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Prompt Board Next day settlement
Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
05-FEB-2018 :: [The End of] Halcyon Days @TheStarKenya
Wikipedia has an article on: halcyon days and it reads thus,
From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her
husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea
whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds
(kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves
threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them
calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These
became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Today,
the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for
being happy and/or successfuL
12-SEP-2016 :: Mirrors on the ceiling, The pink champagne on ice
If volatility spikes, positions are going to be reduced en masse. Or
to put it another way and to borrow the lyrics from the Eagles Hotel
Mirrors on the ceiling, The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device” Last
thing I remember, I was Running for the door
I had to find the passage back To the place I was before
“Relax,” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can
check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! “
What is clear is that we are at the fag-end of this party.
Law & Politics
“They (the investigators) are sure they (the suspects) are Russian,”
said the source, adding security camera images had been cross checked
with records of people who entered the country.
05-DEC-2016:: "We have a deviate, Tomahawk."
Law & Politics
However, my starting point is the election of President Donald Trump
because hindsight will surely show that Russia ran a seriously
sophisticated programme of interference, mostly digital.
Don DeLillo, who is a prophetic 21st writer, writes as follows in one
of his short stories:
The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice
breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable
He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm
officers at Colorado Command:
“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”
“We copy. There’s a voice.”
“We have gross oscillation here.”
“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m not sure
“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”
“Thank you, Colorado.”
“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on the
“It was a voice,” I told them.
“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We will
correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”
The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of
repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest
“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60
“The president’s comments may skew the committee in a hawkish
direction,” Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase &
Co., wrote in a note to clients following Trump’s criticism of the
central bank in an interview on CNBC. “If a decision is a close call,
then the appearance of kowtowing to the president may bias them toward
No End in Sight for Commodity Crash With Charts Sending Bear Signals @business
The Bloomberg Commodity Index has tumbled about 10 percent from a high
in May amid mounting concerns that a trade war could derail global
growth, curbing demand for everything from aluminum to soybeans. Even
gold, a traditional haven asset, failed to catch a bid as the dollar
strengthened and the Federal Reserve signaled more increases in
borrowing costs this year, curbing the investment appeal of the
Copper, often viewed as a barometer of global economic growth, saw its
14-day relative strength index fall on July 2 below 30, considered by
traders who study charts as a sign an asset is poised for a rebound.
That hasn’t happened, with the metal losing about 9 percent this
month. The so-called RSI reached 19.6 on July 11, the lowest since
2015, and has remained below 30 in each trading day this month.
The energy sector remains a bright spot for commodities, as crude oil prices move higher @business
Crude oil isn’t alone. Efforts to clear the air in China may brighten
the outlook for high-grade iron ore. The raw material may spike to
$100 a metric ton as China intensifies a clampdown on pollution by
restraining industrial activity, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd.
After sinking in March, top-quality ore with 65 percent iron content
gained every month, trading above $91 a ton this week, and keeping it
in positive territory this year even as global trade frictions
mounted, according to Mysteel.com.
PLOT TWIST --->>> Chinese 'zombies' feast on new Silk Road projects to ease layoff fears @asiatimesonline
They survive on a drip-feed of state subsidies and can suck the
lifeblood out of a bloated workforce. Zombie companies live in the
twilight world of China’s corporate jungle.
With heartbeats that can barely be detected, most of them lurk in the
shadows of the sprawling state-owned enterprise sector, which employs
more than 20 million people, and is the largest in the world.
Last year, a report compiled by the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development, or OECD, showed there were 51,000 SOEs
in China valued at US$29.2 trillion. To put that into perspective, at
the end of 2017 the country’s corporate debt was 159% of gross
Tackling the problem has become a priority for Beijing, starting with
the army of corporate zombies or companies which fail to generate
enough revenue to repay their debts and are kept alive by state-backed
funding. So far, nearly 1,200 SOEs have been shut down.
