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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 06th of June 2019

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Normal Board - The Whole shebang
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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site

Macro Thoughts

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Bitcoin indicator flashes a sell signal for the first time since April as slump accelerates $7,755.00

GTI Vera Convergence-Divergence indicator, which detects positive and
negative trends, flashed a sell signal for the first time since April,
suggesting there could be further downside as Bitcoin halts its recent
monster rally

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Bond Yields in "tilt" mode - Forever blowing Bubbles

This macro gale force level move has pulled US 10-Yr Treasuries to a
20-month low of 2.15% [Last November it was at 3.24%]. Rate markets in
the US have now priced in close to 85bp cumulatively of easing by the
end of 2020. (via JPM). The US Curve has inverted and typically curve
inversions are harbingers of recession. Markets and prices exhibit
patterns of correlation and essentially my perspective is that it is
the correlation that has exerted a ''Pull'' Effect on US Yields and
that therefore the ''recessionary'' Signalling of the Yield Curve
should be discounted.

What we also know is that you don't stand in front of a Runaway
Freight Train. The Question we need to ask ourselves is how much
further this move may run? My sense is that the G7 Bond Markets are
now in nose-bleed territory. Whilst I accept that its a 20/80 [US
Consumer absorbs 20%, China will have to absorb 80%] of the Tariff
Price increase, nevertheless even 20% of a 100 is inflationary. The US
Rates and Bond Market looks seriously overcooked to me. However, what
we also know is that Markets can stay irrational longer than anyone
can stay solvent. Therefore, I would be tentatively selling 85bp of
cumulative US easing through 2020 as per JPM. Last week we saw
positive EM and Frontier market divergence, which was noteworthy.
Lusaka is in unprecedented Territory and the forced nationalisation of
Mr. Agarwal's Copper mines might well be a cashew nut moment for
President Lungu. Zambian $ Eurobond Yields are at 22%. Thats ''whack''

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09-JUL-2018 :: Tariff wars, who blinks first?

’Don’t worry be happy’’ prediction. In fact, I recall speaking to a
Standard Chartered macro economist who said the precursor to this
trade war was witnessed in the 1930s and then the world economy
The global trade wars that followed the harsh tariffs imposed by the
Hoover administration in the early 1930s following the stock market
crash of 1929, deepened the trough of the Great Depression.
Worldwide economic hardship led to political restructuring and
eventually to World War II.

Home Thoughts

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A sacred statue known as Hoa Hakananai'a stands at the entrance to a gallery in the @britishmuseum in London (@AFPphoto /Adrian DENNIS)

For them, the statue contains the spirit of their people. The monolith
stands 2.4 metres (2.6 yards) tall and weighs four tonnes.
Hoa Hakananai'a was taken without permission in 1868 by the British
frigate HMS Topaze, captained by Richard Powell, and given to Queen

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TASS interview with Xi Jinping
Law & Politics

TASS interview with Xi Jinping 习近平接受俄罗斯主流媒体联合采访 @jc_mittelstadt



A: At the invitation of President Putin, I will be on a state visit to
Russia and attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic
Forum. Six years ago, after I was elected president of the People's
Republic of China, I chose Russia as the first stop for my first visit
and together with President Putin opened a new chapter in Sino-Russian
relations. In the past six years, I have visited Russia seven times.
Every time I have witnessed the deep friendship between the two
peoples and the fruitful cooperation between the two sides. Today, at
the historic moment when China and Russia ushered in the 70th
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, I am full of
expectations for the bright future of bilateral relations and once
again set foot on the vast and beautiful land of Russia.
In 2018, the bilateral trade volume exceeded 100 billion US dollars, a
record high.
Chinese economy has started well and the main economic indicators have
remained within a reasonable range. In the first quarter, the GDP grew
by 6.4%. The economic growth rate in the 14 consecutive quarters
remained in the range of 6.4% to 6.8%
The fourth is the ability to control, the strong leadership of the
Communist Party of China, the political advantage of concentrating
power to do big things, the national spirit of unity and unity, and
the sustained high speed since the reform and opening up.
Q: How do you evaluate your personal friendship with President Putin?
A: Since 2013, I have met with President Putin nearly 30 times on
bilateral and multilateral occasions. I have repeatedly called and
exchanged letters. I often happily recall every interaction I have
with President Putin. We have in-depth exchanges on the widest range
of topics, including major issues such as the international situation,
bilateral relations, and governance, as well as fascinating topics
such as literature, art, and sports. We jointly took the high-speed
rail exchange, watched the Sino-Russian youth ice hockey friendly
match, celebrated the birthday in Bali, and congratulated each other
on the phone or letter during the important holiday of the other
country. We were also awarded the highest national medal of honor by
the other country... President Putin is The foreign colleague I have
the closest contact with is my best intimate friend. I cherish the
deep friendship with President Putin.

