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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
M.G Vassanji's The Magic of Saida
M. G. Vassanji: I would describe it as a love story that in its
development and description tells other stories. It is set in Kilwa,
the ancient town on the east coast of Africa, which is associated
historically with slavery, international (Indian Ocean) trade, and
twentieth-century colonialism, as well as Swahili culture and poetry.
This history is manifest in various forms in the lives of the people.
The story of Kilwa is therefore also the story of the two childhood
sweethearts in the book. Thus, the boy Kamal is mesmerized by the
history narrated by the old poet of the town.
Vassanji: Sometimes, it's hard to remember. I think I had the town of
Kilwa in mind, having read about it. It has a certain romance to it,
being ancient. It's one of the oldest urban settlements in sub-Saharan
Africa. The Arab traveler Ibn Batuta mentions it in the fourteenth
century; the English poet John Milton mentions it. It's older than
Delhi. Its descriptions in old Portuguese texts are fantastic. Then
there was the mystique of magic--which is very strong in Tanzania. I
got fascinated by Swahili culture.
When a person dies, Warren believes, some extra-physical element of them remains, dwelling in the place where they passed @theintercept @rdevro
“In those 120-degree temperature days without rain, a body, within a
few hours, has a rock-hard nose, earlobes, and fingertips. We
routinely have to soften fingertips with a solution we have here, so
we can put ink on them to print them,” he explained. “That happens
within a few hours. Within a few days, all the moisture is out of the
body, and it’s wicked into the desert sand.” This process, Anderson
said, leaves an outline of the deceased. “You can imagine the chalk
that we all see on television, police crime scenes and things like
that. There’s an actual decomposition fluid outline — if a body lays
there and isn’t disturbed by animals — that stays in the desert for
Mummification and human outlines in the sand might make finding and
identifying dead bodies straightforward, if not for the second force
at work in the desert: scavengers. Vultures, coyotes, and insects are
all present in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem. “They start with the
fingers and the face,” Anderson said, “the two areas that, routinely,
we use to identify people. Those are gone in one day.” Not only that,
he added, but animals routinely tear off arms and legs and other body
parts. “A coyote mother could carry that back to her den,” Anderson
said. “And coyotes are known to range for five or 10 miles.”
U.S. Deploys Forces to Mideast to Deter Iran @WSJ
Law & Politics
The Pentagon is sending a carrier and its accompanying ships as well
as what is known as a bomber task force to the region in coming days
in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and
warnings,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a statement
“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we
are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” he
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.
Kidnapping: A Very Efficient Business @nybooks
Law & Politics
In Argentina in the early 1970s, leftist guerrillas started snatching
executives of multinational companies and demanding ransoms. This
culminated in the payment of $60 million to the Montoneros, a Peronist
guerrilla group, for the release of the brothers Juan and Jorge Born,
executives at the grain-exporting firm Bunge & Born and the sons of
its president. The ransom seems noteworthy for its heft—at about $275
million in today’s money, it stands as the largest one paid in a
conventional kidnapping case. (In 2017 Qatar reportedly paid $1
billion to an al-Qaeda affiliate and Iran to win the release of a
royal hunting party.) But perhaps what makes the Born case more
unusual in the history of the ransom trade is the fact that Jorge
himself negotiated the price while captive. He had intimate knowledge
of the company’s finances and thus had a precise sense of how much
money could be raised—though not, crucially, how much ought to be
paid. The deal he struck was delivered to Born père, who had refused
the initial demand of $100 million, as a signed memorandum.
As Argentine ransoms soared, insurers at Lloyd’s of London were
beginning to rake in premiums from a peculiar product.
Kidnap-and-ransom (K&R) insurance had existed since 1932—it was
developed in response to the abduction and killing of Charles
Lindbergh’s twenty-month-old son—but it didn’t take off until the
1960s, following a series of kidnappings of businessmen and their
families in Europe and Latin America. Companies started buying
coverage for those employees most likely to be targeted, and the
market boomed. Had Bunge & Born purchased coverage for the brothers,
it would have been reimbursed for at least a portion of the payout.
