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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 09th of August 2019

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Macro Thoughts

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The chaos cycle -Powell speaks -Trump tweets -China reacts -Markets freak via @BW

First, of course, is Donald Trump, who has rediscovered his power to
send markets soaring—or into a tailspin—with less than 280 characters
on Twitter.
Then there’s U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who
repeatedly finds himself on the receiving end of nasty Trump tweets
for abiding by his mandate to do what’s best for the U.S. economy,
which isn’t necessarily always the same thing as what’s best for the
sitting president.
And in Beijing, it’s Xi Jinping, the president of China who sits atop
a Communist Party in which politicians and central bankers famously
sing from the same hymnal, at least when the audience is outside

The financial markets have been like a mosh pit where these three
players bang against one another. Powell, under pressure from Trump to
cut interest rates aggressively, sent markets reeling by signaling the
central bank’s rate cut last month was a “mid-cycle adjustment” and
not the start of an aggressive loosening of monetary policy. The very
next day, Aug. 1, Trump exacerbated the sell-off by saying he would
place tariffs on practically any U.S. imports from China that don’t
already have them, starting in September. The response from Beijing on
Aug. 5 caused the biggest waves in global markets, as the People’s
Bank of China allowed its currency to depreciate by the most since
2015 and reach more than 7 per dollar, a threshold it had prevented
the yuan from crossing in recent years. China also asked state-owned
companies to suspend purchases of U.S. crops, renewing pressure on the
beaten-down prices of American corn and soybeans.

With each of these collisions, the fragility of the global economy and
markets is exposed. It seems increasingly possible that something big
and important is broken. Investors who’d believed U.S.-China relations
were stabilizing, if not improving, were caught on the wrong foot when
tensions abruptly escalated. The prevailing assumption that President
Trump won’t allow the trade war to continue through the 2020
presidential campaign season is being reconsidered, as the two sides
appear further apart than ever. Economists at Goldman Sachs Group
Inc., for example, no longer expect a trade agreement before the
election and see the Fed cutting its benchmark interest rate two more
times this year in an effort to counteract the economic damage that
will be done by the impasse.

the trade war morphs into a potential currency war—in which countries
race to devalue to get a competitive edge for their exports—there are
whispers about how and where the tensions could escalate further.
Could the U.S. thumb its nose at China and sell F-16 fighter jets to
Taiwan? Or could Washington signal support for the anti-Beijing
protesters who’ve paralyzed Hong Kong this summer? And what could be
at risk among more than a quarter of a trillion dollars of U.S.
investments in China since 1990?

All these questions are arising in the dog days of summer, a time of
year when Wall Street’s vacation calendars are jammed and markets seem
especially easy to rattle. Measures of stock market volatility tend to
rise on average in August, and some of the ugliest swoons in equities
over the past decade have occurred in this month. The S&P 500 index
has shed about 6% from its last record, in late July, leaving it below
the peak it reached in January 2018 at the height of optimism
surrounding Trump’s corporate tax cuts. Even the most reliable big
spenders in the market these days—corporations themselves—have had
trouble keeping share prices afloat. Shares of Google parent Alphabet
Inc. surged almost 10% after the company announced a $25 billion share
buyback plan on July 25. The stock proceeded to lose almost all of
that gain in the following week.

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27-MAY-2019 :: China vs. US War Ballistic

The Markets are still pricing in a benign [but much less benign than a
month ago] Outcome. We need to consider what a non-benign or even
maximum non-benign outcome looks like.

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05-AUG-2019 :: In fact the risk is this that when the market sees he is powerless, the Dollar might lift off like the proverbial Parabola.

President Trump keeps talking about weakening the Dollar. I find it
curious that ‘’such a stable genius’’ has yet to calculate that a
strong Dollar is infinitely better and if he is serious about his
warfare strategy he needs to add currency warfare to his Tariff,
sanction and linguistic warfare Arsenal.
My Perspective about the Dollar is this [and note well its just a
fraction under its 2019 high even after a rate cut]; There is very
little President Trump can do. In fact the risk is this that when the
market sees he is powerless, the Dollar might lift off like the
proverbial Parabola.