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U.S. pursues sale of over $2 billion in weapons to #Taiwan, sources say, in test for #China @Reuters
Law & Politics

The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth
of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the
negotiations said, in a move likely to anger China as a trade war
between the world's two biggest economies escalates.
An informal notification of the proposed sale has been sent to the
U.S. Congress, the four sources said on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorized to speak about the possible deal.
The potential sale included 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2 Abrams
tanks worth around $2 billion as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft
munitions, three of the sources said. Taiwan has been interested in
refreshing its existing U.S.-made battle tank inventory, which
includes M60 Patton tanks.

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Sybil Fawlty's assessment of her husband's Basil's way with guests. "You never get it right, do you? You're either crawling all over the them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrined puff adder."
Law & Politics

Instead, he was welcomed as grist to our dark satanic content mills.
Rolling news offered the 24-hour spectacle of Britain being borne back
ceaselessly into its past, while our best hope for the future is
apparently to beg for a few scraps of chlorinated chicken in exchange
for a go on the NHS.

In some ways, Trump ended up a plot device, his subservience to
proceedings underlining the curious indignity of any visiting world
leader. All superpower guests have to go along with the place settings
and the artefact-cooing and the floor-length reminders that the
British were the best at things once, until they weren’t. If you’d
taken a drink every time someone said “pomp” or “pageantry”, you’d
have been dead before Trump got out of the airport.

Still, we shan’t miss people remarking archly that “Donald Trump is
getting what he wanted out of it.” As are you, dear! In fact, we might
go so far as to say that everyone from the Trumps to Corbyn to Farage
to half the Tory leadership field “got what they wanted out of it”.
The whole political class were on the grift just as much as Trump. The
only people to not “get what they wanted out of it” – and really, it’s
such a tiny constituency – were people who think that Britain’s mad
nostalgia and political self-harm is at an advanced clinical stage,
and that just because we’ve found the one person more of a basket case
than us, doesn’t mean we’re winning.

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Law & Politics

As Wolff describes it, Donald Trump calls Kushner “a girl”. As for his
vice-president, he’s a “religious nut”. “Why does he look at me like
that?” Trump asks about Pence’s beatific gaze. As for Pence’s wife,
Karen? “She really gives me the creeps.”
“The documents that you’ve described do not exist.” Let us parse.
Note the expression “documents that you’ve described”. Note the use of
the present tense. As an impeached former president said: “It depends
on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
On that score, Wolff quotes a stinging rebuke by Henry Kissinger at a
small lunch attended by Rupert Murdoch, among others: “The entire
foreign policy is based on a single unstable individual’s reaction to
perceptions of slights or flattery. If someone says something nice
about him, they are our friend; if they say something unkind, if they
don’t kiss the ring, they are our enemy.”
Murdoch, Wolff writes, nodded in approval.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1240
Dollar Index 97.223
Japan Yen 108.20
Swiss Franc 0.9944
Pound 1.2693
Aussie 0.6979
India Rupee 69.1995
South Korea Won 1180.36
Brazil Real 3.8812
Egypt Pound 16.7765
South Africa Rand 14.9156

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15-APR-2019 :: The Platform Economy
International Trade

In a brilliantly counterintuitive move, Uber even said they might
never make a Profit ever.