Joel Simon in We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Kidnapping,
Hostages, and Ransom, which includes a concise survey of the K&R
industry. And parties who paid too much might be targeted again: in
1983 the wife of Teddy Wang, a Hong Kong property tycoon, paid $11
million for his return; in 1990 she paid $60 million—but that time he
was not released, and his body was never found.
In the mid-1970s, Julian Radcliffe, a young insurance broker in
London, helped fix this flaw. He came up with the idea for Control
Risks, a security consultancy that, as part of the Lloyd’s K&R
package, would advise policyholders on how to prevent kidnappings and
assist if one occurred. Potential insured parties would be thoroughly
vetted, and those who passed muster would be rewarded for the
implementation of specific security measures (such as hiring guards or
varying routes to work) with reduced premiums—a way of mitigating the
classic problems of “adverse selection” (the tendency of those likely
to experience a loss to seek coverage) and “moral hazard” (the lack of
incentive to avoid risk where there is protection against its
In the event of a kidnapping, consultants—mostly former military and
law enforcement—would advise relatives or employers on the
negotiations. Someone from the hostage’s family or company would be
appointed to do the talking; otherwise, the kidnappers might realize
they had an insured hostage and increase their demands. Once a price
was agreed upon, specialists would deliver the ransom and retrieve the
hostages. This quickly became the new way of doing things.
Around 90 percent of all kidnappings are successfully resolved,
meaning the hostages return alive, usually through ransom—an
“astonishing success rate,” remarks Anja Shortland in Kidnap: Inside
the Ransom Business. And the odds are considerably better if
specialists are involved: more than 97 percent of cases handled by
professional negotiators are resolved successfully, almost always
With its record of success, the industry is flourishing. More than 75
percent of Fortune 500 companies have K&R policies, and premiums are
worth $250 to $300 million a year.
When kidnappers keep hostages for days, weeks, or months, most invest
in keeping them alive (a corpse is not worth much, except in the
Iliad) and in decent health. Captives with medical conditions are
usually allowed to receive medications; in 2010 al-Qaeda let a French
woman with breast cancer take chemo drugs. Somali pirates are governed
by a strict code of conduct that fines guards for hurting hostages;
there’s even a printed “Pirate’s Handbook.” They have been known to
send their counterparties receipts for items, such as bottled water,
procured for the proper maintenance of the captives.
“There is a pace, a rhythm to these things,” one consultant told
Shortland. If the initial demand is $1 million, and recent cases in
the area have been settled for around $10,000 in around five days,
then “an initial offer of $5,000 might be a good start” and “more
money will be ‘found’—though in decreasing increments,” petering out
around $10,000. But if precedents are around $100,000, “a paltry
initial offer of $5,000 could be perceived as an insult and put the
hostage’s life at risk.”
The course of a negotiation can also be affected by external factors,
such as media exposure. Shortland recounts the 2011 abduction by
Somali pirates of the crew of the Danish-owned merchant ship Leopard.
The pirates demanded $10 million for the crew, and the company that
owned the ship claimed it was on the brink of bankruptcy. The pirates
went down to $6 million. But then a Danish tabloid and TV channel
revealed that the shipowner was a multimillionaire who was living
large while his crew suffered. The pirates immediately increased their
demand to $15 million, and as public anger in Denmark grew against the
“callous” owner, the pirates leaped to $35 million. The case was
finally resolved, after 839 days, for $6.9 million, raised from
several sources. The hostages sued the media outlets for worsening
their ordeal. And Somali pirates’ appetites were whetted.
In Mexico, kidnappers used to target the ultrarich, but many have
shifted focus to the middle class. The trade has been “democratized,”
a Mexican crisis responder told The Economist. Social media have
created a new way to shop for victims who are not tabloid princesses
and scions of industrial families but who look flush and might be
handily location-tagged on Instagram or lured on Tinder. Kidnappers
who lack resources or skills, or who simply want to make a quick buck,
may avoid the challenges of hostage-keeping altogether. In countries
such as Brazil, Ecuador, and Tanzania, the norm has become the
“express” kidnapping: victims are taken to an ATM, forced to withdraw
the daily maximum (twice, if the detention straddles midnight), and
released. Some kidnappers don’t even bother with the kidnapping. In a
“virtual” or “phantom” case, the criminals send a ransom demand while
the unwitting “hostage” is in the cinema or on a hike (and thus cannot
be contacted), or else they call and threaten the victim, telling him
not to talk to anyone for a given period of time, during which they
extort his family.
