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From outrage to icon: Paris marks 30 years of Louvre's pyramid @AFP
It was once decried as an architectural "obscenity", but as the
Louvre's glass pyramid turns 30 on Friday, it has become a cherished
icon of the French capital.
One eminent writer called for revolt in the streets when French
president Francois Mitterrand's flamboyant culture minister Jack Lang
first unveiled the plans for what is now regarded as Chinese-American
architect I. M. Pei's masterpiece.
Plonking a modernist pyramid into the centre of a Renaissance palace
was considered sacrilege, with one satirical magazine calling it a
tomb and joking that Mitterrand -- who was suffering from cancer --
"wants to be the first pharaoh in our history".
Pei -- who will be 102 next month -- remembers "receiving many angry
glances in the streets", with up to 90 percent of Parisians said to be
against the project at one point.
Yet in the end, even that stern critic of modernist "carbuncles",
Britain's Prince Charles, pronounced it "marvellous".
Pei's masterstroke was to link the three wings of the world's most
visited museum with vast underground galleries bathed in light from
his glass and steel pyramid.
Such was his success that the conservative French daily Le Figaro,
which had led the campaign against his "atrocious" design for years,
celebrated his genius with a supplement on the 10th anniversary of the
pyramid's opening in 1999.
"The pyramid is right at the centre of a monument central to the
history of France (the Louvre is the former palace of the country's
"The Louvre is the only museum in the world whose entrance is a work
of art," Martinez insisted.
The pyramid is "the modern symbol of the museum", he said, "an icon on
the same level" as the Louvre's most revered artworks such as the
"Mona Lisa" or the "Venus de Milo".
Pei is not alone in being savaged for changing the cherished landscape of Paris.
In 1887, a group of intellectuals that included Emile Zola and Guy de
Maupassant published a letter in the newspaper Le Temps to protest the
building of the "useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower", an "odious
column of sheet metal with bolts."
Russia throws down the gauntlet to US on Venezuela @BhadraPunchline
Law & Politics
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova acknowledged in
Moscow on Tuesday that Russian “specialists” are indeed in Venezuela
within the ambit of a 2001 military-technical cooperation agreement
Zakharova underscored that Russia’s bilateral military cooperation
with Venezuela is in accordance with the latter’s constitution and has
legal underpinning, which “doesn’t require any additional approval
from the (opposition-controlled) National Assembly of Venezuela.”
This followed media reports that two Russian air force planes landed
at Caracas on Saturday carrying Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of
the ground forces with nearly 100 military personnel and some 35
tonnes of material.
An unnamed official at the Russian embassy in Caracas told the Sputnik
that the Russian personnel had arrived to “exchange consultations.
Russia has various contracts that are in the process of being
fulfilled, contracts of a technical-military character.”
Zakharova’s remarks came a day after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
received a phone call from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on
The Russian readout said Pompeo was “interested in certain issues
related to the developments in Venezuela.” It added, “Sergey Lavrov
emphasised that Washington’s attempts to organise a coup d’etat in
Venezuela and threats to its legitimate government are a violation of
the UN Charter and blatant interference in the domestic affairs of a
sovereign state… After stating principal differences in Russian and US
positions, the officials agreed to stay in touch and continue to
The state department readout, however, claimed that Pompeo warned
Russia “to cease its unconstructive behavior” in Venezuela” and that
Washington and its regional allies “will not stand idly by as Russia
It also said Pompeo accused Russia of “continued insertion … to
support the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela [which]
risks prolonging the suffering of the Venezuelan people who
overwhelmingly support interim President Juan Guaido”.
Meanwhile, on Monday and Tuesday, in a series of tweets, US national
security advisor John Bolton vent anger and frustration: “Maduro has
lost the support of the Venezuelan people, so he’s relying on Cuban
and Russian support to usurp democracy and repress innocent civilians…
Rather than sending nuclear-capable bombers and special forces to prop
up a corrupt dictator, Russia should work with the international
community to support the Venezuelan people. The United States will not
tolerate hostile foreign military powers meddling with the Western
Hemisphere’s shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of law…
Maduro asks for Cuban and Russian goons to suppress the people of
With these developments, the crisis situation around Venezuela may
deem to have acquired a New Cold War dimension to it.
Clearly, Moscow has weighed the pros and cons of the Venezuelan
situation and has decided to be unapologetic about its support for the
Maduro government. Despite the US outbursts, Moscow is showing no
signs of backing off, either.
The big question ahead is whether Russia is climbing the escalation
ladder. Indeed, the stepping up of the military-technical cooperation
stems from the assessment in Moscow that the desperate US attempts to
engineer / sponsor a military coup in Caracas aren’t getting anywhere.
Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro announced in an interview with the
Russian state television today that “a high-level working session on
intergovernmental cooperation” between Russia and Venezuela is due to
take place in April where “we will sign over 20 documents on
cooperation in economy, trade, culture, energy and education.”
Suffice to say, Moscow intends to step up its support for Maduro and
is drawing up a plan of action to develop a comprehensive bilateral
cooperation program with a medium and long term perspective.
Now, that can only mean that in the Russian assessment, US’ blueprint
to overthrow the regime through economic sanctions and other covert
actions (such as the sabotage of power supply) and various methods of
political and diplomatic pressure (including illegal confiscation of
Venezuelan assets in western banks running into tens of billions of
dollars) can be and must be countered.
It is interesting that Cuba, which is rich in experience in countering
the US’ coercive policies, is working shoulder to shoulder with Russia
in this direction.
From all appearance — so far, at least — a direct US military
intervention in Venezuela to forcibly change the regime is not on the
cards. Rather, a cold-war era war of attrition appears to be looming
Can Russia sustain the financial and economic burden involved? But the
analogy of the Russian intervention in Syria does not hold good here
insofar as Venezuela is potentially a rich country with the world’s
largest proven hydrocarbon reserves. Equally, China is also a
stakeholder in Venezuela’s economic stability.