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Why Trump now wants talks with Iran Asia Times

If Tehran blocks the Strait of Hormuz it could send the price of oil
soaring and cause a global recession
The derivatives clock is ticking
The great Bilderberg secret of 2019 had to do with why, suddenly, the
Trump administration has decided that it wants to talk to Iran “with
no preconditions”.
It all has to do with the Strait of Hormuz. Blocking the Strait could
cut off oil and gas from Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran – 20%
of the world’s oil. There has been some debate on whether this could
occur – whether the US Fifth Fleet, which is stationed nearby, could
stop Tehran doing this and if Iran, which has anti-ship missiles on
its territory along the northern border of the Persian Gulf, would go
that far.
An American source said a series of studies hit President Trump’s desk
and caused panic in Washington. These showed that in the case of the
Strait of Hormuz being shut down, whatever the reason, Iran has the
power to hammer the world financial system, by causing global trade in
derivatives to be blown apart.
The Bank for International Settlements said last year that the
“notional amount outstanding for derivatives contracts” was $542
trillion, although the gross market value was put at just $12.7
trillion. Others suggest it is $1.2 quadrillion or more.
Tehran has not voiced this “nuclear option” openly. And yet General
Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds
Force and a Pentagon bête noire, evoked it in internal Iranian
discussions. The information was duly circulated to France, Britain
and Germany, the EU-3 members of the Iran nuclear deal (or Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action), also causing a panic.
Oil derivative specialists know well that if the flow of energy in the
Gulf is blocked it could lead to the price of oil reaching $200 a
barrel, or much higher over an extended period. Crashing the
derivatives market would create an unprecedented global depression.
Trump’s former Goldman Sachs Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin should
know as much.

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13-MAY-2019 :: No number of Trump tweets will dampen the price. Iranians will surely manage to shutter the straits of Hormuz even if after an asymmetric fashion.

No number of Trump tweets will dampen the price. Iranians will surely
manage to shutter the straits of Hormuz even if after an asymmetric

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Coffee Futures Plunge the Most in Nine Years BBG

Arabica-coffee futures plunged the most in almost nine years in New
York as a rally in the past two weeks triggered sell signals for
chart-watching traders and producers alike.
While the “market had gathered steam” on the seasonal potential for
frost, the chance remains slim and “fundamentals are still negative,”
according to Judy Ganes, president of J. Ganes Consulting.
Speculators appear to be selling amid a lack of threatening weather in
Brazil, a relatively stable real and a lot of call option buying, said
Jack Scoville, vice president of Price Futures Group. Colombian
growers released a report showing an uptick in shipments in May.
Wednesday’s pullback was “an ugly mess that caught some people off
guard,” Scoville said in an email.
july futures fell as much as 7.3% to 97.90 cents a pound on ICE
Futures U.S., the biggest drop for a most-active contract since August
A 6.2% decline at the close was the steepest since March 2015.
The price had gained about 19% since May 17 to $1.0615 on Tuesday, the
highest level since early February, partly on concern that rain may
hurt bean quality in top producer Brazil.
The short-lived rally was a welcome relief in a market that has been
depressed for much of this year. Last month, prices reached the lowest
since September 2005, amid record supplies and exports coming out of
top producer Brazil.
The coffee market was probably overbought after the recent rally,
Alexandre Udiloff, broker at Sao Paulo-based H. Commcor, said in a
telephone interview. “Futures are also being pressured by the higher
volume of coffee being sold by farmers.”

