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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 09th of April 2019

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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site

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Will Africa's historic Free Trade Agreement succeed? African Continental Free Trade Agreement #AfCFTA @AJENews @AJInsideStory @MartineDennis

Presenter: Martine Dennis
Aly-Khan Satchu - CEO of Rich Management and an emerging markets economist
Stephen Yeboah - cofounder of Commodity Monitor
Olusegun Okubanjo - founder and managing partner of finance firm OBSIDIAN

Macro Thoughts

Home Thoughts

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isiolowire: Breathtaking aerial view of Ewaso Nyiro river cutting between Buffalo Springs and Samburu National Reserve.

Northern Kenya boasts one of the most beautiful landscapes found
anywhere in the world.

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Most downloaded app for Apple devices in the country, surpassing messaging app WeChat and viral media app TikTok, with state media claiming it has more than 100 million registered users. @Independent
Law & Politics

Study the Great Nation, which is a pun on Mr Xi’s name (Xuexi can be
read as “Study Xi”), was developed by technology giant Alibaba and
launched earlier this year.
“You cannot divert attention away from it," Haiqing Yu, an Australian
professor who studies Chinese media, told The New York Times.
“It’s a kind of digital surveillance. It brings the digital
dictatorship to a new level.”

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05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang
Law & Politics

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.

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China's Hard Edge: The Leader of Beijing's Muslim Crackdown Gains Influence @wsj
Law & Politics

“Chen Quanguo represents the hard edge of Xi’s authoritarian
management style,” says @dtbyler. “Xinjiang has become the ideal space
to experiment with technologies of control, which can then be adapted
for other purposes elsewhere.”

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1266
Dollar Index 96.99
Japan Yen 111.34
Swiss Franc 0.9985
Pound 1.3079
Aussie 0.7127
India Rupee 69.5315
South Korea Won 1143.25
Brazil Real 3.8496
Egypt Pound 17.3155
South Africa Rand 14.1176

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08-APR-2019 :: Saudi threatens to ditch the USD the "Grand Daddy" of all Geopolitical Red Lines

Last week, Reuters reported

Saudi Arabia threatens to ditch dollar oil trades to stop 'NOPEC' -
“The Saudis know they have the dollar as the nuclear option,” one of
the sources familiar with the matter said.
“The Saudis say: let the Americans pass NOPEC and it would be the U.S.
economy that would fall apart,” another source said.

[NOPEC, or the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, was first
introduced in 2000 and aims to remove sovereign immunity from U.S.
antitrust law, paving the way for OPEC states to be sued for curbing
output in a bid to raise oil prices]

In c21st Geopolitics, this is the ''Grand Daddy'' of all Geopolitical
Red Lines. And allow me to explain why. The Petro Dollar Economy was
symbolically born on February 14, 1945 when King  Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud
of Saudi Arabia met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the
USS Quincy in Great Bitter Lake, Egypt. The Saudi Kingdom would sell
its Oil for US dollars, recycle surpluses into US Treasuries [The
kingdom has nearly $1 trillion invested in the United States and holds
some $160 billion in U.S. Treasuries] and the US would lend its
legitimacy and protection to the Kingdom.

Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski said this

The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent
collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep
tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from
coming together

The c21st Oil Economy is a very big deal and Ryszard Kapuściński who
wrote as follows about the Oil and Petro Dollar Economy in Shah of

“Oil creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without
work, life for free. Oil is a resource that anaesthetises thought,
blurs vision, corrupts.”― Ryszard Kapuściński, Shah of Shahs

“Oil kindles extraordinary emotions and hopes, since oil is above all
a great temptation. It is the temptation of ease, wealth, strength,
fortune, power. It is a filthy, foul-smelling liquid that squirts
obligingly up into the air and falls back to earth as a rustling
shower of money.” ― Ryszard Kapuściński, Shah of Shahs

Therefore, in many respects whomsoever controls this Spigot because
this is real cash can control the World. Therefore one must also
accept that  access to oil "defined 20th-century empires and the
petrodollar agreement was the key to the ascendancy of the United
States as the world's sole superpower" The United States dollar
remains de facto world currency. Accordingly, almost all oil sales
throughout the world are denominated in United States dollars
(USD).[2] Because most countries rely on oil imports, they are forced
to maintain large stockpiles of dollars in order to continue imports.
This creates a consistent demand for USDs. America’s war machine runs
on, is funded by, and exists in protection of oil. Threats by any
nation to undermine the petrodollar system are viewed by Washington as
tantamount to a declaration of war against the  United States of

There has existed no greater Geopolitical Red Line in the American Century.

It is typically a very bad idea to pronounce the ditching of the
PetroDollar in public. And to have your ''Vassal'' State do it in
public speaks to a level of dissonance and mind boggling arrogance at
the heart of the Saudi Court which I will return to momentarily. Sure
Muammar was a Dictator as was Saddam but the proximate cause for their
'Red in tooth and claw' deletions were their public pronouncements
around ditching the Dollar.

Gadhafi had a plan to quit selling Libyan oil in U.S. dollars — and
wanted payment instead in gold-backed “dinars” (a single African
currency made from gold). Saddam wanted to be paid in Euros.