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17-JUN-2019 :: Furthermore, being a "Paramount Leader" is a double-edged sword.

Furthermore, being a ‘’Paramount Leader’’ is a double-edged sword.
“This is all on Xi’s shoulders,” said Trey McArver, co-founder of
Beijing-based research firm Trivium China. [Bloomberg]
“Xi has personally said that he would handle relations with the United
States and at this point, he has failed. Those relations are spiraling
out of control.” [Bloom- berg]

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China can't cut rates and ease to boost negative PPI as food prices are exploding ZEROHEDGE

China can't halt soaring pork prices as half of its pigs are dead or slaughtered
China can't raise the yuan to ease the highest CPI in 16 months as it
currently devaluing in retaliation to Trump

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Alberto Giacometti (1901 - 1966) investigated the human figure for more than forty years @Guggenheim

Giacometti was born in the Swiss village of Borgonovo. His father,
Giovanni, a recognized Post-Impressionist painter, introduced him to
painting and sculpture at a young age. Giacometti moved to Paris in
1922 and eventually settled in a 15-by-16-foot studio in the artists’
quarter of Montparnasse. He produced the greater part of his oeuvre in
this tiny space, which he maintained until the end of his life.
Giacometti’s brother Diego, also an artist, became his assistant; he
and Annette Arm, whom Giacometti wed in 1949, were the artist’s most
frequently rendered models. During his early years in Paris,
Giacometti pursued a deep interest in Cubism and a fascination with
the unconscious and dream imagery that led to his association with the
Surrealists. African, Cycladic, Egyptian, and Oceanic art captured his
attention as well, influencing the formal development of his figures.
In the late 1930s he began sculpting pocket-size heads and figures in
which he explored perspective and distance; these spatial concerns
would remain paramount throughout his career. Giacometti may be best
known, however, for the painted portraits and distinctive sculptures
that he created in the late 1940s. These innovative works, including a
series of elongated standing women, striding men, and expressive
busts, resonated strongly with a public grappling with the extreme
alienation and anxiety wrought by the devastation of World War II.
Giacometti was unflinching in his portrayal of humanity at its most

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Italy 10y +20bps today but context: look at 6month chart. @CNBCJou
Law & Politics

2 opposing factors: -Buy bonds for carry in a negative yield
environment where ECB about to restart net Asset Purchases vs
-Political uncertainty. A pure #Lega government would no doubt face
more resistance from Brussels

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India's Modi has been addressing Kashmiri youth in his tweets & in TV speeches, but since he has cut off their Internet and their cable TV, it looks suspiciously like he is just feeding sound bites to the international media @mjunaidr
Law & Politics

India’s Modi has been addressing Kashmiri youth in his tweets & in TV
speeches, promising them the sky (while stealing their land), but
since he has cut off their Internet and their cable TV, it looks
suspiciously like he is just feeding sound bites to the international

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At 67, Suu Kyi was poised and striking, a flower tucked into her long black hair, which was streaked with gray. @TheAtlantic
Law & Politics

A picture of Mahatma Gandhi looked down with a serene smile.