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Venezuela Defaults on Gold Swap With @DeutscheBankAG @markets
Emerging Markets

Venezuela has defaulted on a gold swap agreement valued at $750
million with Deutsche Bank AG, prompting the lender to take control of
the precious metal used as collateral and close out the contract,
according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. As part
of a financing agreement signed in 2016, Venezuela received a cash
loan from Deutsche Bank and put up 20 tons of gold as collateral. The
agreement, which was set to expire in 2021, was settled early due to
missed interest payments, said the people, who asked not to be named
speaking about a private matter. In the meantime, opposition leader
Juan Guaido’s parallel government has asked the bank to deposit $120
million into an account outside President Nicolas Maduro’s reach,
which represents the difference in price from when the gold was
acquired to current levels. As part of efforts to unseat Maduro, the
U.S. and more than 50 countries have recognized Guaido as the
legitimate leader of Venezuela even though he still doesn’t control
key institutions at home, including the central bank.
“We’re in touch with Deutsche Bank to negotiate the terms under which
the difference owed to the central bank will be paid to the legitimate
government of Venezuela," said Jose Ignacio Hernandez, Guaido’s
U.S.-based attorney general. “Deutsche Bank can’t risk negotiating
with the central bank’s illegitimate authorities," particularly after
it was sanctioned by the U.S. government, Hernandez said.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment. A press official
for Venezuela’s Central Bank didn’t immediately reply to a request for
It’s the second time this year that the Maduro regime has failed to
make good on financing agreements, which have resulted in losses at a
time when reserves are at a record low. Dwindling gold holdings have
become one of Maduro’s last-remaining sources to keep his regime
afloat and his military forces loyal. The central bank missed a March
deadline to buy back gold from Citigroup Inc. for nearly $1.1 billion.
Before that, the Bank of England refused to give back $1.2 billion
worth of Venezuelan gold.

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“The vision of hate and division is led by the Janjaweed (militias)
and military resisting to preserve their economic interests they
enjoyed during Bashir’s rule, while the vision of hope is led by
professional associations and syndicates. They want a democratic, open
Sudan with a strong developmental vision,” Ali said.

Young Sudanese who had their whole lives ahead of them, gunned
down in the streets by the militants of the #RSF.


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10 NOV 14 :: African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator

What’s clear is that a very young, very informed and very connected
African youth demographic [many characterise this as a ‘demographic
dividend’] – which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic
terminator – is set to alter the existing equilibrium between the
rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun. We need to ask
ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such
a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000? This is another point: there is a
threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold
lies will be discovered in the throes of the event. Therefore, the
preeminent point to note is that protests in Burkina Faso achieved
escape velocity. Overthrowing incumbents is all about acceleration,
momentum and speed best characterised by the German word ‘Blitzkrieg’.

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Remember the Darfur genocide? With Saudi help, one of the killer commanders there is taking over Sudan - Trump administration officials may tweet about democracy in Sudan @alfonslopeztena

Remember the Darfur genocide? With Saudi help, one of the killer
commanders there is taking over Sudan — Trump administration officials
may tweet about democracy in Sudan, but it looks like decisions are
being made by Trump buddies in Saudi Arabia and UAE

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The people of Sudan overthrow their authoritarian leader. @rafsanchez

2. Saudi + UAE greenlight a brutal Sudanese military crackdown against
civilian demonstrators.
3. China + Russia shield the Sudanese military from internationational

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Interesting comments from Bosch - SA, Nigeria, Egypt and maybe Algeria are today the only countries that have the size to justify big manufacturing plants.

Interesting comments from Bosch - SA, Nigeria, Egypt and maybe Algeria
are today the only countries that have the size to justify big
manufacturing plants. An automotive parts plant needs to supply 1m
vehicle sales to work - SA is 0.5-0.6m at present #InvestAfrica

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The RTGS$, which represents all mobile, electronic and domestic card transactions, reached nine against the greenback

The RTGS$, which represents all mobile, electronic and domestic card
transactions, reached nine against the greenback, from seven a week
ago and three at the beginning of the year. So-called bond notes,
introduced by the central bank in 2016 and supposedly backed by hard
currency, traded at eight per dollar.

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21-JAN-2019 :: The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between high Inflation and revolutionary conditions, Zimbabwe is a classic example

I have been reading Yuval Noah Harari and in his best-seller he says
this about money;
“Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any
system of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most effi-
cient system of mutual trust ever devised.”

