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“On the macro side, I really think dollar-yen for me is the key
pressure point,” to consider in the next downturn, Bernhard Rzymelka,
Goldman’s head of rates-market strategies Europe, said at a conference
in Sydney Wednesday. “I keep asking people where do you think that’s
going to go if the Fed cuts to zero” given what happened the last time
the Federal Reserve applied extraordinary stimulus, he said,
predicting next time it hits a record.
The yen strengthened powerfully in the years following what’s known in
Japan as the “Lehman shock” of fall 2008, reaching a postwar high of
75.35 per dollar in October 2011 after the Fed slashed rates,
implemented quantitative easing and pulled down longer-term U.S.
“This time we are going to go to 60” yen per dollar, Rzymelka said.
“There is humongous leverage that’s been built up in the Japanese
financial system towards the dollar.”
Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to "cool water"
Nairobi (/naɪˈroʊbi/) is the capital and the largest city of Kenya.
The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates
to "cool water", a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through
the city. The city proper had a population of 3,138,369 in the 2009
census, while the metropolitan area has a population of 6,547,547. The
city is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun.
Nairobi was founded in 1899 by the colonial authorities in British
East Africa, as a rail depot on the Uganda Railway. The town
quickly grew to replace Machakos as the capital of Kenya in 1907.
After independence in 1963, Nairobi became the capital of the Republic
During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a centre for the
colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry. The city lies on the River
Athi in the southern part of the country, and has an elevation of
1,795 metres (5,889 ft) above sea level.
According to the 2009 census, in the administrative area of Nairobi,
3,138,295 inhabitants lived within 696 km2 (269 sq mi). Nairobi is
the 10th-largest city in Africa, including the population of its
The site of Nairobi was originally part of an uninhabited swamp.
The name Nairobi itself comes from the Maasai expression meaning "cool
waters", referring to the cold water stream which flowed through the
In February 1926, colonial officer Eric Dutton passed through Nairobi
on his way to Mount Kenya, and said of the city:
Maybe one day Nairobi will be laid out with tarred roads, with avenues
of flowering trees, flanked by noble buildings; with open spaces and
stately squares; a cathedral worthy of faith and country; museums and
of art; theaters and public offices.
And it is fair to say that the Government and the Municipality have
already bravely tackled the problem and that a town-plan ambitious
enough to turn Nairobi into a thing of beauty has been slowly worked
out, and much has already been done.
But until that plan has borne fruit, Nairobi must remain what she was
then, a slatternly creature, unfit to queen it over so lovely a
Trump's Hanoi Hail Mary failed to score | Analysis by CNN's Stephen Collinson CNN
Law & Politics
For once, Trump's attempt at counter-programming failed when the
summit with Kim Jong Un broke up early with no agreement. It left the
North Korea initiative -- on which Trump has played huge political
capital -- in doubt.
It was embarrassing for the President and a big disappointment to
anyone who understands how devastating a war on the Korean peninsula
would be and would like to see the world's last Cold War confrontation
consigned to history.
Washington's decision to offer Kim equal billing with the world's most
powerful man -- a priceless propaganda coup -- in two major summits
and Trump's entire impromptu and ego-centric negotiating style is now
open to question.
Criticism that Trump is engineering summits with North Korea as big
photo-ops that are devoid of substance looks more valid after his
Hanoi trip. And his "art of the deal" diplomacy has come up
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the US had wanted the
North Koreans to "do more" to show it was sincere in giving up its
nuclear weapons program and that Kim had refused.
A case can be made that the US was playing hardball in ending the
meeting when it didn't get what it wanted and refusing to lift
sanctions before there is significant denuclearization.
@realDonaldTrump is itching to surrender to China on trade says @FinancialTimes's @EdwardGLuce
Law & Politics
We have seen this streaming drama before. President Donald Trump has a
strong impulse — say to withdraw US troops from Syria, or declare an
emergency on the Mexican border. He reluctantly submits to contrary
advice. The cycle repeats, rinses and washes a few times before Mr
Trump loses patience. Then he does what he always wanted — trusts his
instincts above those around him. That is what is now happening on
China. Mr Trump wants a trade deal that will buoy the stock markets.