On the other hand, it is vitally important for Russia that the US,
which aspires to be the number one exporter of oil and gas, does not
gain control of the vast Venezuelan reserves, as that would mean an
enormous capacity falling into Washington’s hands to manipulate the
supply and demand in the world energy market and set the price of oil
In geopolitical terms, a strong Russian presence in Venezuela becomes
a negotiating chip for Moscow in dealing with the growing NATO and
American deployments along Russia’s western borders in central and
eastern Europe and the Baltic states. That alone makes Venezuela a
strategic partner for Russia.
Plainly put, any projection of Russian power in the US’ backyard will
at some point sooner rather than later impress upon Washington the
imperative need to constructively engage Moscow in dialogue and
negotiations, howsoever unpalatable that prospect might be.
In fact, at one point, Zakharaova pointedly touched on the Trump
administration’s Munroe Doctrine, asking in an acerbic tone, “What are
they (US) themselves doing in Eastern Hemisphere? Perhaps, they
believe that the people of this part of the world will be thankful
when Washington wilfully changes their leaders and kills the unwanted
ones. Or the US still believes that people are waiting for the
Americans to bring democracy to them on the wings of their bombers.
Ask Iraqis, Libyans or Serbs about it.”
Zakharova did not explicitly mention Ukraine or the Baltic states and
Poland and the Black Sea and the Caucasus, but the implicit meaning is
clear: If the US interferes in Russia’s backyard, Moscow serves the
right to retaliate. Period.
It is useful to recall that the denouement to the Cuban Missile Crisis
in 1962 was ultimately on the basis of a reciprocal withdrawal of
Russian missiles in Cuba and the American missiles deployed in Turkey.
Pompeo’s phone call to Lavrov suggests that the US is trying to figure
out the Russian intentions. Interestingly, the Russian readout
mentioned that Lavrov also brought up Syria and Ukraine during the
conversation with Pompeo.
Lavrov’s remarks were rather sharp: “He (Lavrov) also stressed that
the US’s intention to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan
Heights would lead to a serious violation of international law, impede
the Syrian settlement process and aggravate the situation in the
Speaking about Ukraine, Sergey Lavrov noted that Washington’s playing
into the Kiev regime’s hands in torpedoing the Minsk Agreements on the
settlement of the intra-Ukrainian conflict was unacceptable.”
Curiously, on the contrary, the US state department readout completely
omitted any references to Syria or Ukraine. Evidently, it was too much
of a hot potato for Washington to even acknowledge that Lavrov might
have drawn a parallel with the US behaviour in the ‘Eastern
Hemisphere’, which Russia finds utterly unacceptable.
4 FEB 19 :: "The edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over," Hunter S Thompson.
Law & Politics
The Chavez Revolution was always a rebellion in the Superpower’s back
yard and the machine was eventually going to bring it to heel by hook
or by crook.
Access to oil defined 20th-century empires and the petrodollar agree-
ment was the key to the ascendancy of the United States as the world’s
sole superpower 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 America. The Chavez
Revolution was always
a rebellion in the Superpower’s back yard and the machine was
eventually going to bring it to heel by hook or by crook. Oriental
Review’s Andrew Korybko headlines his Article ‘’A Venezuelan coup
could challenge OPEC+ and build “fortress America”
@Twitter is considering labeling @POTUS tweets that violate its rules @CNN
Law & Politics
Twitter is considering labeling tweets that violate its rules but
should remain on the platform because they're in the public interest.
Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's head of legal, policy and trust made the
announcement during an on-stage interview with the Washington Post on
The social media company is trying to find a way of maintaining its
standards while adding context to tweets from politicians and other
figures that may be offensive but are important for public debate.
Twitter has come under fire from some critics who say President Donald
Trump's tweets often violate its rules against bullying,
dehumanization and threatening harm.
05-DEC-2016:: "We have a deviate, Tomahawk."
Law & Politics
From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line (‘’a constant
state of destabilised perception’’), timely and judicious doses of
Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary’s bona fides and her turn-out
and motivated Trump’s, what we have witnessed is something remarkable
and noteworthy. Putin has proven himself an information master, and
his adversaries are his information victims.
13-AUG-2018 :: Cold Turkey. @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics
He said, “Don’t get high on your ambitions. You won’t be able make
money on the back of this nation. You won’t be able to make this
nation kneel.” [They have already made a ton of money and you are
kneeling, Mr. President]
And then ‘’Even if they got dollars, we got ‘our people, our God’’’
[In the markets that is called a ‘’Hail Mary’’ pass]
@RT_Erdogan told young voters in Ankara that Turkey had thwarted "attacks" by the United States and the West on the lira @Reuters
Law & Politics
Earlier, he told young voters in Ankara that Turkey had thwarted
“attacks” by the United States and the West on the lira and he accused
some banks of playing games with the currency ahead of Sunday’s vote.
He did not name the banks.
“They can’t find lira now, they are struggling in terms of payments.
The tables have turned. While they can’t do this, the lira firms and
the dollar falls,” Erdogan said.
Instead, however, the lira weakened as far as 5.6465 per dollar on
Thursday from 5.33 on Wednesday. Last year, it plunged almost 30
percent against the dollar. As of 1510 GMT, it had clawed back some of
its losses to 5.57.
“We must discipline the speculators in the market,” he said.
@Huawei's profit soars despite battle with US @FinancialTimes
Law & Politics
Huawei Technologies has reported record profits and strong overseas
growth for 2018 despite mounting pressure from the US for countries to
ditch the Chinese telecoms company from their 5G networks.
On Friday the Shenzhen-based company reported that its 2018 profits
rose 25 per cent to Rmb59.3bn ($8.8bn). Revenues rose 19.5 per cent to
a record Rmb721.2bn, buoyed by a 45 per cent jump in sales for its
Huawei, which is privately owned, is under rising international
pressure from the US and other countries concerned that its equipment
could be used for spying by the Chinese government.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the
company’s founder, was arrested in Canada on a US extradition request
that she face charges related to breaching Iran sanctions.