“We [have] reduced a lot of ‘zombie enterprises’,” Xiao Yaqing, the
chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration
Commission, told the media at the World Economic Forum in Davos
earlier this year. “Now, the management efficiency of the companies
[has been] significantly improved.”
Global management consultancy McKinsey reported that between 2007 and
2014, state and private companies went from owing $3.4 trillion to
$12.5 trillion, which was the fastest rise in debt by a sovereign
nation in modern times.
Rosling Snr saw the locus of world trade shifting from the Atlantic
and the Pacific to the Indian Ocean as first Asia and then Africa
escaped from poverty. His top investment tip — made only half-jokingly
— was beachfront property in Somalia.
Why are Gulf states rushing to gain a foothold in the Horn of Africa? @MiddleEastEye
The Horn of Africa might be most infamous for the pirates that lurk
along its coastline, capturing oil tankers and holding their crews to
ransom. Yet the region is rapidly assuming global political
significance, its internal tensions both fuelling and exacerbating a
race among foreign powers to gain influence.
Observers worry that this modern-day scramble for Africa could have
dangerous consequences not only for the region, but for other key
powers, from the Middle East to the US.
According to a new report from South Africa’s Institute for Security
Studies (ISS), Somalia is being increasingly battered not only by the
threat of pirates and the extremist group al-Shabab, but also by the
growing menace of meddling from Middle Eastern actors - notably from
If Somalia is to withstand so much added pressure, the ISS says, it
must focus on achieving internal unification, or run the risk of
losing out on any benefits of new investments and other activities.
It's a tall order for many states, but especially for one like
Indeed, in a process that has remained largely under the radar until
recently, Somalia has now emerged as a proxy battleground for the UAE
and Qatar. The two countries have been sworn enemies since Abu Dhabi
boycotted Doha last year, and now they are both pumping money into
Somalia, but backing opposing sides. Qatar has supported the Somali
government with nearly $400m of aid, while its ally, Turkey, has
opened a $50m military base with Mogadishu’s blessing.
In response, the UAE has thrown its weight behind the would-be
secessionists of Somaliland, establishing its own military facility as
part of a $400m joint venture in the port city of Berbera, despite
vehement protests from Somali ministers. A similar squabble is taking
place in Eritrea, but in reverse; the UAE supports the official
government and established another base, while Qatar is accused of
supporting opposition radicals.
Not surprisingly, the intra-Gulf dispute has had major consequences
for nations in the region, notably Djibouti, which has been forced to
relinquish some of its longstanding alliances and look elsewhere for
investment. Earlier this year, Djibouti’s authoritarian president,
Ismael Omar Guelleh, thwarted Dubai’s DP World by nationalising the
Doraleh Container Terminal.
The likely benefactor is China, which holds 91 percent of Djibouti’s
debt and recently opened its first overseas military base in the
country. The development is uncomfortable not only for the UAE, but
also for the US, which runs Camp Lemonnier - its only military
installation in Africa - a few miles away. According to General Thomas
Waldhauser, the commander of US forces in Africa, China could
potentially restrict Camp Lemonnier’s ability to access key supplies
and the US Navy’s efforts to refuel in Djibouti.
Why are all these states rushing to gain a foothold in the area?
Location, for one, provides a clue. The Horn sits at the bottom of the
Red Sea, a key artery of international commerce. When the sea gets to
Djibouti, it funnels into the Bab al-Mandeb choke point, which
Alexander Rondos, the EU’s special representative for the Horn, has
described as “the jugular vein of trade” between East and West. Around
four percent of all global oil trade passes through here, so it pays
for major trading nations to secure a prime vantage point.
There’s also plenty of oil buried beneath the Horn itself. Somalia is
renowned for its untapped reserves, particularly in the
semi-autonomous region of Puntland, which, like Somaliland, has
benefited from significant UAE investment.