The history of modern kidnapping-for-ransom is dominated by cases
involving high-profile victims; those of lesser standing are always
likely to be overlooked. In 1932, the same year the Lindbergh baby was
abducted, a nineteen-year-old, well-to-do English woman named Muriel
“Tinko” Pawley was taken hostage, along with her three dogs, by
bandits in northern China. Tinko had grown up mostly in China and
married an Englishman who worked for the Asiatic Petroleum Company.
The kidnappers demanded a huge sum of money and sundry supplies, and
threatened that failure to comply would result in Tinko’s ears being
cut off and her dogs killed.
This bizarre case—Tinko wrote to friends requesting lipstick and
threatened the gang leader, in fluent Chinese, with both personal
haunting and the transformation of his ancestors into turtles if she
were killed, and was finally released in exchange for gold, opium, and
some stylish brogues—was a sensation in the British press. Evelyn
Waugh even wrote a short story based on it.
Sudan faces fuel crisis and worsening cash crunch @ReutersAfrica
Law & Politics
Cars queued at almost every petrol station in Khartoum on Saturday as
motorists waited for fuel for several hours. Soldiers manned the
stations to ensure order.
The crisis, along with a cash shortage and electricity outages, pose
challenges to the country’s ruling Transitional Military Council
(TMC), set up after generals deposed Bashir and arrested him on April
The TMC is locked in a standoff with the opposition over who will
control a proposed joint civilian-military body to oversee the country
until elections can be held.
Protests have continued in a bid to push the council to cede power to civilians.
At least a dozen ATMs in a commercial area in central Khartoum had no
cash, and dozens of people lined up at those still dispensing money.
A Reuters witness counted 88 customers in one line on a main road in
“I am searching since the morning for an ATM to withdraw cash from,”
said Ahmed Yassin, 52. “I have been standing in line for three hours
and I must withdraw so that I can buy Ramadan needs for my family.”
One banking employee, who declined to be named, said most ATMs held no cash.
Most Sudanese employees get paid near the beginning of the month, and
consumer spending often increases during the Islamic month of Ramadan,
likely to begin on May 6, contributing to the liquidity crisis.
The maximum daily withdrawal has long been set at 2,000 Sudanese
pounds ($45). Some have set up several bank accounts to try to
circumvent the limit.
Most residential areas in the capital experience near-daily
electricity outages for hours. The increasing blackouts occurred as
Khartoum’s temperatures soar to highs of 45 Celsius.
Bashir’s government had run up enormous budget deficits by subsidizing
fuel, bread and other products. To cover the deficit, it expanded the
But that served to debase the currency, causing inflation to rise and
the value of the Sudanese pound against other currencies to plummet -
in turn pushing up the cost of subsidies and widening the deficit even
Attempts to raise bread and fuel prices to reduce the cost of
subsidies sparked the protests that led to the military’s overthrowal
of Bashir last month.
Law & Politics
مسؤوليتنا كبيرة وأولاها وأولها هي ضمان استمرار الاعتصام وكافة أشكال
الاحتجاج والتظاهر بما في ذلك الإضراب السياسي والعصيان المدني، فهذا ما
سيضمن إنجاز أهداف الثورة.
إن تجمع المهنيين يؤكد أنه سيكون خلف الجماهير، وأنه باق على عهده بأن
يلتزم جانب الجماهير حتى تحقيق
Our responsibility is great and the first one is to ensure the
continuation of the sit-in and all forms of protest and demonstration
including political strike and civil disobedience, which will ensure
the achievement of the objectives of the revolution.