“The US government has a loser’s attitude,” said rotating chairman Guo
Ping. “They want to smear Huawei because they can’t compete with us.”
He added that “the US has abandoned all table manners”.
Responding to the mounting international criticism of the company, Mr
Guo said that external pressure had helped Huawei improve.
“We have more communication work to be done,” said Mr Guo. “You can
see some of the results of this. Countries have made their own
decisions based on their own interests, not the interests of the US.”
The company forecasts double-digit growth in revenues this year.
Huawei is the world’s biggest telecoms equipment manufacturer, with 28
per cent of the market, according to research company Dell’Oro, far
ahead of its European competitors Ericsson and Nokia.
But despite scoring the most 5G contracts in the world, at over 30,
sales for the carrier division in 2018 were slightly down 1.3 per cent
at Rmb294bn. Mr Guo ascribed the decrease to operators’ investment
cycles, and said it was within the company’s expectations.
“The carrier business has been slowing, but as the roll-out of 5G
begins in earnest this year, growth should accelerate,” said Dan Wang,
a technology analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, a consultancy.
“There’s a risk that pressure from the US can hurt Huawei’s business,”
Mr Wang added. “Huawei will have a hard time if the US decides to
limit the export of US technologies to the company.”
Last year, Huawei overtook Apple for the first time to become the
world’s second-biggest smartphone vendor. The company was one of the
first to launch a foldable smartphone this year.
While its handsets sell for 30-50 per cent of Apple’s prices, analysts
say it has been quick to innovate.
“Huawei smartphones are differentiated from other Chinese phones, they
have their own chips after all, and stronger design,” said Fei Mu,
analyst at market research company Forrester.
On Thursday, a British watchdog harshly criticised Huawei for failing
to improve on its engineering practices, saying that “no material
progress has been made by Huawei in the remediation of the issues
reported last year” and that it could only give “limited assurance”
that risks to the UK’s national security could be sufficiently
Responding to the report, Mr Guo said: “The report has shown we have
no backdoors. In fact we have opened the front door and provided our
source code for testing.”
10-DEC-2018 :: Truce dinner @Huawei
Law & Politics
Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping enjoyed a ‘’truce’’ dinner at the G20
in Buenos Aires, where dinner Guests broke out into spontaneous
applause thereafter. At the same moment, Canadian authorities were
making the arrest of Wanzhou Meng, chief financial officer of Huawei
Technologies at the request of US Authorities. The US is seeking
extradition of Wanzhou Meng after convincing Canada to arrest her.
Canada confirmed she was in custody shortly after the Globe and Mail
reported she had been arrested in connection with violating sanctions
against Iran. Meng is the daughter of the founder of Huawei, a
national champion in China.
Bloomberg said ‘’While the US routinely asks allies to extradite drug
lords, arms dealers and other criminals, arresting a major Chinese
executive like this is rare -- if not unprecedented’’.
“This is sending a signal that there is a new game” said Dennis Wilder
An important market for Huawei has been Africa. In fact, Huawei is the
bloodstream of Africa’s telecom infrastructure. How this plays out in
Africa is now an ‘’above the radar’’ issue
27-NOV-2017 :: "Wow! What a Ride!"
Let me leave you with Hunter S.Thompson, “Life should not be a journey
to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and
well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of
smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
“Wow! What a Ride!”
At least three dead in gunfight in Comoros capital after opposition moves to unseat president @ReutersAfrica
At least three people were killed on Thursday in a shootout in the
Comoros capital involving renegade soldiers who had broken out of
prison, the interior minister said, as a recent election result was
The firefight near the main military base took place hours after
opposition candidates announced plans to unseat the president whose
re-election this week they reject as fraudulent.
Interior Minister Mohamed Daoudou said the mastermind of the attack
was Fayssoil Abdoussalam, who was among a group of soldiers in Moroni
prison accused of attempting a coup in the Indian Ocean archipelago
Daoudou said the soldiers broke out of prison on Thursday morning.
Security and military sources had said four gunmen were killed. The
security source said Abdoussalam, a major, was among the dead.
How Yahya Jammeh Stole a Country @OCCRP by Khadija Sharife and Mark Anderson
Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh orchestrated the embezzlement
of nearly US$1 billion of public funds and illegal timber revenue
during his 22-year rule, looting the treasury in a long-running
conspiracy that crippled one of the world’s poorest countries.
While president of the compact West African state of 2 million, Jammeh
frequently drove his black stretch Hummer from his official residence
in Banjul, the capital, to a lavish private estate in his home village
His route took him past the central bank, the social welfare office,
and the headquarters of the state telecom company. These were some of
the institutions Jammeh pillaged by elevating privileged civil
servants to prominent positions and empowering a group of corrupt
businessmen led by a key Hezbollah financier.
Thousands of documents obtained exclusively by OCCRP lay bare for the
first time the massive scale of Jammeh’s corruption. They show how he
hijacked government funds and departments, set up private accounts at
the central bank, and built a patronage network while ruling the
country through a combination of guile, unbridled power, and violence.
“He ran the country like an organized crime syndicate,” said Jeggan
Grey-Johnson, a Gambian activist and communications officer at the
African regional office of the Open Society Foundation, a
pro-democracy and good governance organization.
“Jammeh was the worst of dictators, but because he ruled a nobody
country, nobody cared,” Grey-Johnson said.
In total, Jammeh and his associates looted or misappropriated at least
$975 million. Among their biggest targets:
Read more about how the country’s pension fund lined the pockets of
the former president and his cronies.
$363.9 million from the state-run telecoms company;
$325.5 million in illicit timber revenue;
more than $100 million in foreign aid and soft loans from Taiwan;
$71.2 million from the Central Bank of The Gambia;
$60 million from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corp., which
manages disability, housing, and pension payments; and
$55.2 million from the state-run oil company.
Jammeh spent some of the stolen money on his palace in Kanilai, where
he had his own private mosque, built a jungle warfare training camp,
and kept camels, hyenas, zebras, and other exotic animals.