His advisers want to hang tough in talks with Chinese leader Xi
Jinping, even at the expense of short-term US growth. It is a matter
of time before Mr Trump overrules them. The question is how much face
America will lose when he does.
The answer is a lot. Mr Trump is the mirror image of Theodore
Roosevelt, the US president who said America should speak softly and
carry a big stick. He has promised the moon on China but seems poised
to accept a modest chunk of meteorite. Mr Trump’s end goal was to
reduce China’s surplus with the US, which is on course for the first
time to exceed $400bn this year. His administration’s goal was to
force China to agree to a level playing field in technology. The two
goals are very different. Mr Trump wants a headline that would boost
his short-term bragging rights. The rest of his administration — and
the broad global consensus — wants to ensure China makes deep
structural changes to its system.
Mr Trump has little interest in the patient work of negotiating
changes, good or bad, that do not show up on his electoral radar. The
result is a deep split within his administration. The main casualty is
Robert Lighthizer, Mr Trump’s hawkish trade representative, whose
life’s work is to make China alter course. His only counterpart was
Jim Mattis, the former US defence secretary, who resigned in December
after Mr Trump said he would withdraw all US troops from Syria. The
two men stood out in Mr Trump’s cabinet for possessing the authority
to push back on the president. Mr Lighthizer has forgotten more about
trade than Mr Trump will ever know. They are now airing their
disagreements in public.
Last week Mr Lighthizer publicly corrected Mr Trump’s definition of a
memorandum of understanding, which the president said was not a
binding trade deal. Mr Trump had confused a real estate MoU with what
it means in trade parlance. On Wednesday, Mr Lighthizer raised the
stakes higher. He told Congress that the US would only accept a trade
deal with China that was deep, structural and enforceable. Otherwise
there would be no deal. “Don’t go for the soyabean solution,” he said.
“This is our one chance.” But China agreeing to buy more US soyabeans,
and other commodities, is exactly what Mr Trump is seeking. This would
assuage the pain of US farmers in key mid-western swing states. It
would also reduce the US trade deficit, albeit temporarily.
Which approach is likely to prevail? Ultimately Mr Trump always wins,
even if America does not. The US stock market’s reaction to Mr
Lighthizer’s testimony increased the chances Mr Trump will lose
patience sooner than later. Equity prices dropped sharply the moment
Mr Lighthizer began to speak. It is possible that what Mr Trump agrees
with Mr Xi when they meet in Mar-a-Lago in March will be a short-term
truce only. China has a spotless record of reneging on deals. The
agreement is likely to include “snap back” provisions that allow the
US to re-impose tariffs on China. Even so, Mr Trump will have
surrendered a moment of acute leverage. Another few years of enforced
technology transfer could be all China needs to take the lead in the
race to dominate artificial intelligence.
Two other consequences are apparent. First, Mr Trump has opened the
space for Democrats to say that he is soft on China. Having partly
been elected because of his tough China rhetoric, Mr Trump has made it
the bipartisan consensus. Second, Mr Trump’s credibility as a
negotiator would plumb new depths. Those limits have already been
tested this week in his failed nuclear summit with North Korea’s Kim
Jong Un. It is wise when negotiating with Beijing to read strategists
Sun Tzu or Carl von Clausewitz. Forewarned is forearmed. Mr Trump
seems to prefer the Grand Old Duke of York, who marched his men to the
top of the hill only to march them down again.
07-AUG-2017 :: Any financial expert will tell you that President Trump's financial affairs are a "smoking gun."
Law & Politics
Any financial expert will tell you that President Trump’s financial
affairs are a ‘’smoking gun.’’ Deutsche Bank loans were surely
‘’mirror’’ transactions, where Deutsche Bank was a commission agent
interposed between Trump and the real lender. All those sales where
Trump proclaimed himself a ‘’genius’’ because they were so off-market,
we would all be incredulous, were essentially just that
‘’incredible’’. There is a prima facie case here and its in plain
sight. President Trump knows it and that’s why he has been demanding
Al Pacino [a la Martin Scorsese’s godfather] style demands of loyalty
from the likes of the now dispensed with FBI director James Comey.