The gathering of professionals confirms that he will be behind the
masses, and that he remains in his custody to abide by the masses
until the goals of the revolution are achieved
The Battle of Algiers (with English subtitles)
Law & Politics
The Battle of Algiers (Arabic: Ù…Ø¹Ø±ÙƒØ© Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ø²Ø§Ø¦Ø±; French: La
Bataille d'Alger; Italian: La battaglia di Algeri) is a 1966 war film
based on occurrences during the Algerian War (1954–62) against French
occupation in North Africa, the most prominent being the titular
Battle of Algiers. It was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. The film has
been critically celebrated and often taken, by insurgent groups and
states alike, as an important commentary on urban guerilla warfare. It
occupies the 120th place on Empire Magazine's list of the 500 greatest
movies of all time. Algeria was eventually liberated from the
French, but Pontecorvo relegates that to an epilogue. He concentrates
instead on the years between 1954 and 1957 when the freedom fighters
regrouped and expanded into the casbah, only to face a systematic
attempt by French paratroopers to wipe them out. His highly dramatic
film is about the organisation of a guerrilla movement and the methods
used to annihilate it by the colonial power.
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Written by Gillo Pontecorvo
The Battle of Algiers: Bombs and Boomerangs
Law & Politics
an absolute pinnacle of countercinema—the ne plus ultra of a mode that
seeks to intervene strategically in the war for social change
movie offers iconography—checkpoints child martyrs interrogation
rooms, torture chambers—that has become timely again & worth
meditating on. “It is the moment of the boomerang” Jean-Paul Sartre
Luis Vaz de Camoes SONNET
Law & Politics
LEAVE me, all sweet refrains my lip hath made;
Leave me, all instruments attuned for song;
Leave me, all fountains pleasant meads among;
Leave me, all charms of garden and glade;
Leave me, all melodies the pipe hath played;
Leave me, all rural feast and sportive throng;
Leave me, all flocks the reed beguiles along;
Leave me, all shepherds happy in the shade.
Sun, moon and stars, for me no longer glow;
Night would I have, to wail for vanished peace;
Let me from pole to pole no pleasure know;
Let all that I have loved and cherished cease;
But see that thou forsake me not, my Woe,
Who wilt, by killing, finally release.
08-JAN-2018 :: The Crypto Avocado Millenial Economy.
The ‘’Zeitgeist’’ of a time is its defining spirit or its mood.
Capturing the ‘’zeitgeist’’ of the Now is not an easy thing because we
are living in a dizzyingly fluid moment. Whether its President Trump’s
rat-a-tat Tweets or a mind boggling 625% share price advance because
an erstwhile Tea Company [The Long Island Iced Tea Corp was a
little-known company making non- alcoholic lemonades and ice teas]
renamed itself the Long Blockchain Corp. We are living in
extraordinarily fast moving times. Paul Virilio has said ‘Wealth is
the hidden side of speed and speed the hidden side of wealth’ and he
is not wrong.
Let Allah decide oil price - Saudi oil minister @RT_com
Only Allah can determine the future of oil prices, said Saudi Oil
Minister Ali al-Naimi, adding that neither Saudi Arabia nor OPEC can
really control them anymore.
"No one can set the price of oil — it's up to Allah," al-Naimi said
Tuesday in an interview with CNBC, responding to a question about
whether Saudi Arabia will cut its oil production.
BRI will politically stabilize Africa @CGTNOfficial @AKorybko
Algeria and Sudan recently experienced sudden changes of government
following widespread protests that were mostly motivated by economic
factors, causing some to remark that the 2011 Arab Spring might be
returning to the region.
Whether it's North Africa or other parts of the continent, Africa, as
a whole, has been afflicted with developmental problems ever since the
onset of decolonization because its many countries have had serious
challenges rectifying the problems of the past and integrating into
the world economy on an equal basis as their international peers
elsewhere in the world.
These difficulties have oftentimes been compounded with corruption and
civil war, which have altogether resulted in Africa being regarded as
a troublesome place rife with instability and poverty. Predictably,
its population isn't pleased with this state of affairs and sometimes
protests in order to draw the attention of authorities to their
plight, which occasionally sets into motion larger processes that
eventually lead to regime change.
This cycle is doomed to repeat itself indefinitely unless African
countries finally implement a sustainable developmental solution that
properly satisfies the needs of their population.
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the answer that
Africans are looking for.
Zambia: debt, unpaid salaries and a poor harvest have sown seeds of crisis via @TC_Africa
The result, three years into his term and two years before the next
election (in 2021), is a dawning awareness of the scale of the
country’s debt – likely in the region of US$10 billion, much of which
is due for repayment shortly after the 2021 elections.