The spending did little to address Gambia’s needs. The country has
poor health care, few basic services, and under 1,000 km of paved
roads. According to the World Bank, its external debt at the end of
2017 was $489 million — less than the amount Jammeh allegedly stole.
The former president, who gave himself five titles, insisted he could
cure AIDS (but only on Mondays and Thursdays), and proclaimed that he
would stay in power for a billion years if Allah wanted him to. He is
now in exile in Equatorial Guinea, where he allegedly spends his days
on a farm carved out of the jungle.
The United Nations criticized Jammeh during his final election
campaign for threatening to kill off the country’s most populous
ethnic group — the Mandinkas — and put them “where even a fly cannot
The sentiment was typical of a president who ruled through terror. At
the center of his ability to strip Gambia of its meager wealth was
Jammeh’s ruthless control of the government and its institutions.
After capturing power in a bloodless coup in 1994 at just 29, he
quickly deployed an array of official and unofficial security forces
to silence dissent.
His micromanagement of government affairs allowed him to exert
“complete control” over Gambia, said Fatou Camara, who twice served as
Jammeh’s press secretary between 2011 and 2013.
“Every minister would wait for him before they made decisions,” Camara
said. “Everything had to wait for the Office of the President to
“The Gambia wasn’t even like a back-burner issue — it was a backwater
issue,” said Cameron Hudson, a former West Africa analyst for the CIA.
The Central Bank of The Gambia was known as the “number one bank”
among Jammeh’s staff because they knew its coffers would continually
be replenished with public money.
Documents obtained by reporters show that Jammeh diverted over $71
million from the central bank’s reserves in just a few years. He used
three main techniques: hijacking the bank’s accounts, creating new
accounts on which he and his chosen aides were sole signatories, and
using dormant accounts (which are seldom found at well-managed central
Sometimes he ordered the withdrawal of cash from accounts without any
funds, causing them to become overdrawn.
In a 2015 letter to the International Monetary Fund, while Jammeh was
still in power, central bank officials wrote that the institution
remained highly indebted because of significant interest charges, bad
investments, over-lending to the government, and violations of its own
rules — described as “policy slippages.”
Today, the central bank remains in dire straits. The country owes
lenders 130 percent of its gross domestic product, mainly due to
“external arrears” incurred by the Jammeh administration, the IMF said
in May 2018.
Jammeh’s thirst for public money began soon after he captured power in
1994. In 1995, he recognized Taiwan’s independence from China in a
strategic establishment of diplomatic ties also made by several other
African countries. In doing so, he opened the door to some $100
million in foreign aid.
The East Asian island’s development assistance was deposited into a
“Special 3M” donor aid account at Citibank, the New York-based lender.
Documents show that $35 million of the funding was dispersed in less
than two years.
@Aiww What's in a Name?
A name is the first and final marker of individual rights, one fixed
part of the ever-changing human world. A name is the most basic
characteristic of our human rights: No matter how poor or how rich,
all living people have a name, and it is endowed with good wishes, the
expectant blessings of kindness and virtue.
@BritamEA reports FY 2018 EPS Loss [0.92] Earnings
Closing Price: 9.12
Total Shares Issued: 2523486816.00
Market Capitalization: 23,014,199,762
Britam Holdings PLC FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018 vs.
31st December 2017
FY Gross earned premiums 24.325111b vs. 23.298311b +4.407%
FY Less reinsurance premium ceded [3.263451b] vs. [3.000191b] +8.775%
FY Net earned premiums 21.061660b vs. 20.298120b +3.762%
FY Fund management fees 661.113m vs. 760.630m -13.083%
FY Net [Loss]/ income from investment property 507.207m vs. [607.261m] +183.524%
FY Interest and dividend income 6.160381b vs. 5.053975b +21.892%
FY Net unrealized fair value gains/ [losses] on financial assets
[3.091171b] vs. 1.413141b -318.745%
FY Commissions earned 857.381m vs. 744.492m +15.163%
FY Total income 26.393611b vs. 27.836674b -5.184%
FY Insurance claims and loss adjustment expenses [10.704713b] vs.
FY Amount recoverable from reinsurers 1.630406b vs. 2.385116b -31.642%
FY Change in actuarial value of policyholder benefits [5.172833b] vs.
FY Net insurance benefits and claims [14.247140b] vs. [12.498761b] -13.988%
FY Operating and other expenses [8.244558b] vs. [7.355818b] -12.082%
FY Commissions expenses [3.313922b] vs. [3.520150b] -5.859%
FY Total expenses [28.399825b] vs. [27.023837b] +5.092%
FY [Loss]/ Profit before tax [2.295870b] vs. 865.843m -365.160%
FY [Loss]/ Profit for the year [2.210285b] vs. 527.474m -519.032%
EPS [0.92] vs. 0.26 -453.846%
Total equity 23.956170b vs. 22.670010b +5.673%
Financial assets at fair value through profit/ loss 39.281935b vs.
Total assets 103.656332b vs. 99.024857b +4.677%
Cash and cash equivalents at end of year 6.972437b vs. 8.423155b -17.223%
The Board of Directors of Britam Holdings Plc is pleased to announce
the audited consolidated results for the year ended 31 December 2018.
The Group's gross earned premium and fund management fees registered a
growth of 4% to Shs 25.0 billion from Shs 24.1 billion reported in
2017. Our life assurance business registered a higher than industry
The Group returned a loss before tax of Shs 2.3 billion compared to a
profit before tax of Shs 865.8 million reported in 2017. A total
comprehensive loss of Shs 2.9 billion in 2018 compared to total
comprehensive income of Shs 1.9 billion in 2017.
The reported loss is mainly attributable to:
• Unrealised loss in listed equities of Shs 3.2 billion compared to a
gain of Shs 0.9 billion in 2017.
• Lower returns on our property investments due to the depressed
• One-off cost as a result of the business restructuring.
• Provisions of the new IFRS 9 due to significant investments in
The Group's core business performed well:
• Gross earned premium and fund management fees registered a growth of
4 percent to Shs 25.0 billion.