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Angolan oil production was about 1.45 million barrels a day last month, ticking up after dropping to the lowest in at least 12 years.

Without investment in new projects, the Oil Ministry has said output
could fall to as low as 1 million barrels a day by 2023.
The country will “intensify the replacement of reserves in order to
smooth the deep decline of oil production, ensure self-sufficiency in
refined products by building new refineries and increase production
capacity” at existing plants, Lourenco said Tuesday at a conference in
the capital, Luanda.

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"The National Executive Committee lekgotla (meeting) agreed to expand the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank just beyond price stability, to include growth and employment," @Magashule_Ace

Magashule added that the ANC’s executive wanted the government to
constitute a task team to explore quantitative easing measures for
developmental purposes.

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"Where does the central bank get the money?" Kganyago said in the capital, Pretoria. "We'll have to print it," for state companies @business

Speaking in interview Tuesday hours before the ruling African National
Congress said it has asked the government to explore “quantity easing”
to eliminate debt and raise funds for development, Kganyago said the
central bank won’t consider stepping in because it will require
printing cash. It’s also prohibited by law to undertake unsecured
lending, he said.
“Where does the central bank get the money?” Kganyago said in the
capital, Pretoria. “We’ll have to print it,” for state companies to
spend it in an economy where there’s a lot of money “chasing very few
goods, and that is the classic definition of inflation. It will not
take long for inflation to really tick up,” he said.
At least seven state companies are “either on their knees or touching
carpet,” Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said in February
Bailouts by the Reserve Bank won’t work “because then not only would
you have monetized the deficit, you have now sucked the central bank
into making fiscal decisions,” Kganyago said. “It is not something
that central banks are designed to do.”
“The South African version of modern monetary theory goes something
like ‘the central bank can just take over the debts of the state-owned
enterprises and make it disappear and then we are happy’ kind of
thing,” Kganyago said. “Fortunately, there are sober heads in the
Treasury so that doesn’t come up but that doesn’t stop the fringe from
talking about it.”

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USD/ ZAR 14.9400 | @egm_securities @RichEconomics

South Africa All Share Bloomberg +8.22% 2019


Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 16.7765


Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +5.77% 2019


Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -1.59% 2019


Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg -3.44% 2019


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Prices of prime residential properties in Nairobi slid by 6.5 percent in the 12 months to March 2019 thanks to a glut, the latest Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index (PGCI) has shown.
Kenyan Economy

This is the fastest reduction in values in a 12-month period that
Nairobi has ever recorded since the index commenced recording data.
Head of Agency at Knight Frank Kenya Anthony Havelock says the realtor
expects further softening.
“Data tends to lag the market and we believe we will see further drops
in the coming months as the market has continued to soften,” said Mr
“Owing to the high values of the properties tracked and the current
supply levels, plus the ongoing credit crunch, transactions will
remain few and staggered unless vendors become realistic on pricing."
The latest fall translates to cumulative 9.2 per cent fall in prices
of Nairobi luxury homes over the last three years, since peaking in
the first three months of 2016.
However, values are still about 38 per cent higher than in 2010,
representing decent capital gains in the high-end market segment.

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Taxes increase input cost to a 7-month peak @bd_africa
Kenyan Economy