The meeting was a high-water mark for three historic figures. Obama
had just decisively won a second term as president. Clinton, then
secretary of state, was about to prepare her own run for the
Released from house arrest in November 2010, Suu Kyi had just been
elected to the Myanmar Parliament in a by-election that her party had
won in a rout.
In a country where any unauthorized assembly had until recently been
illegal, tens of thousands of people had greeted Obama’s motorcade.
Suu Kyi—the daughter of Aung San, who led the country to the brink of
independence in the 1940s—had become a potent symbol, an international
icon of resistance against the military junta and the repository of
the Burmese people’s remaining hopes.
But she spoke to us as though she had no interest in being an icon. “I
have always been a politician,” she told Obama firmly in her
British-accented English.
After the meeting, as Obama’s motorcade snaked through a throng of Suu
Kyi’s supporters, many of them holding posters with her face on it, he
said something in the back of the limo that has stuck in my mind. “I
used to be the face on the poster,” he said. “The image only fades.”
“The only real prison is fear,” she famously wrote, “and the only real
freedom is freedom from fear.”
Aung San founded the modern Burmese military in 1941. He fought
alongside the Japanese to rid Burma of British colonialism, then
fought alongside the British to rid Burma of Japanese domination, then
negotiated Burma’s freedom from the British. As the country approached
independence, he was seen as the only figure with the stature to
potentially unite its political factions and ethnic groups. But in
1947, he was assassinated at the age of 32. Unlike Mao Zedong or
Jawaharlal Nehru or Suharto, Aung San would never be diminished by
power. As Burma descended into civil war, dictatorship, and grinding
poverty, he would remain forever uncorrupted, a symbol of the lost
promise of independence.
Suu Kyi was one of the few people I met while in government—others
include the Queen of England, Raúl Castro, and the Dalai Lama—who made
exactly the impression on me I expected them to. Her regal manner,
elegant Burmese clothes, and Oxford English, along with the
ever-present flower in her hair, lent her a kind of ethereal charisma.
She seemed to straddle different worlds—East and West, inexperienced
in government yet accomplished, imprisoned and free. Her stubbornness
and her flashes of temper only reinforced this: Given what she’s been
through, I would think, no wonder she’s angry and stubborn. Her lack
of specificity—her idealism can be platitudinous—allowed others to
project their own beliefs onto her, and made them feel that her cause
was their own.

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The Crown Prince's power play From Benghazi to Assab and Khartoum, the UAE's strongman has emerged as a key player in regional conflicts @Africa_Conf
Law & Politics

From Benghazi to Assab and Khartoum, the UAE’s strongman has emerged
as a key player in regional conflicts

The world has woken up to the dynamic and ruthless Abu Dhabi Crown
Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed
Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahayan's ('MBZ') status as a
quietly dominant figure on the world stage, and in Africa in
particular. While his older half-brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al
Nahayan has official seniority, the federal President and Abu Dhabi
ruler has been infirm for years. 'The Most Powerful Arab Ruler Isn't
MBS [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud]. It's MBZ,' said
a recent New York Times headline. This has long been evident in
several African conflict zones.

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See the intercept article which refers to a plan headlined "Control the yield curve, decide the future" a plan to construct the "Big Short" on Qatar

see the intercept article which refers to a plan headlined “Control
the yield curve, decide the future” a plan to construct the ‘’Big
Short’’ on Qatar - The crown prince of Abu Dhabi should have spoken to
me because I could have told them how to do it

International Markets

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1185
Dollar Index 97.61
Japan Yen 105.945
Swiss Franc 0.9740
Pound 1.2112
Aussie 0.6804
India Rupee 70.5115
South Korea Won 1210.40
Brazil Real 3.9194
Egypt Pound 16.5595
South Africa Rand 15.0755

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Suddenly, the idea of pound parity seems less far-fetched as the risk grows that Britain may crash out of the European Union without a deal @business 1.2112
World Currencies