• Life assurance recorded a premium growth of 6 percent, a higher rate
than the industry and continues cementing its position as the market
The embedded value increased to Shs 13.9 billion, a return of 10.5 percent.
• Our regional businesses contributed 18 percent of the Group's topline.
• Total assets increased to Shs 103.7 billion. This is post the early
redemption of the Shs 6 billion corporate bond in October 2018.
• The shareholders' funds increased to Shs 23.9 billion a 6 per cent
increase as a result of issuance of new shares to Africlnvest during
• The asset management business continued its accelerated growth
achieving Assets Under Management (AUM) of Shs 146.4 billion, a 14 per
cent growth from last year.
The Group continues to pursue its 2016-2020 strategy. In 2019, we will focus on;
• Revenue growth through our market leading financial advisory network
of over 1,900 financial advisers which has won us the Association of
Kenya Insurers company of the year award for 12 years in a row,
• Transformation of our customer experiences and offering supported by
our investment in technology,
• Improving our reach to the currently uninsured market segments
through our market leading microinsurance business.
The Board of Directors do not recommend the payment a dividend for 2018.
FY Net unrealized fair value gains/ [losses] on financial assets
[3.091171b] vs. 1.413141b -318.745% - It would be good to know the
exact composition of this.
Insurance business posted headline growth +4.407%
@Kenya_Re reports FY 2018 EPS -36.399% Earnings
Par Value: 2.50/-
Closing Price: 11.50
Total Shares Issued: 699949068.00
Market Capitalization: 8,049,414,282
Leading reinsurance and insurance provider.
Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Limited FY 2018 results through 31st
December 2018 vs 31st December 2017
FY Gross premiums written 14.838393b vs. 14.827296b +0.075%
FY Less: retrocession premiums [823.408m] vs. [547.481m] -50.399%
FY Net earned premiums 14.205976b vs. 13.679576b +3.848%
FY Investment income 3.386177b vs. 3.165314b +6.978%
FY Fair value gains on revaluation of investment properties 397.211m
vs. 672.077m -40.898%
FY Total income 18.266334m vs. 18.189734b +0.421%
FY Gross claims incurred and policyholder benefits [9.456217b] vs.
FY Reinsurer share of claims and policyholder benefits 625.967m vs.
FY Net claims and benefits [8.830250b] vs. [7.598542b] +16.210%
FY Cedant acquisition costs [3.890255b] vs. [3.928700b] -0.979%
FY Operating and other expenses [2.019834b] vs. [1.709036b] +18.186%
FY Provision for doubtful debts [424.145m] vs. [394.905m] +7.404%
FY Total claims, benefits and other expenses [15.164484b] vs.
FY Profit before tax 3.101850b vs. 4.558551b -31.955%
FY Profit for the year 2.278282b vs. 3.577340b -36.314%
EPS (Basic and diluted) 3.25 vs. 5.11 -36.399%
Dividend per share 0.45 vs. 0.85 -17.059%
Total Equity 28.373033b vs. 27.205084b +4.293%
Government securities 14.314752b vs. 14.562840b -1.704%
Total Assets 44.362634b vs. 42.732667b +3.814%
Cash and cash equivalents at 31st December 5.797260b vs. 3.635590b +59.459%
We delivered on our commitment to continue growing the shareholders'
value. The gross written premiums, investments income, shareholders'
funds and assets base registered growth, however there was significant
drop in profits for year ended 31st December 2018 due to high claims
posted, impairment of an asset held for sale, significant devaluation
of forex in one of our markets and significant drop in the share of
profit from our investment in associate in Zep Re.
Gross written premiums grew by from KShs 14.83 billion in the year
2017 to KShs 14.838 billion in 2018. Net earned premiums grew by 4%
from KShs 13.68 billion in 2017 to KShs 14.2 billion in 2018.
Investment income grew from KShs 3.17 billion to KShs 3.39 billion.
The profit before tax for the year stood at KShs 3.1 billion, a
decline of 32% from last year profit before tax of KShs 4.56 billion.
Our accomplishments are the outcome of disciplined execution of our
five-year strategy which is grounded on the following five pillars;
financial performance, business process improvement, business
development, risk management and people and culture.
Financial overview of the Group continues to deliver positive results
to shareholders and has maintained a good performance despite the
challenging business environment experienced during the year which
affected the revenue streams, investment income.
Our investment portfolio grew to KShs 36.6billion in 2018 up from KShs
35.47 billion in 2017. The asset base increased from KShs 42.73
billion in 2017 to KShs 44.2.billion in 2018, a growth of 4%.
The Shareholders funds increased from KShs 27.2 billion in 2017 to
KShs 28.38 billion in 2018 a growth of 5%.
The Key performance drivers that are responsible for positive
financial state of the organization include, aggressive collection of
the reinsurance receivables and real time market intelligence which
guided our response to market changes and the uptake of investment
Its never traded above a P/E of 5.00 ever. with speaks to an in built
scepticism in the markets.
.@LibertyLifeKe reports FY 2018 EPS -15.574% Earnings here
Closing Price: 9.96
Total Shares Issued: 535707499.00
Market Capitalization: 5,335,646,690
Liberty Kenya Holdings PLC FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018
vs. 31st December 2017
FY Gross earned premium revenue 10.217603b vs. 10.493560b -2.630%
FY Less: outward reinsurance [3.908377b] vs. [4.162811b] -6.112%
FY Net insurance premium revenue 6.309226b vs. 6.330749b -0.340%
FY Commissions earned 844.015m vs. 965.459m -12.579%
FY Investment income 125.156m vs. 2.434872b -94.860%
FY Fair value [loss]/ gain on financial investments 1.602263b vs.