26 MAR 18 :: Sell Facebook. @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics
We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then
watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to
watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online
community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable,
Senegal president wins re-election with 58 percent of vote @ReutersAfrica
Senegal President Macky Sall won re-election with 58 percent of votes
cast in last Sunday’s poll, according to provisional results announced
by the official counting body on Thursday.
The majority win hands Sall a second term without a run-off vote.
Opposition candidate Idrissa Seck came second with 21 percent of
votes, while Ousmane Sonko placed third with 16 percent.
How a 'Giant Ponzi Scheme' Destroyed a Nation's Economy @economics @AntonySguazzin
Almost two decades of profligate monetary policy has destroyed
Zimbabwe’s economy and fueled rampant inflation, decimating the
savings of its people twice.
Hyperinflation of as much as 500 billion percent in 2008 made savings
worthless and led to the abolition of the local currency in favor of
the dollar the following year.
In 2016, former President Robert Mugabe’s cash-strapped government
introduced securities known as bond notes that it insisted traded at
par with the dollar.
In 2018, it separated cash from electronic deposits in banks without
reserves to back them, causing the black-market rate to plunge.
Last week, it threw in the towel and allowed bond notes to trade at a
market-determined level, once again slashing the value of savings.
The decision came after the southern African nation faced shortages of
bread and fuel, was hit by strikes and protests, and President
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s drive to attract new investment floundered.
“At the root of this is the currency crisis,” said Derek Matyszak, a
Zimbabwe-based research consultant for South Africa’s Institute for
“This is analogous to them creating a giant Ponzi scheme that
originated under Mugabe. What we are seeing now is that Ponzi scheme
The latest step, while welcomed by what’s left of the country’s
business sector, is unlikely to solve Zimbabwe’s problems because all
it does is reflect exchange rates on the black market, according to
Steve H. Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore.
“The 1-to-1 is a fiction,” Hanke said. “They are saying officially we
are going to condone what has been happening anyway. It officially
says, ‘we robbed you.’”
The interbank rate for the new currency is about 2.5 to the dollar,
data published on the central bank’s website shows.
That figure is meaningless because the authorities are failing to
divulge the volume of trade, according to marketwatch.co.zw, a website
run by financial analysts. It estimates the black-market rate for the
bond notes is 3.36 per dollar.
The origins of Zimbabwe’s currency crisis stretch back to a violent
land-reform program initiated by Mugabe in 2000, which slashed export
income and devastated government finances.
In response, then-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, known
as ‘God’s banker’ because of his close ties to Mugabe, increased
printing of Zimbabwe dollars exponentially to pay government workers,
stoking inflation and eventually making the currency valueless.
“It was a Ponzi scheme in the past,” said Ashok Chakravarti, an
economist and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. “Especially in
the Gono era, where that chap just kept printing money.” Gono didn’t
answer a call to a mobile phone number he has used in the past.
The currency’s collapse led to the predicament Zimbabwe now finds
itself in -- chronic cash shortages and rampant inflation.
By late 2008, some Zimbabweans had reverted to barter trade as illicit
dealings in foreign currencies flourished. In February 2009, the
answer the government came up with was to switch to the use of foreign
currencies, mainly the U.S. dollar.
“Dollarization puts a hard budget constraint on the system,” said
Hanke. “You can’t go to the central bank or any other government
institution to get credit for the government.”
The pressure on government finances led to history repeating itself,
with a loophole being found: the introduction of bond notes and
locally denominated electronic money.
That contributed to money in circulation growing to more than $10
billion, according to George Guvamatanga, the permanent secretary in
the Finance Ministry. The figure was $6.2 billion in 2013, said Tendai
Biti, a senior opposition leader and former finance minister.