Suddenly, the idea of pound parity seems less far-fetched as the risk
grows that Britain may crash out of the European Union without a deal.
Rupert Harrison, a fund manager at BlackRock Inc., is short the pound
and sees the risk of it falling to trade level with the dollar on a
no-deal Brexit.
The view echoes Morgan Stanley’s recent forecast that the currency can
plunge toward $1 on such an outcome.
That isn’t the majority view yet -- a Bloomberg survey this month
estimated the pound will slide to $1.10 should the U.K. exit the bloc
without an agreement.
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that Britain will
leave the EU on the Oct. 31 deadline with or without an agreement,
fueling concern the nation is headed for a disorderly departure and
fanning pessimism toward the pound.
Sterling slid almost 7% in the past three months, the worst
performance among major currencies, to about $1.2140 on Thursday.
“The pound is at a much lower level now but I still think a no-deal
exit would lead to significant volatility and we could be testing
parity on a really bad outcome,” said Harrison, who manages more than
$10 billion in assets at BlackRock.
“We will see this game of chicken continue through August and that’s
likely negative for sterling,” he said about the deadlocked Brexit
The Bank of England said in November that the currency could fall even
below $1 in an analysis on possible worst-case Brexit scenarios.
Options-based calculations show a 5.6% chance of pound-dollar parity
in the next one year, markedly higher than 0.2% in early March when
prospects of a no-deal outcome were seemingly off the table.
There is now a 30% chance that Britain will exit the bloc in October
without a divorce agreement, a Bloomberg survey of 13 banks showed
last week.
That’s more than three times the level from a similar poll in
February. In the latest survey, strategists assigned only a 15%
probability to the prospect of a deal being struck by the deadline.
Sterling, and not U.K. bonds, offers the “cleanest” way to trade
Brexit risks for BlackRock’s Harrison, who has had a short position in
the currency for more than two months and is also using option
strategies that benefit from an increase in volatility.
His central case for the U.K.-EU split was one where he sees the
current deadlock between the two sides persisting.
Option prices and sterling’s trade-weighted suggest the market is
still not adequately pricing in the risk of a no-deal exit, according
to Allianz Global Investors portfolio manager Mike Riddell, who said
that’s making him “fearful” about the currency’s prospects.
Six-month implied volatility in the pound-dollar pair is still close
to the past year’s average.
“My core view is there will be some kind of extension that is just
about the most likely outcome, but I am far less confident in that
than I was at the beginning of the year,” said Riddell. “I thought
there was just a 5%-10% chance of a no-deal Brexit by the end of March
whereas now I think it is close to 50-50. Markets should be more
The pound could slide 10% in the absence of a deal by Oct. 31,
according to Riddell. A political turmoil that might potentially ensue
would boost the odds of opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
becoming the next U.K. prime minister, which may see sterling sliding
to $1, he added.
Riddell was bullish on sterling since late 2018 and through the first
quarter of this year, before flipping his view on becoming
“increasingly worried” about the hard-line stance adopted by
candidates who were then running to succeed May.
BlackRock’s Harrison also started betting on pound declines two to
three months ago when he expected Johnson to double-down on his
no-deal rhetoric.
While the U.K. currency will likely jump if a deal passed through the
House of Commons, Harrison is skeptical that the path beyond would be
far from clear.
“There is a way of threading the needle that provides an upside
sterling risk but I would not make that a central case,” he said.

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05-AUG-2019 :: As I watched the Pound fall like a stone, I could not help wondering if this Sterling moment is precisely like it was in 1992, a no brainer.
World Currencies

Last week the Pound traded be- low $1.2100 and is now in danger of
taking out its post-referendum low [$1.1860 but there is considerable
debate about this number because it happened in the middle of the
night when Gremlins and Goblins stalk the FX markets] after which the
only significant landmarks left would be the low set in 1985, a few
months before finance ministers agreed in the Plaza Accord to limit
the strength of the dollar and then, only a few cents lower, parity
with the dollar. As I watched the Pound fall like a stone, I could not
help wondering if this Sterling moment is precisely like it was in
1992, a no brainer.

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05-AUG-2019 :: 'Boris isn't bluffing. Every action, every appointment, every word since he entered Number 10 signals the same thing: Britain is leaving the EU on October 31" said the Telegraph's Daniel J Hannan.
World Currencies

The Key question is this. Can Prime Minister Johnson self-eject
Britain? Can he be stopped? This is a political calculation. Prime
Minister Johnson has elected to take quite properly an ‘’Impossible is
nothing’’ and ‘’can-do’’ political posture but the bottom line is can
he swing it?
if he can swing it then he has to face down the “whispering death”
[Michael Holding who was thus nick- named because He was exactly that
when he opened the bowling for the West Indies] that will be the
foreign exchange markets.