Ethiopia has just begun its own crude oil extraction and is also
thought to be sitting on huge reserves of gold, like Djibouti. With
vast infrastructure projects taking shape, such as the Grand
Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, international powers have every reason to
try to deepen their engagement in the region.
With vast infrastructure projects taking shape, such as the Grand
Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, international powers have every reason to
try to deepen their engagement in the region Despite these advantages,
however, the Horn remains a political powder keg, locked in a state of
permanent unrest due to its patchwork of ethnic groups and the
migratory shifts driven by famine and population growth.
The Horn has witnessed nine major internal or external conflicts in
the last 30 years, creating a political vacuum that has helped nurture
groups such as al-Shabab.
The picture is further darkened by the civil war in neighbouring
Yemen, a proxy for the regional power struggle between the two most
powerful Arab states, Saudi Arabia and Iran - a struggle that places
the UAE and Qatar on opposite sides.
The question now is whether Somalia will continue recent efforts to
bridge internal divides in its own government and unite against
attempts to turn it into a proxy state - or succumb to its already
#HowAfricaTweets 2018 @PortlandAfrica
Our study is the first to identify and analyse who is shaping African
Twitter conversations during elections over the past year.
The study found that 53 per cent of the leading voices on Twitter
around ten elections on the continent during the past year came from
outside the country in which the elections were contested.
Bots, and accounts displaying machine-like behaviour, were active
across all elections, particularly in Kenya, where they accounted for
a quarter of all influential accounts.
Therefore, influencing narratives now also requires “getting inside
the loop” – going to where people are, rather than relying on them
coming to you.
Senegal was one of the only countries where local influencers
dominated election discussions, comprising almost 72 per cent of
handles tweeting on the election.
The Liberian election was the only election in which the host country
did not even rank in the top ten most popular locations of
Instead, influencers from the US, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya
drove the debate. A similar story was found when analysing the leading
media accounts, with almost 98 per cent based in neighbouring
countries, Europe or the US.
Somaliland Over 98 per cent of journalists and news organisations
identi ed as in uencers were observed to be based outside the country.
This was among the highest score recorded across the African elections
Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopian border -Eritrean Press agency @ReutersAfrica
Eritrea has pulled troops back from its heavily militarised border
with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation”, the pro-government
Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page.
In another sign of change, the new Ethiopian central bank governor met
the business community and heads of major banks and listened to their
complaints for two hours while private TV cameras rolled and
journalists took notes.
“We are open to listen to the challenges of the business community
unlike in previous days,” said Yinager Dessie, who was appointed last
Business leaders said his predecessor was too conservative and sources
in Addis Ababa said he rarely met bank executives and businesspeople
and did not engage with institutions such as the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund.
Yinager pledged to meet the business community regularly and said two
main concerns they raised, scant access to credit and crippling
foreign exchange shortages, were government priorities.
Yinager said Ethiopian banks should provide better services and said
he told bank heads privately the average lending rate to 18 to 20
percent is “not fair” to average people.
Ethiopia could sell stakes in state-owned firms as part of reforms to
“unleash the potential of the private sector”, the information
minister told Reuters on Wednesday
China Battles France for Business in Former African Colonies
When Ivory Coast put out a tender to build a bridge over the lagoon in
its commercial hub of Abidjan, 10 out of the 18 companies that
expressed interest were either Chinese firms or in partnership with
them. China State Construction Engineering Corp. won the contract in
The 109 billion CFA francs ($191 million) deal highlighted China’s
growing muscle in a part of Africa that until recently its business
people showed little interest in: the French-speaking west. The area’s
fast-growing economies have seen a spectacular rise in loans from
China, with its companies competing with firms from France for big
“They used to think that the French controlled everything,” said
Dominique Banny, director of corporate and investment banking at
Stanbic Bank, a subsidiary of Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender
by assets. “Now, we see more and more Chinese companies scouting for
projects in French-speaking Africa, with delegations arriving every
Loans from China to Ivory Coast surged in the first five years of this
decade 1,400 percent to a total of $2.5 billion and 1,268 percent to
Senegal reaching almost $1.4 billion, according to data compiled by
the China Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University
in Washington D.C., in 2015, the most recent year for which data is
While Chinese companies are also working in former French colonies
such as Mali, Niger and Togo, their main focus in the region now is
Ivory Coast. It initially missed out on China’s investment boom in
Africa because of a violent political conflict that ended in 2011.