“If you continue to print money you are destroying what you are
creating,” Guvamatanga said. Under a stabilization program introduced
by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in October, the government is now
repaying domestic debt, has stopped issuing Treasury bills and has no
overdraft with the central bank.
That’s helped the economy move toward “walking on two legs, there is
an effort to go in a different direction. It’s an inevitable
adjustment.”” Chakravarti said. “It’s very unfortunate that this is
the second time in 10 years people have lost the value of their
savings. In 2009 we all went down to zero including me.”
For some observers the latest development isn’t a sudden discovery of
fiscal discipline. It’s another admission of failure and the victims
are Zimbabwe’s people.
To Biti, who says the new currency will fail because it isn’t backed
by reserves, it shows the country has come full circle.
“It’s theft because people had regrouped and rebuilt their lives from
zero based on the U.S. dollar,” he said.
The country’s best hope is to join southern Africa’s Common Monetary
Area, which is dominated by South Africa and its rand, Biti said.
That would give certainty to business and impose fiscal discipline on
the government, as opposed to the current arrangements that are
unsustainable, he said.
“It’s a Ponzi economy,” he said.
21-JAN-2019 :: The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between high Inflation and revolutionary conditions
“Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any
system of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most efficient
system of mutual trust ever devised.”
“Cowry shells and dollars have value only in our common imagination.
Their worth is not inherent in the chemical structure of the shells
and paper, or their colour, or their shape. In other words, money
isn’t a material reality – it is a psychological construct. It works
by converting matter into mind.”
The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between
high Inflation and revolutionary conditions
08-OCT-2018 :: One Domino that has suddenly tipped over is Zimbabwe.
There are $9.3 billion of Zollars in banks compared to $200 million in
reserves, official data showed, a mis- match that creates a premium
for the U.S. dollar and fans the black market.
On the black market, the premium for the U.S. dollar spiked to a new
record on Saturday, reaching 165 percent from 120 percent on Monday,
traders said that means buying $100 in cash via a bank transfer cost
$265, up from $220 earlier this week.
The Government’s ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ where it spent $1.3b
pump-priming the economy ahead of the election [money it did not have]
was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Zimbabwe and Botswana signed a billion Pula credit facility on
Thursday, double what had initially been discussed, the leaders of the
two countries announced.
The two countries had previously held discussions on a 500 million
“We agreed to a credit facility,” Botswana President Mokgweetsi
Masisi told reporters after the signing ceremony in Harare. “We
increased it from 500 million (Pula) to one billion (Pula), and the
details of which will be sorted out later on.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa quipped: “What my brother has said is
precisely the situation.”
Ahead of the final ceremony, comments by James Manzou, Permanent
Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, that a “loan”
would be agreed caused confusion.
This was not helped by headlines in various media that there was a
“bail out” package from Botswana to Zimbabwe being discussed.
The reports drew fire on both sides of the border. In Zimbabwe, this
was taken as yet another “mega deal” pie in the sky.
In Botswana, there was criticism that Masisi was spending tax money to
bail out Zimbabwe in a year that Botswana’s economic growth is
expected to slow.
Ahead of elections in that country this year, this was a tricky time
for Masisi, and his government quickly issued a clarification.
Put simply, there is no large sum of cash exchanging hands. It was
never on the table in the bi-national commission.
What is on the table is money from private funders for Botswana
businesses willing to invest in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and Botswana will
then provide the guarantees for that credit to hedge against risk.
For its part, Botswana will provide surety via the Botswana Insurance
Company which, coincidentally, is run by Zimbabwean Newton Jazire.
One of the major points of the talks is that Zimbabwe must put up a
counter guarantee via a reputable organisation.
For years, Botswana has relied on its diamond industry. It has built
very little manufacturing capacity of its own. It is now trying to do
that, as Botswana’s Trade Minister Bogonelo Kenewendo explains.
Botswana wants its companies to look outside their home, and Zimbabwe
is one such market that could help them grow.
“Sometimes a business needs a bigger market to jumpstart and Zimbabwe
population is much bigger and has some raw materials we don’t have. We
encourage the development of regional value chains that benefit from
our combined strengths,” she says.