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World Currencies

LATE ONE NIGHT last September, security researcher Ruben Santamarta
sat in his home office in Madrid and partook in some creative
googling, searching for technical documents related to his years-long
obsession: the cybersecurity of airplanes.
He was surprised to discover a fully unprotected server on Boeing's
network, seemingly full of code designed to run on the company's giant
737 and 787 passenger jets, left publicly accessible and open to
anyone who found it. So he downloaded everything he could see.
Now, nearly a year later, Santamarta claims that leaked code has led
him to something unprecedented: security flaws in one of the 787
Dreamliner's components, deep in the plane's multi-tiered network.
He suggests that for a hacker, exploiting those bugs could represent
one step in a multi­stage attack that starts in the plane’s in-flight
entertainment system and extends to highly protected, safety-critical
systems like flight controls and sensors.
At the Black Hat security conference today in Las Vegas, Santamarta, a
researcher for security firm IOActive, plans to present his findings,
including the details of multiple serious security flaws in the code
for a component of the 787 known as a Crew Information
Service/Maintenance System. The CIS/MS is responsible for applications
like maintenance systems and the so-called electronic flight bag, a
collection of navigation documents and manuals used by pilots.
Santamarta says he found a slew of memory corruption vulnerabilities
in that CIS/MS, and he claims that a hacker could use those flaws as a
foothold inside a restricted part of a plane's network.
An attacker could potentially pivot, Santamarta says, from the
in-flight entertainment system to the CIS/MS to send commands to far
more sensitive components that control the plane's safety-critical
systems, including its engine, brakes, and sensors. Boeing maintains
that other security barriers in the 787's network architecture would
make that progression impossible.
"This is a reminder that planes, like cars, depend on increasingly
complex networked computer systems," Savage says. "They don't get to
escape the vulnerabilities that come with this."

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17-JUN-2019 :: Now another Big Happening is the Crude Oil Market. Here Two powerful Gale Force Winds are at work.

The IEA has now twice downshifted Demand and what is clear is we are
facing signifi- cant demand destruction and it is this Penny dropping
which took down Oil more than 20% from its 2019 Highs and we are now
at 5 month lows. However, what is not clear yet is the degree of
Supply destruction we are facing. One third of all oil traded by sea,
which amounts to 20% of oil traded worldwide, passes through the
Strait of Hormuz. Insurance rates deman- ded for Tankers operating in
the area are up to 20 times higher [@ Chigrl].

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Cobalt, a semi-rare metal that derives its name from the German word for goblin, was given its moniker by medieval miners who frequently came across its noxious ores in their hunt for silver and gold

After a 50% drop in prices this year, it’s turned toxic for Glencore Plc too.
After reporting the worst financial results in three years, the
world’s biggest commodities trader is shutting its Mutanda copper and
cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The move will remove about a fifth of global cobalt supply and send
shockwaves through a market that’s awash with unsold metal, much of it
in Glencore’s hands.
“The cobalt price today isn’t helping us, so why rush it?” Glencore
chief Ivan Glasenberg said as the company reported earnings on
Wednesday. “The only thing you can do that’s under your control is
shut or reduce tonnages.”
For Glencore, the precipitous fall in cobalt is more bruising because
the metal, a key ingredient for batteries, was its shining star back
in 2017.
The miner made its copper and cobalt assets a big part of its selling
pitch to investors, touting the future boom in electric cars and
global urbanization.
But the strategy hit pitfalls. Excess supply has overwhelmed demand
for battery materials and because it’s a niche market, Glencore hasn’t
been able to hedge its exposure to cobalt, leaving the metals trading
business exposed to losses.
To make matters worse, Glencore detected uranium in some cobalt last
year, rendering it unsaleable.
Closing the mine is an easy decision to defend when it’s not making
money, but it may get harder to justify if prices rebound, said Colin
Hamilton, managing director for commodities research at BMO Capital
Markets Ltd. Mutanda produced about 27,000 tons of cobalt last year
out of a global total of around 135,000 tons, according to trading
firm Darton Commodities.
“We’re not being OPEC. We’ve got an operation that wasn’t making money
at these levels,” Glasenberg said. “You’re not going to run an
operation that’s not making money.”