The showpiece projects, which Lungu has staked his future on, cannot
be cancelled – but there is not enough money in the country’s budget
to pay the salaries of medical, military and educational personnel, or
other public servants. In a country with a very low rate of formal
employment, the extended families of these public servants are likely
to be going hungry, especially so after a very poor harvest. The huge
sums devoted to showpiece projects have also encouraged corruption to
International assistance is also unlikely. Just before Easter,
Zambia’s finance minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, went to Washington,
along with several other African finance ministers, for the spring
meeting of the IMF and World Bank. While she spoke confidently of the
debt being an investment for the future, she offered no firm figures,
and certainly no news of debt relief, debt rollover or debt
Indeed, a statement released by both the World Bank president, David
Malpas, and IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, spoke of the
messiness of debt incurred by many borrowing countries. They
complained that countries did not even have coherent records of how
much debt – or the types of debt – they had incurred. There were too
many lenders and too many different terms and conditions attached to
the loans. Not all were transparent.
In short, without mentioning Zambia by name, they seemed to indicate
that a country like Zambia would face huge complications in
restructuring its debt. And the barely veiled hint was that the IMF
and World Bank would take a hard line in any negotiations towards such
restructuring. “The seeds of crisis” have been sown, according to one
The Key to South Africa's Vote Is the Margin of Victory @bpolitics @adengat
Money managers and analysts have said a strong showing for the ANC,
potentially exceeding 60 percent of the vote, should boost stocks by
strengthening President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ability to drive
improvements in Africa’s most-industrialized economy. But opinion
polls show differing pictures of ANC support, ranging from 51 percent
to 61 percent.
A resounding ANC victory would trigger a rally in South African
assets, Colin Coleman, head of of Sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs
Group Inc., said in a Bloomberg Television interview this week. Were
the ANC to reach the 60 percent-mark, “then the market will be very
bullish,” according to Coleman. Anything below that level would limit
Ramaphosa’s ability to make the changes he wants, he said.
Investors are showing few signs of anxiety as next week’s poll
approaches. South African stocks have made their best start to a year
since 2007, advancing 11 percent as of the end of April, almost in
line with the 12 percent gain by emerging-market peers. The benchmark
index advanced 1 percent in Johannesburg Friday, the most in more than
The key post-election issue is whether Ramaphosa will be “more
assertive in implementing changes which he knows are necessary if the
economy is to start growing again,’’ said McGregor. “Perhaps the most
liberating aspect of the election will be that it is behind him.’’
In his “worst-case scenario,” the ANC’s majority falls below 55
percent and the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters party wins more
than 12 percent of the vote. Such a result could also spur social
unrest and hurt consumer and business confidence as South Africans
would expect limited political reforms and a lack of accountability
for corruption experienced in the past decade, he said.
As Diamond Reshapes Africa Ambitions, a Kenyan Bank Benefits @business
Bob Diamond’s change in strategy to build Atlas Mara Ltd. into a
pan-African lender are helping a rival Kenyan banker fulfill a
long-held objective of expanding on the continent.
The company founded by the former Barclays Plc chief executive officer
in 2013 is exiting four of the seven African nations in which it
operates in return for 6.3 percent of Nairobi-based Equity Group
That gives James Mwangi, the CEO of Kenya’s biggest bank by market
value, exposure to markets he’s coveted for almost five years, with
entries into Zambia and Mozambique.
Equity Group -- which started in 1984 in Nairobi, before spreading
across six markets including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda
and South Sudan -- wants to be in 15 nations on the continent by 2026
to benefit from rising regional trade and the increased use of digital
For 67-year-old Diamond, the transaction reshapes his aspirations of
building a continental lender. Atlas Mara misjudged the caliber of
competition in Africa and ultimately paid too much for acquisitions,
just as a commodity-price bust slowed growth across the continent.
Atlas Mara will retain its main investment -- a stake in Union Bank of
Nigeria Plc -- and its units in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and the deal
for the rest gives the company the opportunity to share in Equity
Group’s growth, said Chairman Michael Wilkerson.