Now, it’s catching up as the government focuses on infrastructure and
energy projects to boost a $40 billion economy that’s expanded an
average 8 percent per year since 2012.
And as the Chinese come, West African officials and engineers are
doing their homework. They’ve followed the experience of big-ticket
investment destinations such as Angola, where Chinese companies have
been criticized for using their own workers and supplies almost
exclusively to complete projects and providing little opportunity for
local employment and businesses.
When Ivory Coast awarded a $580 million contract for one of President
Alassane Ouattara’s flagship projects and its first hydropower dam in
decades to China’s state-run Sinohydro Corp., the authorities set
conditions: the working language was to be French, only 20 percent of
the workforce could be Chinese and building material such as cement
had to be purchased locally.
“We made sure we made our demands clear from the start,” Maxime Balet,
the 42-year-old project head at the Soubre dam, said as he stood near
the towering trash rake that removes water hyacinths. “We went to see
similar projects in Africa to collect information about the way
Chinese companies work and on the issues that could arise.”
There have been difficult moments. Ivorian engineers had to sometimes
interpret gestures and facial expressions to figure out what their
Chinese counterparts were saying, Balet said. Even today, the Chinese
and Ivorian employees have separate canteens, and after sunset it’s
rare for a Chinese worker to be seen in the neon-lit bar on the staff
Completed ahead of schedule, the Soubre dam is a huge source of pride
for the engineers who are preparing to take over operations from the
handful of Chinese still at the site. The 4-kilometer (2.5 mile) dam,
the country’s largest, has added 275 megawatts to the national power
grid and will cement Ivory Coast’s rank as the region’s main
electricity exporter. The Export-Import Bank of China provided 85
percent of the funding, with the Ivorian state contributing the rest.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for us to learn new skills in
different areas, from geology to hydraulics,” Balet said.
The deepening involvement in Ivory Coast and the rest of the region
marks a key step in China’s expanding footprint in the continent that
ranges from offering scholarships to African academics to contributing
Chinese peacekeepers to United Nations missions in South Sudan and
Africa is also part of the “Belt and Road Initiative” that calls for
half a trillion dollars in investment in infrastructure along trade
routes to China, which is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s
largest economy before 2030.
“It’s the first project for us in Ivory Coast,” said Sinohydro’s
deputy executive director on the project, Wang Xianping, through a
Chinese interpreter. “We tried to get familiar with the country from
the project. We hope we can take on more projects but it depends on
some things, including funding.” Work on a smaller, second dam nearby
has already started, even though the formal contract hasn’t been
signed yet. At least two more dams may follow.
For now, France is still Ivory Coast’s biggest trading partner. After
coming to power in 2011, Ouattara’s government asked privately held
French giant Bouygues SA to build a much-delayed $300-million toll
bridge spanning the Abidjan lagoon, a prestige project meant to
modernize the city.
Yet, since then, Chinese companies have obtained contracts to build
soccer stadiums, a port expansion, drinking water facility and a
coastal highway between Abidjan and the resort town Grand Bassam.
That’s in addition to the deal for the new bridge across the lagoon.
No French company even made the shortlist.
The Chinese are challenging French domination in other areas as well.
Privately held, Beijing-based StarTimes launched a pay-TV service that
ended the near-monopoly of Canal+, a unit of French conglomerate
Vivendi, two years ago. It has since signed up 100,000 subscribers and
prompted Canal+ to cut the cost of its decoder by a third.