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Proxies battle over Tripoli @Africa_Conf

There's a stalemate on the ground while each side's foreign supporters
use high-tech weaponry to try to change the strategic balance
As the campaign of Benghazi-based strongman Khalifa Haftar to take
Tripoli slows down, foreign powers are putting more and more resources
into the fight, including armed drones and psychological warfare
tactics in social and mass media (AC Vol 60 No 8, Haftar stakes it
There's been a let-up in the overall level of casualties, but about
1,100 people, over 100 of them civilians, have been killed and around
120,000 people displaced, many of them to Tunisia.
Impasse on the ground and pleas for a ceasefire from UN special envoy
Ghassan Salamé and numerous regional and international governments
have failed to budge either Haftar or the Tripoli-based Government of
National Accord (GNA) led by Faiez el Serraj (AC Vol 59 No 7, Doubts
about unity deal).
In his bi-monthly briefing to the UN Security Council on 29 July,
Salamé blamed both men. Despite their promised commitment to a
political solution and elections, neither had taken any practical
steps to stop the fighting, he said. 'The parties still believe they
can achieve their objectives through military means,' he complained.
In the meantime, misinformation and disinformation have become as much
weapons in the conflict as aircraft, tanks and missiles.
Leading officials in Haftar's Libyan National Army regularly announce
a fresh push which they insist will result in imminent victory, while
the GNA declares that it will force the LNA to retreat (AC Vol 60 No
14, Air strikes risk escalation).
The LNA's last 'fresh push' was supposed to start on 1 August with
Tripoli in its hands by the Muslim festival of Eid al Adhah, which is
expected on 11 August.
Media sites linked to one side or the other promote the claims, rarely
bothering to check their facts. Salamé has noted the role of
'intentionally false news' in the struggle.
That was on show at the beginning of August when photos of a crashed
drone appeared on both pro-LNA and pro-GNA media sites, each side
claiming that it belonged to the other and that their forces had shot
it down.
But it is not just Haftar and Serraj that appear to have little
incentive to return to the table. Turkey has supplied the GNA with
several of its domestically manufactured Bayraktar TB2 combat drones,
while the LNA has acquired the technically similar, Chinese-made Wing
Loong II drones allegedly from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but
possibly Egypt.
It was a Wing Loong II that featured in the recently published photos
of a crashed drone, which would mean that the GNA shot it down, not
the LNA. Nonetheless, the LNA have destroyed a number of Turkish
drones, and more have been delivered.
The war is good publicity for Turkey's growing drone industry.
Both sides rely heavily on the drones, as was seen on 26 July, when
the GNA attacked Haftar's key supply airbase at Jufra in central
Libya, destroying two Ukrainian Il-76 heavy-lift military transport
aircraft and, reportedly, killing a Ukrainian pilot.
According to several sources, the attack was carried out by drones
with the assistance of Turkish military 'advisors'. The GNA claimed it
also destroyed a hangar for Haftar's drones and a munitions store.
Furious, Haftar launched revenge airstrikes the following day against
Misurata Air Academy, part of the city's shared civil and military
airport. It was the LNA's first attack on Misurata, although it
appears to have done little damage.
LNA forces also attacked and occupied a military camp in southern
Tripoli and the town of Qarabulli on the coast road between the
capital and Misurata but were quickly forced to withdraw when GNA
forces counter-attacked.
Militarily, nothing was achieved but it did not stop the LNA again