“The vision on Africa is as sound as it’s ever been,” Diamond said in
an interview. “Everything about this is a long-term investment. Banks
that were not at scale or not performing well now have a much better
Wilkerson called the deal an evolution of Diamond’s strategy, focusing
on markets where Atlas Mara can find a “path to leadership” and
exiting or partnering where the firm is “sub-scale or not making
Speaking by phone, he also praised Equity Group’s operating skills in
being able to make the most out of acquisitions.
Diamond was still optimistic in September 2017 that Atlas Mara could
increase its footprint to 10 or more African countries after selling a
42 percent stake to a division of Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial
Holdings Ltd. -- a deal that gave Atlas Mara the firepower to up its
stake in Lagos-based UBN.
Diamond, who is focusing on investments in European financial
services, handed over Atlas Mara’s reins to Wilkerson in February. He
remains a top five shareholder and non-executive director of Atlas
Atlas Mara has no plans to either exit Zimbabwe or Botswana or make
new acquisitions, and will focus on further increasing its 49.7
percent stake in UBN and helping that business to grow, possibly
through acquisitions, Wilkerson said.
Atlas Mara also posted full-year earnings Tuesday. Its profit fell 13
percent in 2018 because of accounting adjustments and higher costs.
The stock fell 3.7 percent in London, and has dropped about 85 percent
since it began trading. Equity Group rose 2.9 percent, extending its
advance this year to 17 percent.
Equity is getting the assets at a discount to book value and will
combine its existing Tanzanian and Rwandan operations with Atlas
Mara’s units in the country.
06-MAY-2019 :: M-Pesa the Jewel in Safaricom's Crown
Safaricom reported FY Earnings last Friday. The centrality of
Safaricom in the lives of Kenyans and to the Nairobi Securities
Exchange cannot be gainsaid. Safaricom represents around 47.9 % of the
NSE total value of $23,304,653,465.00 [Mihr Thakar]. Bob Collymore has
presided over a more than 400% increase in the share price during his
tenure and if you cared to roll in the dividend payments over that
period, the return is juiced further. The Total Return of the share
price over the period of his tenure ranks in the top percentile
world-wide. This Year the share price is +31% [only 9 percentage
points behind Bitcoin which has flown off the charts in 2019 and is
+40%]. Now conversely, if you stripped Safaricom out of the Nairobi
Securities Exchange Indices , the performance would be woeful.
Therefore, the Earnings Release is a very big deal.
Safaricom reported a 7% increase in FY Service Revenue which clocked
240.30b. Voice remains the single biggest revenue line item 95.94b and
expanded +0.3% [Prices -10% Year on Year]. Voice was pronounced dead
many years ago but for Safaricom the Demographic Dividend has
underpinned Voice. Safaricom added 2.3 million customers in the Full
Year +58% compared to the previous year. For Bashir and Bouteflika the
Youthquake was a Terminator, for Safaricom it is a rising tide. This
remains a mature business but Safaricom have proven skilled at working
the angles. SMS Revenue declined -1.3% to 17.5b.
Full Year Mobile Data Revenue grew +6.4% to 38.69b. During this
reporting Period the average rate per megabyte reduced 42%. Safaricom
absorbed the GOK related increases and turbo-charged consumption. This
is exactly the correct strategy. I recall a conversation about the
Take-Up of Smart Phones a number of years ago and Bob Collymore told
me then one of the issues is that if you have not experienced a fast
internet, You really don't know what you are missing. Millions of
Kenyans are now hooked to the c21st and Information Super highway and
its very difficult to dump a Ferrari for a Pro Box once you have
driven the Ferrari. This Curve will turn ''hockey stick'' make no
mistake about that.
The real Earnings Outlier was Mpesa. Full Year Mpesa Revenue surged
+19.2% to reach 74.99b.
In November of last year I wrote this in the Star
Mpesa revenue surged +18.2% to register 35.52b and looks like its on
the cusp of a hockey stick like breakout. Safaricom have tweaked the
Mpesa ecosystem with good effect. They have made the Mpesa garden
richer [the average user is transacting 12 times a month] and have
increased retention and circulation in the ecosystem. This is a very
Safaricom: ''The growth in MPESA has been driven by an increased
number of users, higher velocity of funds within the ecosystem, and
adoption of new use cases. MPESA now accounts for 31.2% of service
Mpesa contributed 75% of Safaricom's Year on Year Growth. Bob
Collymore told the Financial Times's Tom Wilson.