FY Total income 9.312050b vs. 10.423492b -10.663%
FY Claims and policyholder benefits [5.306021b] vs. [6.091026b] -12.888%
FY Amounts recoverable from reinsurers 1.802243b vs. 1.711564b +5.298%
FY Commissions payable [1.166084b] vs. [1.171902b] -0.496%
FY Other operating expenses [3.027509b] vs. [3.164611b] -4.332%
FY Claims and expenses [8.387094b] vs. [9.319222b] -10.002%
FY Profit before income tax 924.956m vs. 1.104270b -16.238%
FY Profit for the year 608.422m vs. 674.573m -9.806%
Basic and diluted EPS 1.03 vs. 1.22 -15.574%
Cash & cash equivalents at the end of the year 6.240923b vs. 3.689506b +69.153%
FY Total equity 7.678036b vs. 7.202015b +6.610%
FY Financial investments 22.456803b vs. 24.983002b -10.112%
FY Insurance contract liabilities 9.892067b vs. 8.926121b +10.806%
Overall, Group earnings after tax were 9% below 2017 on a re-stated
basis. The operating businesses however showed great resilience under
a difficult operating environment characterised by stunted premium
growth in Kenya and Tanzania.
Third quarter Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) statistics
indicated that the insurance industry in Kenya grew by only 1.79%
while in the half year report by Tanzania Insurance regulatory
authority indicated a premium growth of 3.9% in Tanzania.
During the year, the equity market was on a downtrend trend, with
NASI, NSE 25 and NSE 20 declining by 18.0%, 17.1% and 23.7%
respectively. Similarly, the yields in Government securities both in
Kenya and Tanzania reflected a declining trend, impacting investment
The Group managed operating and business acquisition costs to similar
levels recorded in 2017 in line with flat growth in premium income.
The claims costs, however, declined on account of lower policy
The Group continues to review the business operational process to
create efficiencies and improved effectiveness in service delivery to
our customers through an update of the Policy Administration Systems,
and other data automation management processes. In addition, in
preparation for International Reporting Standard IFRS 17 that takes
effect from reporting period 2022 (following IASB due process), the
Group has set up a project team to manage
The Directors will consider a first and final & dividend which shall
be included in the Notice of Annual General Meeting in due course.
Its a conservatively managed Franchise and evidently played defence in FY 18.
Kakuzi reports FY 2018 EPS -18.615% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 300.00
Total Shares Issued: 19600000.00
Market Capitalization: 5,880,000,000
Kakuzi PLC FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018 vs. 31st December 2017
FY Sales 3.152831b vs. 2.823926b +11.647%
FY Profit before fair value gain in non-current biological assets and
income tax 610.001m vs. 766.324m -20.399%
FY Fair value gain in non-current biological assets 74.082m vs. 82.799m -10.528%
FY Profit before income tax 684.083m vs. 849.123m -19.437%
FY Profit for the year 481.594m vs. 591.643m -18.601%
EPS (Basic and diluted) 24.57 vs. 30.19 -18.615%
Dividend per share 9.00 vs. 7.00 +28.571%
Total Equity 4.669476b vs. 4.322036b +8.039%
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year 1.500935b vs. 1.648749b -8.965%
The results for 2018 reflect a pre-tax profit of Shs 684 million
compared to Shs 849 million in 2017. The lower profits are as a result
of lower avocado prices achieved, due to a heavily over supplied
market in Europe.
Macadamia and forestry profits improved over the previous year as a
result of increased production from our orchards and a rise in the
demand for wood products. Earnings per share was Shs 24.57 in 2018
compared to Shs 30.19 in 2017.
Kakuzi maintains a strong cash balance, adequate to cover significant
investment in new crops, further expansion of our existing crops and
continued development of our processing facilities. In line with
Kakuzi’s long term strategy, the key use of cash is reinvestment in
Despite this, we are building a track record of steady dividend
growth, a trend that we intend to maintain.
Your Board recommends a dividend of Shs 9 per share compared to Shs 7
per share in 2017.
Kakuzi continues to increase its production volumes of both avocados
and macadamia as we see demand continuing to rise for high quality
fruit and nuts.
The emphasis on quality cannot be understated as traditional markets
become increasingly conscious of food safety requirements and a
rapidly expanding choice of where to source products from.
The prospects of new market opportunities developing in China are
exciting for both Kakuzi and Kenya as a whole. Kakuzi is working
closely with Government authorities to develop the correct protocols
which would enable access to this market for Kenyan avocados.
A new crop development into blueberry production represents a
significant mile stone for Kakuzi as this further diversifies our
product base and potentially increases the number of markets our
products are sold into.
Our forestry operations continue to perform well and we see the market
for good quality, sustainably produced wood products, remaining stable
in the coming years. Our commitment to principles of long termism,
sustainability, environmental protection and a custodial philosophy
over the assets we manage remains unchanged.
Our ability to contribute to the National agenda on food security is
reliant upon these core principles.
The international markets we operate within remain stable and secure
but are naturally influenced by the political issues of the day.
Brexit is an uncertainty but Kakuzi’s exposure to the UK markets is
Kakuzi produced a record volume of avocados from its orchards during
the year. This however, unfortunately coincided with record production
from Peru and South Africa leading to a heavily over supplied market
in Europe and a devastating impact on prices.
In total Kakuzi exported 2.84 million cartons (1.59 million cartons in
2017). As a result of the prevailing over supplied market conditions,
prices were significantly reduced to levels last seen some years ago
and 32% lower than 2017 (Euro 6.26 ‘v’ Euro 9.33 in 2017).
New orchard developments continued during the year and Kakuzi remains
on target to meet its strategic goal of planting 1,200 ha to various
avocado cultivars. In order to best manage the packing and export of
this fruit, the Packhouse will be upgraded during 2019. This
represents another substantial investment for the Company.
Kenya’s reputation as an origin for good quality avocado continues to
struggle in the international markets, which remains a challenge for
us. It is imperative that, as other countries increase their avocado
production, Kenya builds its quality reputation to avoid a long term
impact on its exports.
Macadamia production continues to grow as the orchards mature,
processing 229 tons in 2018 against 178 tons in 2017. Our cracking
facility completed its third season of operation, exporting the
product globally. We continue to explore value addition opportunities
as well as new technologies to enhance processing efficiency as well
as product quality and value.
