Isaias.”

“And Eritrea is not a country that has a reputation for making quick
deals. They’re very cautious.”

But Mr Hallelujah said the Ethiopian prime minister was likely to
leverage “Abiymania”, the mass popular support he has generated for
his reform programme, to his advantage.

“Unless something disastrous happens, I think the strengthening of
ties will continue and this will redraw the geopolitical map of the
region,” he said.

read more


The Assassination Attempt Against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy @GRTVnews @AKorybko
Africa


A grenade went off shortly after Prime Minister Abiy was done
addressing a huge crowd of supporters in central Addis Ababa, killing
at least two people and injuring dozens. The country’s leader sharply
condemned the attack and vowed that the perpetrators won’t succeed in
destabilizing Africa’s second-most populous state and its
fastest-growing economy.  It’s not yet known exactly what forces are
responsible for what happened, but an educated inference would suggest
that they’re political radicals fiercely opposed to Prime Minister
Abiy’s whirlwind reforms of the past couple of months.

Since assuming office in late March, the premier has done his utmost
to calm tensions between the Oromo ethnic group that he’s a part of
and the rest of their Ethiopian compatriots, thereby miraculously
offsetting what had seemed to many observers to be an inevitable
descent into an intensified civil conflict. Some of the signals that
Prime Minister Abiy has sent, such as continuing to release what had
officially been termed as “terrorist suspects” but internationally
regarded by some as “political prisoners”, hint that he might be
contemplating the actual “decentralization” of the nominal federation
in order to give the country’s ethnically based administrative regions
broader political rights.

This in and of itself is thought to threaten the presumably
disproportionate influence that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front
(TPLF) wields over the rest of Ethiopia through its crucial political
role in the post-civil war governing coalition of the Ethiopian
People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the heavy sway
that it holds over the security services. With this in mind, Prime
Minister Abiy’s surprise announcement earlier this month that Ethiopia
will abide by a 2002 international court ruling and withdraw from the
disputed town of Badme in the Tigray Region that was at the center of
the 1998-2000 war with Eritrea must have certainly incensed some
members of this “deep state” faction.

So as not to be misunderstood, all of the aforementioned is purely
circumstantial, but when considering that Prime Minister Abiy’s
policies challenge the entrenched interests of the TPLF, it’s natural
to wonder whether a few of its most radical affiliates might have
“gone rogue” and wanted to send him a message just like the
institutional enemies of his fellow socio-political revolutionary
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman might have tried to do during
the confusing events of late April that some people interpreted as a
failed coup attempt. Whether in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, or even the
US, visionary leaders appear to be under attack by their “deep state”
foes, with the prevalence of high-level but largely unseen intra-state
conflicts forming an inextricable part of the New Cold War.

read more



Putting on the brakes
Africa


The government is taking steps to curb the ballooning debt, but will
they be enough to make an IMF programme possible?

The goal is to bring the risk of 'debt distress' from 'high' to
'moderate'. Even this modest target will probably elude Finance
Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe because the government's spending habits
have become so ingrained, insiders in Lusaka say. Mwanakatwe announced
a series of measures on 14 June designed to staunch haemorrhaging
public finances. They include commitments to 'indefinitely postpone'
all borrowing in the pipeline, cancel some of the more than US$5
billion in contracted loans yet to be disbursed, stop issuing state
guarantees to bankrupt parastatals, and curb waste. The aim is to
restore relations with the International Monetary Fund and investor
confidence. Talks with the IMF over a US$1.3 billion bailout fell
apart last July over the government's refusal to abandon extravagant
borrowing. Mwanakatke tried and failed, Lusaka insiders say, to entice
an IMF delegation to Lusaka in the wake of her recent announcement.

read more





Kenya's economy expanded at a annualised rate of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of this year
Kenyan Economy


Kenya’s economy expanded at a annualised rate of 5.7 percent in the
first quarter of this year, compared with 4.8 percent in the same
period of last year, the statistics office said on Friday.

The agriculture sector expanded by 5.2 percent, compared to 1 percent
in the same period last year.

“The significant acceleration in growth was mainly attributable to
improved weather conditions and a boost in business and consumer
confidence after the conclusion of general elections in 2017,” the
statistics office said in a report.

read more


Grand corruption throughout society is being exposed on a scale Kenyans have never seen before - all, apparently, with the full support of President Uhuru Kenyatta. @Africa_Conf
Kenyan Economy


Grand corruption throughout society is being exposed on a scale
Kenyans have never seen before – all, apparently, with the full
support of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Such is the scale of the graft
problem that, regardless of ethnic or party affiliation, the country
is in uproar about it. Nevertheless, many believe that, as in the
past, there will be no punishment of the guilty even if showcase
arrests and trials of the guilty take place.

read more




The Kenya Shilling appreciated against the US Dollar by 2.1% in H1'2018 to close at Kshs 101.1 from Kshs 103.2 at the end of 2017.@CytonnInvest
Kenyan Economy


In our view, the shilling should remain relatively stable in the short
term, supported by,