In 2010, Zimbabwe and Botswana tried to set up a credit facility. It
never got off the ground. Now they are making another attempt.
Below is a statement issued by the Botswana Trade Ministry, explaining
what exactly is on the table:
1. The two states parties (Botswana and Zimbabwe) previously mulled
the extension of a diamond backed credit facility for US$500 million.
At the end it was decided that this would not be feasible and as such
it has been scrapped and abandoned;
2. Botswana has offered to extend a 1bn Pula credit facility to
Botswana businesses willing to invest in Zimbabwe. This facility is
accompanied by the conclusion of the Bilateral Investment Protection
and Promotion Agreement which will offer protection for such
investments. Further, Zimbabwe will be required to take out a counter
guarantee with reputable international lending institutions. These are
conditions precedent to the facility being operationalized. Of
importance to note is that the Government of Botswana is not taking
money out of its coffers to give to the Zimbabwean Government. It is
private financial institutions which will be extending credit to
private sector businesses who will in turn invest in Zimbabwe with the
two governments guaranteeing the loans. The intention for this
arrangement is twofold vis to revive industry in Zimbabwe and to
improve the export capacity of Botswana companies operating in the
manufacturing and services space. This is in accordance with our
vision of attaining an export-led economic growth. A similar
intervention had been planned for South Sudan before it imploded.
Bank Stocks in Nigeria Fall Most Since 2016 After Buhari Victory @markets
Nigerian banking stocks slumped the most since June 2016 a day after
the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, as some investors
showed disappointment at the defeat of his market-friendly opponent.
An index of Nigeria’s 10 largest banking stocks dropped 4.6 percent by
the close in Lagos Thursday, while the country’s benchmark stocks
index retreated for a third day.
The Lagos market’s biggest laggers by index points were Guaranty Trust
Bank Plc, which dropped 6.9 percent, Zenith Bank Plc, which fell 4
percent and Nigerian Breweries Plc, down 4.5 percent.
Ghana's central bank says the slump in the #cedi -- it's the world's worst-performing currency this year -- will be temporary @mmdzawu @business
The slump in Ghana’s currency to a record low against the dollar will
be temporary and doesn’t reflect the West African nation’s positive
economic fundamentals, according to the central bank.
The cedi has declined 8.2 percent this year, the most among more than
140 currencies tracked by Bloomberg, posing risks to the inflation
outlook and foreign-investor demand for the country’s bonds.
Almost all of the losses came after the Bank of Ghana unexpectedly
eased interest rates by 100 basis points to 16 percent on Jan. 28.
“The performance of the cedi doesn’t correlate with the fundamentals,”
Opata said in a phone interview from the nation’s capital, Accra.
“Because it is sentiment-driven, it should correct. It’s a temporary
situation that will correct.”
Foreign-currency inflows of $850 million before the end of March,
including a $300 million loan for the cocoa regulator, will replenish
reserves that have decreased to $7 billion dollars at the end of
December from $7.6 billion the year before.
Other Key Insights:
Foreign-exchange earners such as exporters and mines will no longer be
allowed to arrange their own auctions and should sell their proceeds
The current account deficit narrowed to 3.2 percent of gross domestic
product at the end of 2018, from 3.4 percent of GDP the year before.
Ghana is expected to record a third straight annual trade surplus in
2019 as oil and gas production increase.
The introduction of a minimum duration for forward and swap contracts
should decrease volatility.
Traders will no longer be bound by a fixed margin on sales of
foreign-currency that they buy from the central bank.
28-JAN-2019 :: A move below a 100.00 would catch a lot of people off-guard.
The shilling has strengthened to 100.7 last. Every January every year
every forecast about the shilling predicts a 10%-15% devaluation. Its
mind boggling. The key levers with regard to the shilling are the
price of fuel [We have to write a cheque every month], inward
Remittances [flew off the chart last year and its not clear to me if
that bump will turn out to be ‘’amnesty’’ affected] and I think we
underestimate the regional ‘’safe-haven’’ status that the Kenya
Shilling has earned. A move below a 100.00 would catch a lot of people
@StanbicKE reports FY 2018 EPS +45.688% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 92.75
Total Shares Issued: 395321638.00
Market Capitalization: 36,666,081,925
The Kenyan Banc assurance model includes CFC Bank, CFC Financial
Services and Heritage Assurance.