Kakuzi embarked on a major trial in blueberry production during the
year. The first crop is anticipated to be harvested towards the end of
2019. If this commercial scale trial meets expectations, the venture
could increase significantly.
Sustainably produced, quality wood products returned a good profit for
the Company, contributing over Ksh 126 million to profits. We believe
the market for fence posts, utility poles and sawn timber will remain
relatively stable in the coming years.
We continue to fell and replant our forests to ensure we have
sufficient and sustainable product volume to meet market demands.
Our livestock operations produced nearly 1,000 head of cattle for sale
during the year. The butchery is performing well and our herd size
remains around 4,400 head. A key aspect to our strategy is to enhance
our contribution to the food security of the Nation as we develop our
Tea prices continue to remain under pressure as Kenya produced record
volumes in the year. Whilst overall this increases the export earnings
for the Country, it does however negatively impact on the price
Very attractive business. Continue to probe and explore new markets.
Well worth buying and putting away.
I like the product diversification.
Housing Finance reports FY 2018 EPS [1.56]Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 5.08
Total Shares Issued: 352416667.00
Market Capitalization: 1,790,276,668
HF Group PLC FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018 vs. 31st December 2017
FY Kenya Government Securities held to maturity 515.801m vs. 746.179m -30.874%
FY Kenya Government Securities Available for Sale 2.696339b vs.
FY Loans and advances to customers (net) 43.439691b vs. 49.639639b -12.490%
FY Investment in joint ventures 1.690210b vs. 1.713985b -1.387%
FY Total assets 60.549350b vs. 67.541116b -10.352%
FY Customers’ deposits 34.720824b vs. 36.660591b -5.291 %
FY Borrowed funds 13.468749b vs. 16.038675b -16.023%
FY Total shareholders’ funds 10.371231b vs. 11.449535b -9.418%
FY Loans & advances to customers interest income 5.661554b vs.
FY Government securities interest income 338.823m vs. 314.112m +7.867%
FY Total interest income 6.045521b vs. 7.132626b -15.241%
FY Customer deposits interest expenses [2.173142b] vs. [2.323445b] -6.469%
FY Other interest expenses [1.479916b] vs. [1.721873b] -14.052%
FY Total interest expenses [3.779848b] vs. [4.156258b] -9.056%
FY Net Interest income/ [Loss] 2.265673b vs. 2.976368b -2.380 %
FY Other income 1.066159b vs. 1.095725b -2.698%
FY Total non-interest income 1.319057b vs. 1.346426b -2.033%
FY Total operating income 3.584730b vs. 4.322794b -17.074%
FY Loan loss provision [375.908m] vs. [576.203m] -34.761%
FY Staff costs [1.227078b] vs. [1.088000b] +12.783%
FY Other operating expenses [2.087702b] vs. [1.854125b] +12.598%
FY Total other operating expenses [4.236415b] vs. [3.988399b] +6.218%
FY Profit/ [Loss] before tax and exceptional items [651.685m] vs.
FY Profit/ [Loss] after tax and exceptional items [598.218m] vs.
FY EPS [1.56] vs. 0.36 -533.333%
Dividend per share – vs. 0.35 -100.000%
Net NPL and Advances 8.734674b vs. 5.222020b +67.266%
Liquidity ratio 20.92% vs. 20.70% +0.220%
Lets hope this was the Kitchen Sink.
.@National_Bank reports FY 2018 EPS -98.413% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 4.85
Total Shares Issued: 308000000.00
Market Capitalization: 1,493,800,000
National Bank of Kenya Ltd. FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018
vs. 31st December 2017
FY Investment securities 46.341772b vs. 35.718032b +29.743%
FY Loans and advances to customers (net) 47.778777b vs. 52.361043b -8.751%
FY Total assets 114.849105b vs. 109.873141b +4.529%
FY Customer deposits 98.865959b vs. 94.275768b +4.869%
FY Total shareholders’ funds 6.972855b vs. 7.233908b -3.609%
FY Loans and advances interest income 4.427606b vs. 5.700756b -22.333%
FY Government securities interest income 4.432457b vs. 4.164277b +6.440%
FY Total interest income 8.912892b vs. 9.962495b -10.536%
FY Customer deposits interest expense [2.565274b] vs. [2.924384b] -12.280%
FY Total interest expenses [2.884962b] vs. [3.237573b] -10.891%
FY Net interest income 6.027930b vs. 6.724922b -10.364%
FY Other fees and commissions income 1.190202b vs. 1.293871b -8.012%
FY Total non-interest income 1.990944b vs. 2.428679b -18.024%
FY Total operating income 8.018874b vs 9.153601b -11.413%
FY Loan loss provision [185.099m] vs. [756.740m] -75.540%
FY Staff costs [3.864570b] vs. [3.916494b] -1.326%
FY Amortisation charges [475.506m] vs. [539.854m] -11.920%
FY Other operating expenses [2.018483b] vs. [2.139051b] -5.637%
FY Total operating expenses [7.562523b] vs. [8.368519b] -9.631%
FY Profit before tax and exceptional items 456.351m vs. 785.082m -41.872%
FY Profit after tax and exceptional items 7.008m vs. 410.783m -98.294%
Basic and diluted EPS 0.02 vs. 1.26 -98.413%
Net NPL and advances 13.117347b vs. 11.866182b +10.544%
Liquidity ratio 43.1% vs. 36.3% +6.800%
Posting a Profit is remarkable.
B.O.C Kenya Ltd reports FY 2018 EPS +65.842% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 79.50
Total Shares Issued: 19525446.00
Market Capitalization: 1,552,272,957
FY Revenue 966.543m vs. 967.626m -0.112%
FY Earnings before finance income and taxes 49.315m vs. 29.677m +66.172%
FY Net finance income 70.277m vs. 53.936m +30.297%
FY Profit before tax 119.592m vs. 83.613m +43.030%
FY Profit for the year 69.572m vs. 39.379m +76.673%
Basic EPS 3.35 vs. 2.02 +65.842%
Total dividend 5.20 vs. 5.20 –
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year 22.048m vs. 73.389m -69.957%
Total Assets 2.145738b vs. 2.228669b -3.721%
Total Equity 1.523488b vs. 1.611082b -5.437%
Revenue, for the year ended 31 December 2018, at Kshs.967 million was
at par with prior year. The Board is pleased to note that demand from
the medical gases sector — where quality and safety standards are
better adhered to — increased during the year, driven by customer
confidence, reliance on our quality products and engineering
solutions, and expansion of the Sector.