Businesses in Kenya raised selling prices of goods in May, ending a
pattern of relatively stable prices in the preceding three months as
higher taxes and fuel costs pushed input costs to a seven-month high.
The latest Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)
covering May shows that input cost inflation climbed the sharpest,
prompting firms to raise output prices at the quickest pace this year.
“Panel members frequently mentioned higher costs arising from taxes on
various commodities, including larger importation fees. Some firms
also noted a rise in fuel prices over the course of the month,” noted
Stanbic Bank.
The sharp uptick in overall input costs was despite the headline PMI
reading rising from 49.3 in April to 51.3 in May to signal a modest
uplift in the health of the private sector activity.
This was the first increase in PMI in five months and the fastest
improvement in business conditions since January.
During the month, purchasing activity was also up from the previous
month, albeit extending the trend of weakening growth to six months
due to rising input prices.
“Notably, many firms held back on purchases as input prices rose at a
marked pace. The rate of inflation was the highest since last October,
as new taxes such as importation fees on commodities came into
effect,” notes the PMI note.
Stanbic Bank regional economist for East Africa Jibran Qureishi said
higher power and transport costs also contributed to the sharp rise in
both input and output costs.
He expects a further rise in PMI to be driven by government clearance
of pending bills, which have deprived many businesses of working
“In any case, should the government clear arrears owed to the private
sector as promised on Madaraka Day, private sector activity could
benefit from a huge boost,” said Mr Qureishi.
Meanwhile, businesses resumed employment growth, noting a modest rate
of job creation after a slight fall in April.
Panellists mostly related this to higher demand levels and increasing
marketing roles, according to the report.
Despite this, firms were unable to keep up with new orders as backlogs
grew at the fastest rate since last September.

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@SafaricomPLC's @bobcollymore mulls his future @AfricanBizMag's @thomashcollins1
Kenyan Economy