claiming that the battle for Tripoli was in its final stage.
Whether the LNA has the resources to achieve this is questionable,
although there are Sudanese reports claiming that 1,000 fighters from
Sudan's controversial Rapid Support Forces militia arrived in Libya at
the end of July to take over protection of LNA-controlled oil fields
and terminals and so free up LNA fighters to join the battle for
They are supposed to be the first batch of 4,000 RSF soldiers being
provided to Haftar by Sudan's generals and paid for by the UAE.
Yet the main drivers of the Libyan conflict are now Turkey and Qatar,
backing the GNA, and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt behind the LNA.
It is not just a drone war but arguably the world's number one proxy
Without Turkish military supplies, equipment, and, it's said, military
advisors – all funded by Qatar – it is highly doubtful that the GNA
could withstand the LNA offensive against Tripoli, let alone launch
its own, such as the Jufra attack on 26 July.
Equally, without equipment and, allegedly, F16 fighter-bomber support
from Egypt and the UAE, it is doubtful whether the LNA could sustain
its offensive.
As Salamé noted in his Security Council briefing, the two sides 'are
now fighting the wars of others and in so doing destroying their
Not that other countries are disinterested. The LNA has drawn comfort
from perceived support from France, Russia and now from United States
President Donald Trump, while Italy and the United Kingdom firmly back
the GNA.
In Tripoli, though, at least for the moment, most people are little
interested in the war, Salamé or the GNA's relations with him. They
have been more concerned with the power cuts (day long in some cases
and which in the soaring summer temperatures has meant no
air-conditioning) and, in the run-up to Eid, the lack of money in the
banks and the high price of sheep to sacrifice. Many have had to
accept that there will be no Eid sacrifice.
They have also been much pre-occupied with the announcement in Tripoli
that applications for the $500 foreign-exchange allowance for 2019 can
be made at banks as of 20 August. It is a major handout, though too
late for Eid. The dollars are bought at the official rate of around
US$1 to 1.4 Libyan dinars, costing LD700. They can then be sold
through black market dealers for around LD2,000, minus commission.
That can be over 10%, but the profit is more than an average monthly
salary and because the allowance is available to everyone, including
children, it can triple or quadruple the average monthly household
Needless to say, supporters of the LNA have called it a bribe aimed at
diverting attention from the current crisis and reducing public
discontent. They have urged people not to accept it, though there is
little chance of that.
Meanwhile, with the focus on Eid, the question now being raised by
some analysts and observers, including some who support the LNA, is
whether the LNA can continue the offensive afterwards or whether it
will be forced by its foreign supporters to adopt a different
strategy, possibly even a ceasefire.
Salamé will be banking on it. The larger the foreign supporters loom
in the conflict, the greater the pressure on them to make peace.
In his Security Council briefing, Salamé presented a three-point plan
to enable Libya to exit the civil war: an Eid truce, and an
international summit to devise an end to hostilities, followed by a
meeting of leading Libyans to agree on the way forward (AC Vol 59 No
23, Posturing in Palermo).
He will be hoping the foreign players opt for a ceasefire, accepting
that a clear-cut military victory is unlikely in the foreseeable
future. But given their rivalries and the fact the war is costing them
very little apart from cash and, in some cases, not much of that
either, it could be a hope too far.