However, the revenue gains from the medical sector have been eroded by
a challenging operating environment in the industrial sector, not
least from the illegal filling of the Company's gas cylinders.
Profit after tax increased by 66% despite tax-related loss provisions
made in the books of a subsidiary Company. The increased profitability
was a result of cost management, sustainable efficiencies and savings
initiatives that the Company has instituted over a long period and the
maintaining of revenues despite the challenges in the Industrial
The health services sector in Kenya has been expanding over the last
several years and the Company continues to partner with the various
public and privately-owned health-care facilities to ensure the
availability to patients of high-quality medical gases. We especially
look forward to continuing collaboration with the County Governments
in their ongoing efforts to ensure access to medical oxygen at the
County level hospitals.
The industrial gases and welding products markets continues to face
significant pressures from low-cost imported products and more
pronounced illegal refilling of the Company's gas cylinders.
Management has taken certain steps and the Company is hopeful that,
working with the appropriately mandated enforcement agencies, the
illegal filling of cylinders will begin to abate in the coming months.
While ensuring that local standards as well as the Linde's Group's
global production and safety standards are adhered to, the Board and
Management will continue to focus on efficiency in production so as to
deliver products and services to customers competitively and
The Board of Directors is pleased to recommend the payment of a final
dividend of Kshs 2.85 per share (2017: KShs 3.00) bringing the total
dividend for the year 2018 to KShs 5.20 (2017: KShs 5.20) to be paid
net of withholding tax on or about 26 July 2019 to shareholders on the
register at close of business on 29 April 2019.
The Board of Directors also announce that the Annual General Meeting
of the Company will be held on 21 June 2019. The notice of the
meeting, the agenda and the annual report will be sent out to
shareholders within the required notice period.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD
Ruth Ngobi Company Secretary BOC Kenya Plc
28 March 2019
STANLIB FAHARI I-REIT reports FY PAT +13.069% 2018 Earnings here
Closing Price: 8.16
Total Shares Issued: 180972300.00
Market Capitalization: 1,476,733,968
Stanlib Fahari I-Reit FY 2018 results through 31st December 2018 vs.
31st December 2017
FY Rental and related income 309.763210m vs. 279.433136m +10.854%
FY Straight-lining of lease income 22.486262m vs. [8.743959m] +357.163%
FY Revenue 332.249472m vs. 270.689177m +22.742%
FY Interest income 56.433877m vs. 99.852345m -43.383%
FY Property expenses [108.850390m] vs. [96.292615m] +13.041%
FY Fund operating expenses [130.221511m] vs. [135.632948m] -3.990%
FY Property expenses [108.850390m] vs. [96.292615m] +13.041%
FY Operating expenses [239.071901m] vs. [231.925563m] +3.081%
FY Fair value adjustment to investment property 65.606465m vs.
FY Straight lining of lease income [22.486262m] vs. 8.743959m -357.163%
FY Increase/ [decrease] in fair value of investment property
43.120203m vs. 30.756728m +40.198%
FY Net profit for the year 193.491759m vs. 171.126409m +13.069%
Basic Earnings per unit 1.07 vs. 0.95 +12.632%
Headline Earnings per unit 0.83 vs. 0.78 +6.410%
Distributable earnings per unit 0.71 vs. 0.82 -13.415
Total Assets 3.852621474b vs. 3.761627663b +2.419%
Fair value of investment property 3.262953647b vs. 2.379739909b +37.114%
Investment securities 83.809515m vs. 529.000000m -84.157%
Equity 3.723943826b vs. 3.666181292b +1.576%
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period 302.822720m vs. 688.190218m -55.997%
Net earnings grew by 13% to KShs 193.5 mln in 2018 (2017: KShs 171.1
mln). This favourable result was mainly due to an increase in fair
value gain on revaluation of investment property.
The portfolio’s market valuation was bolstered by the contribution of
a modern 3-screen cinema at Greenspan Mall which is due to come on
stream in Q2 2019 underpinned by a 10-year lease.
Recent successful renewal of key tenant leases has also boosted the
mall’s future cash flows and expiry profile and will counter the
challenge of vacancies in the portfolio.
Despite the increase in net profit, distributable earnings declined by
14% to KShs 127.9 mln (2017: KShs 149.1 mln) as a result of a
temporary increase in vacancies as well as tax leakages in the form of
irrecoverable withholding tax at property subsidiary company level.
The long-anticipated legislation to exempt REIT owned subsidiaries is
expected to curb the tax leakages going forward.
Interest income declined substantially in line with the utilisation of
excess cash to purchase an A grade three storey office building
situated in Lavington. The transaction was completed on 29 May 2018
with rental income accruing from that date.
Robust debt collection and tenant engagement processes are yielding
the desired outcome – tenant arrears declined significantly and
remained within target at end of 2018.
Property development in progress
Construction work to install a three-screen cinema (with about 100
seats each) at Greenspan Mall is nearing completion and the tenant is
expected to begin operating from Q2 2019. This development will
strengthen the mall’s entertainment offering and is expected to
increase foot traffic, benefit existing and future tenants and
increase rental income.
Despite the slight decline in distributable earnings, the distribution
remains flat year-on-year. Having considered the cash flow
requirements and availability of funds, the REIT Manager has
recommended and the Trustee has approved a first and final
distribution of KShs. 135,729,225 in relation to the year ended 31
December 2018 (2017: KShs. 135,729,225). The distribution amounts to
75 cents per unit (2017:
75 cents per unit) and is payable by no later than 30 April 2019.