''If you strip out Mpesa’s performance you will see that our
underlying growth as a teleco is only about 2.4 per cent.”
Mpesa is the Jewel in the Safaricom Crown and has ''blitz-scaled'' [of
course, I think Mobile Data will also become as valuable a Jewel] and
Safaricom's premium is a direct consequence of the value being placed
on this Earnings curve. Safaricom have continued to fine-tune the
Mpesa eco-system under Lapoiyit to good effect with the latest
innovation Fuliza: ''the worlds first contextual mobile money
overdraft facility'' going great Guns and providing further
confirmation the Mpesa ''Platform Economy'' is a part of the genre of
Platform Economies like UBER and the like. Safaricom predicted that
within three years its pioneering digital payments business Mpesa will
generate more revenue than all other parts of the business combined
Vodacom and Safaricom plan to take over the intellectual property
rights for M-Pesa, the main mobile-money product, from Vodafone Group
Plc, Vodacom’s parent, and roll out the service to other African
nations. If Safaricom can replicate the ubiquity of Safaricom in other
markets, we will have to steepen the Earnings Curve further. In
Ethiopia, Safaricom is already providing state-owned monopoly Ethiopia
Telecommunications Corp. with fiber connectivity, call termination and
airtime advance for customers, he said, and the partnership has
potential to be expanded.
“We are looking at a broader relationship with EthioTel,” he said,
without giving details. “No agreements have been signed yet, but we
are hopeful about signing something this year.”
Given the importance of Mpesa, it “points to someone who really
understands the fintech business” as a possible successor Boby
Collymore told Tom Wilson..
Allow me to also mention the Dividend Pay Out of 1.25 +13.636% and a
Special dividend per share of 0.62. The Balance Sheet is seriously
Interestingly, Bob was asked about Huawei and said Safaricom's policy
is not going to be driven by President Trump's Foreign Policy.
@SafaricomPLC FY 2019 Earnings #safaricomfyresults
Par Value: 0.05/-
Closing Price: 29.25
Total Shares Issued: 40065428000.00
Market Capitalization: 1,171,913,769,000
Safaricom FY 2019 Results for the year ended 31st March 2019 vs. 31st March 2018
FY Voice revenue 95.94b vs. 95.64b +0.3%
FY Mpesa Revenue 74.99b vs. 62.91b +19.2%
FY SMS Revenue 17.50b vs. 17.72b -1.3%
FY Mobile data revenue 38.69b vs. 36.36b +6.4%
FY Fixed service revenue 8.19b vs. 6.67b +22.7%
FY Other service revenue 5.00b vs. 5.24b -4.5%
FY Service revenue 240.30b vs. 224.54b +7.0%
FY Earnings before taxation 89.61b vs. 79.27b +13.1%
FY EBIT Margin 35.8% vs. 33.9% +1.9%
FY Net income 63.40b vs. 55.29b +14.7%
EPS 1.58 vs. 1.38 +14.7%
Shareholders Funds 143.24b vs. 123.91b +15.6%
Cash and cash equivalents 20.03b vs. 9.50b +110.842%
Total Net Cash 16.00b vs. 5.46b +193.040%
Free cash flow 63.11b vs. 55.39b +13.938%
Normal dividend per share 1.25 vs. 1.10 +13.636%
Special dividend per share 0.62
Service revenue growth of 7% to KShs 240.30bn.
Voice service (incoming and outgoing) revenue grew by 0.3% to KShs 95.94bn.
MPESA revenue grew by 19.2% to KShs 74.99bn.
Mobile data revenue increased by 6.4% to KShs 38.69bn.
Messaging revenue declined by 1.3% to KShs 17.50bn.
Fixed service revenue increased by 22.7% to KShs 8.19bn.
Total customer base increased by 7.7% to 31.8m.
This year we made good progress by securing key partnerships for our
MPESA business including AliExpress to drive our payments business,
Western Union to drive remittances and Fuliza, our overdraft product,
to drive lending.
We continue to accelerate our digital transformation and agile agenda.