Stanbic Holdings PLC FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018 vs.
31st December 2017
FY Financial investments 72.260408b vs. 76.244870b -5.226%
FY Loans and advances to banks and customers 174.984710b vs.
FY Total assets 290.570254b vs. 248.738719b +16.817%
FY Deposits from banks and customers 219.493914b vs. 193.367907b +13.511%
FY Total Equity 44.623420b vs. 42.955687b +3.882%
FY Net interest income 12.129645b vs. 10.644281b +13.955%
FY Non-interest revenue 9.964720b vs. 8.420108b +18.344%
FY Total income 22.094365b vs. 19.064389b +15.893%
FY Credit impairment charges [2.064462b] vs. [2.761325b] -25.237%
FY Income after impairment charges 20.029903b vs. 16.303064b +22.860%
FY Total operating expenses [11.082146b] vs. [10.901816b] +1.654%
FY PBT 8.947757b vs. 5.401248b +65.661%
FY Income tax expense [2.670591b] vs. [1.091754b] +144.615%
FY Profit for the year 6.277166b vs. 4.309494b +45.659%
Basic and Diluted EPS 15.88 vs. 10.90 +45.688%
Dividend per share 5.80 vs. 5.25 +10.476%
Cash and cash equivalents at 31st December 61.040397b vs. 25.856454b +136.074%
Predicted and predictably Strong FY Earnings
Seriously countertrend in the expansion of the Loan Book +22.128%
Muscular Earnings plain and simple
Unga reports HY EPS -40.826% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 36.20
Total Shares Issued: 75708872.00
Market Capitalization: 2,740,661,166
Unga Group PLC HY 2019 results through 31st December 2018 vs. 31st December 2017
HY Turnover 9.034206b vs. 11.077744b -18.447%
HY Operating profit 423.831m vs. 716.796m -40.871%
HY Other income 41.080m vs. 16.591m +147.604%
HY FX loss [25.350m] vs. [0.301m] -8,321.927%
HY PBT 439.561m vs. 733.087m -40.040%
HY Tax expense [131.082m] vs0 [221.954m] -40.942%
HY Profit for the year from continuing operations 308.479m vs. 511.134m -39.648%
HY Profit for the year from discontinued operations [2.191m] vs. –
HY Profit attributable to owners of the parent 195.645m vs. 330.274m -40.763%
HY Profit attributable to non-controlling interests 110.643m vs.
Basic and diluted EPS 2.58 vs. 4.36 -40.826%
Total assets 10.313815b vs. 10.676292b -3.395%
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 900.926m vs.
No interim dividend
The Group reports an 18% decline in revenue compared to prior year.
Volumes and margins declined in the human nutrition business due to
increased competition and depressed consumer demand. The animal
nutrition business recorded improved performance, whilst the bakery
business met expectations.
Wheat milling capacity and efficiencies have improved with the
commissioning in December of the new wheat mill in Eldoret. The
soybean meal plant installation is underway at Dakar Road and is
expected to be completed by end this financial year.
With the prevailing depressed demand for flour, the second half of the
year ending June 2019. will continue to be challenging. Moreover, the
full year results are expected to be significantly lower than prior
year. The Board will continue to apply strategies to ensure best
performance under the circumstances.
UNGA GROUP Pie (the Company) makes this announcement pursuant to
Regulation G.05 (1) (f) and (2) of the Nairobi Securities Exchange
Listing Manual and the Capital Markets (Securities) (Public Offers,
Listing and Disclosure) Regulations,2002.
Based on the Company's unaudited financial results for the first six
months ended 31 December 2018 and the Company's second half forecast,
profit for the full year is likely to be at least 25010 lower than
The Directors do not recommend the payment of an interim dividend.