Sounding as much like a fintech czar as a telecoms executive, the boss
of East Africa’s most profitable company believes Safaricom’s success
is down to the ability of his firm to offer more than just minutes and
data, and to act as a gateway to opportunity.
“It’s not just about having a chat,” he says sitting alert on a
leather armchair.
“The phrase we use is connecting people to people, people to knowledge
and people to opportunity.”
In this manner, Collymore has been eager to steer his firm into
non-traditional segments – riding on the coattails of the success of
M-Pesa and seeing no reason why innovation should stop there.
Fuliza, an overdraft facility for M-Pesa users struggling to make
payments, lent over KSh6.2bn in just one month after it was introduced
to the Kenyan market in January.
DigiFarm, which has signed up around 700,000 smallholder farmers to a
platform that provides credit and yield-boosting information via an
app, continues to grow following its 2017 launch.
With consumer spending hampered due to an extended drought, which has
increased food prices and driven inflation,
Collymore argues that diversification has been crucial to seeing his
business thrive in a tough time for the Kenyan private sector.
“If you look at our telecom growth outside of M-Pesa it’s shocking –
it’s at 2.4%,” he says.
“This is a general trend you find with telecom companies. Data prices
are coming down. [With] Voice we are at 0.3% growth – that’s called
flat. SMS is declining. So if you don’t diversify your revenue streams
you have a problem coming.”
Safaricom’s overall growth is largely supported by M-Pesa, with the
service expected to account for over half of total income within three
years and last year’s figures showing a jump of 19% in mobile money
Driven by M-Pesa’s remarkable success, Safaricom has undergone a
transformation from a nimble telecoms company into a large
multi-sector institution within the Kenyan market.
For a company whose innovative products are commonly used to justify
the potential of Africa’s digital revolution, many are wondering
whether Safaricom has the capacity to keep innovating.
Asked what his response to the Silicon Valley mantra of “move fast and
break things” is, Collymore situates himself somewhere between the US
and Chinese models.
“Take Amazon. Nobody wants to do what Amazon is doing in the West
because it’s the Amazon space,” he exclaims.
“China says that’s pretty interesting, let’s do that, and then seven
companies will do it and then all compete to make it better. Look at
where Alibaba is now.”
Finding the sweet spot between “breaking things” – being innovative –
and being able to provide the best product is the goal, he says.
“Move fast and break things, yes, but you also need to keep improving
it and have a laser sharp focus on the problem you are trying to
solve,” he concludes.
Collymore, like many of his peers, believes that the next innovations
will come from the use of data, robotics, machine learning and
artificial intelligence.
Though poised to take advantage of such tools, he admits his
organisation of around 6,000 people moves “painfully slow.”
“I don’t think we’ve got creating an innovation hub right yet,” he
says. “We are still going to try and see that one through and make it
work but so far I can’t say it has worked.”
As it stands, the search for the next M-Pesa takes less priority than
improving Safaricom products and ensuring regional consolidation.
On this front, a credible challenge to Safaricom’s domestic hegemony
has just been launched in the form of a merger between the market’s
second and third largest players – Airtel, the Kenyan subsidiary of
Indian telco giant Bharti Airtel; and Telkom Kenya, majority owned by
the UK-based private equity firm Helios Investment Partners along with
the Kenyan government.
The merger brings the competitors’ share of the market up to a
sizeable 33.3%, compared to Safaricom’s 64.2%, which has fallen from
71.9% in September 2017.
It is likely to offer a compelling challenge to what some critics have
long contended is Safaricom’s unhealthy dominance of the Kenyan
telecoms market.
“Am I worried about it? No,” answers Collymore. “My view on the merger
is that it will create a stronger player and I think that is good for
the market. We’ve never really focused on the competition, we focus
rather on the consumer.”
Yet while well placed in Kenya, M-Pesa has struggled to achieve
comparable levels of dominance away from Safaricom’s home turf. Forays
into Tanzania, South Africa and India have been parried by stiff
competition offering similar products.
Safaricom has partnered with commercial lenders like Kenya Commercial
Bank (KCB) and the Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) in an
attempt to grow its products and achieve its local and regional aims.
In the week leading up to its latest financial results, Safaricom
announced a new partnership with Kenyan lender Equity Bank, which has
subsidiaries in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Democratic
Republic of Congo.
The bank is expected to expand its mobile banking services in
partnership with M-Pesa.
Yet looking back on his record of acquisitions at Safaricom, Collymore
admits his hesitation to “go out there and buy everything” is partly
responsible for the firm’s entrenchment in Kenya.
“My biggest regret is that we haven’t moved forwards into other parts
of Africa,” he says. “I’m a little bit of a timid merger and
acquisition guy; I’m not the sort of person who wants to rush out
Reminiscing about his time at Safaricom moves the conversation onto
Collymore’s future, following intense media speculation that he will
soon relinquish his position as one of Kenya’s most powerful chief
executives. Collymore insists that he’s not done yet.
“No, I’m not stepping down,” he laughs. “I never said I’m stepping
down. People say, ‘Well, your contact runs out in August’, yes, but my
contract ran out in August two years ago and two years before that.”
But at the risk of becoming a “bit of an autocrat” and with 10 years
at the helm fast approaching, Collymore reveals that the time to exit
will soon be at hand. For now, he is aiming for August 2020.
Nonetheless, the speculation has sparked a heated succession debate,
with the government wading into the conversation by suggesting
Collymore’s replacement must be Kenyan.
For his part, Collymore says the board will soberly compare
international and local candidates and choose the most talented
candidate regardless of nationality.
How would the enigmatic CEO of one of Africa’s most significant
homegrown companies like to be remembered?
Collymore jokes that he has already read his own obituary after
receiving words of kindness during his illness. He hopes to be
remembered for more than growing shareholder value and increasing
Indeed, over the past 10 years Safaricom has evolved to represent
something very personal for the jazz-loving executive, reflected in
his numerous community outreach programmes ranging from a Saturday
youth orchestra in Safaricom House, to teaching children classical
instruments in Kenya’s slums.
With a Kenyan passport alongside his British paperwork – and obvious
love for a country to which he owes his “self-actualisation” – the
emotive link to Kenya is evident.
Leaving the firm that he has done so much to shape is likely to be a wrench.
“I will miss it [Safaricom] terribly,” he says.
One of the Safaricom’s key messages to its customers in Swahili is
“nawe kila wakati” (“always with you”). In much the same way, this may
prove true for Bob Collymore.

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Safaricom Ltd.
Kenyan Economy

Par Value:                  0.05/-
Closing Price:           27.70
Total Shares Issued:          40065428000.00
Market Capitalization:        1,109,812,355,600
EPS:             1.58
PE:                 17.532

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

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