Our continued focus on digital engagement with customers enabled us to
launch Zuri, an artificial intelligence (AI) Chatbot assistant, to
meet our customer requests through automated, digital support. Zuri
enables our mobile data users to perform a wide range of tasks saving
on costs and driving efficiencies.
MPESA grew 19.2% for the year. The growth in MPESA has been driven by
an increased number of users, higher velocity of funds within the
ecosystem, and adoption of new use cases. In the period, we added 2.1
million active MPESA customers. MPESA now accounts for 31.2% of
service revenue, further accelerating displacement of traditional
voice and messaging services.
Mobile data revenue increased by KShs 2.33bn on an absolute basis, and
continued to witness a slowdown in the growth rate from the first half
of the year, growing at 6.4% for the full year. The slow down in
growth reflects both competitive conditions in the market and
increased taxation that was absorbed for in bundle customers. Mobile
data is now 16.1% of service revenue.
@SafaricomPLC sees 8% growth this year, down from 13% increase @business
The guidance for 2019-2020 earnings “is weak,” Tracy Kivunyu, a senior
analyst with Tellimer Markets Inc., said by phone from Nairobi.
The outlook overshadowed Safaricom’s declaration of a special dividend
on the back of a strong balance sheet and growth in mobile money to
almost a third of total revenue.
Part-owned by South Africa’s Vodacom Group Ltd., the carrier controls
about two thirds of the Kenyan market and is seeking to expand into
Response to Fact Finding Report on Northern Rangelands Trust's Operations in Community Conservancies in Isiolo County, published by Borana Council of Elders and the Waso Professional Forum
Firstly, we thank the Borana Council of Elders (BCE) and the Waso
Professionals Forum (WPF) for their passion and dedication to the
human rights of the Isiolo communities, their concern for the state of
the rangelands they rely on, and the prosperity of wildlife they live
alongside. It would seem that NRT, BCE and WPF have similar
organizational values, and it is with that understanding that we have
read this report, and wish to address some of the allegations set out
in the report findings.
c) NRT has introduced “white coloured” lions into the conservancy that
attack Borana community members.
Allegations of NRT introducing lions into any area are wholly untrue -
any animal translocations are the responsibility of the Kenya Wildlife
Service, with whom we work closely, and NRT has no authority to move
wildlife without the support and lead of the KWS. NRT has never been
involved in the translocation of lions anywhere ever. We call on the
government to investigate such a wild and misplaced allegation.
d) ‘Laikipia Beef’ from Ol Pejeta is the most expensive beef in Kenya
Laikipia Beef has no relation to NRT. NRT Trading partners with Ol
Pejeta to provide pastoralists in member conservancies with a direct
link to high quality markets for their livestock. Alongside this, Ol
Pejeta has its own beef business, from Ol Pejeta-owned cattle reared
on Ol Pejeta. This is what is marketed as Laikipia Beef, and has no
connection to cattle from NRT member conservancies. Markets are about
willing seller and willing buyer.
To date, NRT has managed to fundraise around Ksh. 154.7 million for
Biliqo Bulesa Community Conservancy, and we have the audited accounts
to prove this. It is important to point out that NRT is not a donor
organization, we are an umbrella organization that works for community
conservancies. We fundraise for the conservancies, for programmes they
have identified. We don’t make false promises, and we respect
community annual work plans. Community conservancies also raise funds
on their own, either through donors or their respective County
Governments. From these funds, Biliqo Bulesa Community Conservancy has
invested in a water pipeline at Merti, a borehole at Qilisa, a rangers
outpost at Babala, a headquarters at Ntorobo, refurbishing the
airstrip at Dima Atho, a community desalination machine, accommodation
for teachers at Kom Primary (and training for those teachers), a water
pump and solar power at Dima Atho, two vehicles, radios for rangers, a
100 m3 underground water tank at Didewaride and four water troughs
there, and two classrooms at Biliqo Secondary.
vi) That each tourist visiting the conservancy would be paying as much
as Ksh 1 million into the conservancy kitty
There are no tourist facilities in Biliqo Bulesa Conservancy. If there
are to be tourism operations in the future, these would have to be
approved by the County Government of Isiolo and the community.