In a March 22 2018 Article in The Intercept ''MBS bragged to the
Emirati crown prince and others that Kushner was “in his pocket,” The
Crown Prince's Antennae are evidently completely scrambled. Jared
Kushner is no Protection against the Petrodollar Deep State. The
Petrodollar Deep State is currently engaged with bringing the Chavismo
Revolution [which was after all a Revolution in its Monroe Doctrine
Backyard] to heel but make no mistake that declaration of War by a 34
year Old Saudi Crown Prince will have been heard real loud and real
clear. Therefore, he should not ask for whom the Bell tolls. It is the
Bell he chose to ring.

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President Erdogan will learn what Norman Lamont learned and the Turkish Lira is teetering at the precipice.
Emerging Markets

Now if the Lira crashes [which looks very likely], the Infection will
spread out of Istanbul.

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The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words a producer of speed

The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place
of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a
cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of
attack), in other words a producer of speed

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Will Africa's historic Free Trade Agreement succeed? African Continental Free Trade Agreement #AfCFTA @AJENews @AJInsideStory @MartineDennis

The World Bank ranks many countries in Africa among the hardest places
to do business.
However, an ambitious project to ease trade between them is a step
closer to reality.
The African Union agreed last year to create a free trade zone on the
continent, the largest since the World Trade Organization was formed.
On Tuesday, The Gambia became the 22nd country to ratify the accord,
reaching the threshold for it to be implemented.
It's hoped the deal will reduce tariffs and trade rules, and create
jobs for a market of 1.2 billion people.
But Africa's largest economy, Nigeria, isn't on board with the agreement.
So will the deal succeed?

Presenter: Martine Dennis
Aly-Khan Satchu - CEO of Rich Management and an emerging markets economist
Stephen Yeboah - cofounder of Commodity Monitor
Olusegun Okubanjo - founder and managing partner of finance firm OBSIDIAN

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Ethiopia's Security Council says fed. & regional security institutions ordered to take "necessary, legal & proportional measures" against instigators. @addisstandard

Ethiopia: After the weekend's violence in N. Shewa, #Oromia zone,
#Amhara regional state which caused deaths & property damages,
Ethiopia's Security Council says fed. & regional security institutions
ordered to take "necessary, legal & proportional measures" against


This is the existential challenge that Abiy must face.

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Fintech start-up Branch raises funding for EM lending push @FT

Branch International, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that offers
loans to first-time borrowers and customers without bank accounts in
Africa, India and Mexico, has raised $170m in new financing. The deal,
which is made up of a combination of equity and debt, forms part of a
new alliance with payments group Visa.

“It’s tough to convince VCs in Silicon Valley to invest in something
for Africa, and it’s tough to get lenders to lend due to the risk,”
said Matthew Flannery, Branch founder.
Branch is vying with its California-based rival Tala to become the
first provider of financial services to the emerging middle class in
developing markets, who are underserved by traditional banks. This
latest round brings Branch’s total financing to $260m, comprised of
$100m in equity and $160m in debt.
The company started operating in Kenya in 2015, led by Mr Flannery,
who had previously co-founded Kiva, the microfinance non-profit
Charles Moldow, Foundation Capital
Branch collects data from potential borrowers’ Android smartphones,
including the contents of their text messages, address books and other
apps they have installed, to assess their likely creditworthiness.
Interest rates can range between annual rates of 12-180 per cent, with
rates highest for first-time borrowers then falling as customers repay
more loans.

“To use a few buzzwords, we literally are using deep learning to do
the underwriting,” Mr Flannery said, referring to one form of
artificial intelligence that also analyses how borrowers use the
Branch app and contact networks. “If people are careful using the app,
if they look at the financial screens, the repayment plans, the terms
and conditions, then they almost never default.”

Branch expects to lend about $350m this year, usually in small loans
of $20-$40, which are primarily financed by its own borrowings. The
new venture round, which was led by Foundation Capital and Visa with
participation from existing investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and
Formation 8, will be used to develop new markets after recently
expanding from Africa into India and Mexico.

“We want to set an example that this is a good market,” said Mr
Flannery. “You can invest in low-income people in India.”

Branch is expanding in the wake of infrastructure such as smartphone
penetration, low-cost mobile payments systems like M-pesa, and
government biometric databases. Its new partnership with Visa will
offer “virtual” prepaid debit cards to 2m people that allow Branch
customers to withdraw their loans using a cash machine, even if they
do not have a bank account.

“By focusing on digitising payments, we aim to build a more digitally
inclusive ecosystem,” said Otto Williams, Visa’s vice-president of
strategic partnerships, fintech and ventures.

Charles Moldow, a general partner at Foundation Capital who is joining
Branch’s board, said the company was “poised to become the
cross-border financial super-app”.

“After tracking [Branch] for four years, it has become clear to me
that emerging markets are the big growth area for fintech,” said Mr

Mr Flannery said Branch was aiming to become a general-purpose bank,
starting with small loans but expanding into savings accounts and then
into remittances and payments.

Despite moving into the for-profit world four years ago, he said that
microfinance services such as Kiva are still needed to reach poorer
people in more remote places. “What we are seeing is the commercial
microfinance solutions are becoming bigger in the cities, while the
non-profits are more relevant in more rural markets, which are not
going to be profitable for years and years,” Mr Flannery said.
“Banking today really serves the rich in emerging markets, especially
in the developing world. Commercial microfinance serves the middle
class and the working poor.”

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Kenya Shilling versus The Dollar Live ForexPros
Kenyan Economy

Nairobi All Share Bloomberg +13.39% 2019


Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg +0.38% 2019


Every Listed Share can be interrogated here


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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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April 2019

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