The narrowing of the current account deficit which stood at 6.1% of
GDP as at March 2018 from 6.4% in December 2017,
Stronger inflows from principal exports which include coffee, tea and
horticulture which increased by 9.3% during the month of April to Kshs
21.9 bn from Kshs 20.0 bn in a similar period the previous year, with
the exports from coffee, and horticulture increasing by 6.7%, and
25.0% y/y, respectively, despite tea exports declining marginally by
1.6% y/y,
Improving diaspora remittances, which increased by 56.6% to USD 217.1
mn in April 2018 from USD 138.6 mn in April 2017 with the bulk
contribution coming from North America at USD 114.0 attributed to (a)
recovery of the global economy, (b) increased uptake of financial
products by the diaspora due to financial services firms, particularly
banks, targeting the diaspora, and (c) new partnerships between
international money remittance providers and local commercial banks
making the process more convenient

read more








@NSE_PLC commentary via @CytonnInvest
Kenyan Economy


After the bullish run experienced in the first quarter of 2018, where
the Kenyan equities market gained 10.6%, the second quarter recorded a
decline of 8.8%, bringing the first half gains for NASI, NSE 20 and
NSE 25 to 1.8%, (11.5%) and 2.4%, respectively. The decline in market
performance during Q2’2018 was as a result of declines in prices of
large cap bank stocks such as Equity Group Holdings, KCB Group, Coop
and Diamond Trust Bank, which declined by 14.4%, 11.9%, 10.7% and
9.1%, respectively. The declines were mainly in the banking sector
stocks, mainly due to various banks closing their books, for dividends
and counters beginning to trade ex-dividend. The result was that a
majority of foreign investors held net-selling positions, exiting the
market at expensive valuations, as the rally had brought the market
above its historical P/E average.

read more





 
 
N.S.E Today


Crude Oil prices hit the highest since December 2014, according to
futures traded on the NYMEX on Friday before correcting Monday after
this Tweet from President Trump
''Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that,
because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am
asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to
2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference...Prices to high! He has
agreed!''
The Kenyan economy  expanded at a annualised rate of 5.7 percent in
the first quarter of this year compared with 4.8 percent in the same
period of last year, the statistics office said on Friday.
The agriculture sector expanded by 5.2 percent, compared to 1 percent
in the same period last year.
“The significant acceleration in growth was mainly attributable to
improved weather conditions and a boost in business and consumer
confidence after the conclusion of general elections in 2017,” the
statistics office said in a report.
What I have observed is that if you wish to be an SSA Economist then
you need to also train as a Meteorologist because the Rains have an
outsize impact on well-being, economic diffusion and economic growth.
Kenyans start paying more for mobile money transfers, chocolates,
kerosene and bottled water as of today.
My View was expressed on 18-JUN-2018 and was the reverse I think the
Treasury should ''Cut taxes and cast the tax net wider''
The Kenya Shilling appreciated against the US Dollar by 2.1% in
H1’2018 to close at Kshs 101.1 from Kshs 103.2 at the end of
2017.@CytonnInvest
.@KenyaBankers has filed a suit seeking to suspend implementation of a
0.05 per cent excise duty on transactions above Sh500,000. The
bankers' lobby also claims the move is unconstitutional since it was
not subjected to public participation.
The ''Robin Hood'' Tax is a knife through the Heart of our wholesale
capital markets and the fact that it has been passed into Law is plain
alarming.
The increase in the excise duty is a knife through the heart of our
Jewel in the Crown the Mobile Money Economy.
If we were seeking a way to denude our Free market credentials - Look
no further.
The Nairobi Securities continued on its down draft which has seen the
All Share correct about 12% since striking an all time high early in
April.



N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services


Safaricom was the most actively traded share at the Exchange and eased
-1.69% to close at 29.00 and traded 9.571m shares worth 277.68m.
Safaricom trades on a Trailing PE Ratio of 21.01 and is +12.52% in
2018 on a total return basis, underpinning the Nairobi All Share and
outperforming that Index by 1,100 basis points YTD.



N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment


KCB Group eased -1.62% to close at 45.50 an 18 week Low. KCB traded
2.100m shares and on Friday the CEO was quoted by Bloomberg speaking
about the Ethiopia opportunity
“We are very much confident that between now and the next two years
we’ll have an opportunity,” Oigara said. “Our focus is clients
conducting business with Ethiopia from the Eastern Africa region.”

Barclays Bank rallied +2.183% to close at 11.70 and the Up Move was on
heavy-duty volume action of 7.794m shares worth 91.24m. Barclays Bank
has produced a +32.29% Total Return Year to Date.
Equity Group eased -0.54% to close at 46.00 an 18 week closing Low.
Equity traded 2.052m shares.



N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied


KenGen had 10 Buyers for every Seller and closed unchanged at 7.00 and
traded 311,600 shares.

Athi River Cement closed unchanged at 3.05 and traded 17.821m shares
worth 55.107m. ARM remains -76.53% in 2018 but interestingly was
trading at 3.35 +9.84% and at the Daily Limit at the Finale.

--



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