In recent years, Chinese entrepreneurs have almost taken over a
Lebanese monopoly on the floor-tile business and opened dozens of
shops, said Philippe Liu, 52, who was among the first Chinese to
arrive 22 years ago and served in the Chamber of Commerce of Chinese
Enterprises in Ivory Coast.
“There’s a need for all kinds of products here and we work very hard,
and we think that if you work harder than others you can make money,”
Liu, wearing a tailor-made African-print shirt, said in fluent French.
There’s no official data on the number of Chinese living in the
country, Liu said.
“Most Chinese aren’t in touch with the embassy,” he said. “We don’t
want to bother them. We’re working for ourselves.”
It’s a similar story in Senegal, where the economy grew 7.2 percent
last year. China’s CGC Overseas Construction Group is building an
industrial park in a brand-new city outside the capital, Dakar, and
China Railway Construction is set to renovate its railroads. Other
Chinese-led projects include the construction of a new Foreign Affairs
Ministry and the rehabilitation of an ageing dam in the southern
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay his first-ever visit to Senegal
on Saturday to inaugurate a museum of black civilization. Like the
Soubre dam in Ivory Coast, the idea for the museum dates back to the
1960s, but it wasn’t built until China provided the funds.
“The way of thinking of African leaders changed considerably after
they saw they could access a range of services, including financial
services, that weren’t available previously and gave them the freedom
to set their own terms,” said Thierry Pairault, a senior China analyst
at the Paris-based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences.
“They’re seeing that they can shape a narrative that isn’t linked to
colonial history, and this is constantly reinforced by what China
Court halts new taxes on mobile money, kerosene via @BD_Africa
The High Court has suspended the implementation of new taxes imposed
under the Finance Bill 2018, including those on mobile money and
Justice Wilfrida Okwany issued the directive saying there will be no
practical way of compensating Kenyan taxpayers who would have already
been affected by the implementation of the new taxes.
"I am satisfied that from the material placed before me, the
petitioner has made out a prima facie case with a likelihood of
success and I find that it is necessary to grant conservatory orders
to preserve the subject matter of the suit while awaiting final
determination of the constitutionality of the Finance Bill 2018,"
ruled Justice Okwany.
The judge issued the directive in a case in which activist Okiya
Omtatah challenged the implementation of the new tax measures under
the Finance Bill.
Mr Omtatah had argued that the implementation of the measures is
unlawful since the matter was only proposed by National Treasury
Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich during his budget presentation speech.
The activist claimed the tax proposals must be discussed in Parliament
and then assented by the President before implementation comes into
Justice Okwany at the same time suspended the implementation of new
"Robin Hood" tax on bank transfers, which imposes 0.05 per cent excise
duty on transactions worth Sh500,000 and above.
She pointed out that the Kenya Bankers Association, who had challenged
the matter, raised the issue of ambiguity in the law, hence requiring
the attention of the Attorney-General and the Kenya Revenue Authority
The judge said that as it is, the law has been left subject to the
interpretation of those who are supposed to implement it.
Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019
Alphabet Inc’s Loon said on Thursday it would deploy its system of
balloons to beam high-speed Internet access with Telkom Kenya from
next year to cover rural and suburban populations, marking its first
commercial deal in Africa.
Known as Project Loon, the technology was developed by Alphabet’s X,
the company’s innovation lab. It has since become Loon, a subsidiary
of Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google.
The technology was used by U.S. telecom operators to provide
connectivity to more than 250,000 people in Puerto Rico after a
hurricane last year. Kenya hopes the technology can help achieve full
Internet coverage of its population.
“Loon’s mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and
integrating audacious technologies,” said Alastair Westgarth, the
chief executive of Loon.
Telkom Kenya is the third biggest operator in the country behind
market leader Safaricom and Bharti Airtel’s Kenyan unit.
“We will work very hard with Loon, to deliver the first commercial
mobile service, as quickly as possible, using Loon’s balloon-powered
Internet in Africa,” said Aldo Mareuse, the chief executive of Telkom.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.