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SUDAN From revolution to realpolitik @Africa_Conf

Neither side likes the deal. The generals want to play for time and
the activists see it as a first step to power.

For the thousands gathering in central Khartoum, waving flags and
sounding horns around the Friendship Hall, the constitutional
declaration initialled on 4 August was far from the revolutionary
victory they had sought. It has taken four months since the overthrow
of Omer el Beshir, tortuous negotiations, mass sit-ins and enduring
murderous attacks by the security forces to get here.

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10-JUN-2019 :: The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating.

The ‘’zeitgeist’’ of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating. As I
watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new

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Ethiopia grants first financial services licence to foreign firm @ReutersAfrica

Ethiopia’s central bank granted a financial services licence to a
foreign-owned company for the first time on Thursday, as the
government begins to open up the economy of Africa’s second most
populous nation.
Ethio Lease’s new licence signals Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is moving
ahead with the economic reforms he pledged when he took office last
The company will lease equipment such as MRI scanners, tractors and
drilling rigs to companies that can’t import such equipment themselves
due to foreign exchange shortages.
This will create jobs and increase productivity, Ethio Lease said in a
statement. The company is owned by New York-based equipment leasing
firm Africa Asset Finance Company (AAFC).
There is a liquidity shortage and a lot of businesses are craving
equipment that they just can’t get,” said Frans Van Schaik, chairman
and CEO of AAFC.
''Almost every factory in Ethiopia will be able to tell you about how
an equipment shortage or some other issue is delaying their
construction or operations.”
The company plans to import $600 million of equipment initially.
Abiy wants the private sector to help provide jobs for millions of
unemployed youth in the nation’s 100 million people.
Ethio Lease will fill a significant unmet demand for equipment,
National Bank of Ethiopia governor Yinager Dessie told Reuters in a
phone interview.
Yinager said that the central bank would like to license more foreign
companies to lease equipment.
“This will ultimately create more jobs, more employment and more
economic growth,” he said.
Yinager said the government was taking tangible measures to support
the private sector, noting that last year the central bank allocated
more foreign exchange to the private sector than the public sector for
the first time.
“We will continue this,” he said.
The governor declined to specify current foreign reserves but said it
was stronger than when Abiy took office 18 months ago.
Ethiopia wants to open up its economy, said Van Schaik, but problems remain.
“The bureaucracy in Ethiopia is overwhelming,” he said. “If you want
to succeed in Ethiopia, you need to be patient and persistent.”
The foreign exchange shortages have worsened in the past five years as
the government spent heavily on infrastructure before export earnings
from new sectors such as manufacturing took off.

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2 JUL 18 :: The Prime Minister needs to execute real quick on the economic front but if he levels the playing Field, a whole Troop of folks will be looking to pile in

The Prime Minister needs to execute real quick on the economic front
but if he levels the playing Field, a whole Troop of folks will be
looking to pile in. That Troop will include the Ethiopian Diaspora,
Foreign Investors and I am sure our very own Safaricom

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One Currency Is Missing Out on the EM Rebound. You Guessed It...@markets

While MSCI’s gauge for developing-nation currencies is up 0.2%, with
17 out of 24 major peers gaining against the dollar, the South African
currency is poised for an eighth day of losses, the longest streak in
two years.
Mining production data released Thursday added to the rand-specific
risk-off sentiment after it showed an eighth consecutive drop in June.
Investors are also fretting about higher taxes to pay for a planned
national health service, and lack of progress in rescuing Eskom
Holdings SOC Ltd., the ailing state-owned electricity company.
“The amount of risk the rand is carrying at the moment, people may not
be willing to carry it over the extended weekend,” said Simon Harvey,
a London-based FX analyst at Monex Europe Ltd. South African markets
will be closed for a national holiday on Friday.
The rand was down 0.4% to 15.1121 per dollar by 12:05 p.m. in
Johannesburg, its weakest level on a closing basis since Sept. 2018.
The rand is also the most volatile currency in the world, with the
one-week implied volatility climbing a fourth day.

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Burundi malaria outbreak at epidemic levels as half of population infected @guardian

The outbreak in the tiny Great Lakes country has infected almost half
the total population, killing about 1,800 people since the beginning
of the year.
According to figures gathered by the World Health Organisation, almost
6 million cases have been recorded since the first week of January to
the end of July, with infections reaching crisis levels in May.
“We are less than a year away from the presidential election,” one
anonymous official told the AFP news agency. “[President Pierre]
Nkurunziza, who is facing many crises, does not want to recognise what
could be considered a failure of his health policy,” the official


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Cannabis Real Estate Firm Bangi, Inc. to Apply for Cross Listing in Kenya in Response to Investor Interest @YahooFinance H/T @MihrThakar

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 7, 2019 / BANGI, Inc. (OTC
Pink:BNGI), a diversified investment vehicle that acquires and leases
specialized real estate assets in the cannabis, hemp and CBD
industries, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved
an initiative to cross list its common stock as Depositary Receipts on
the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the leading stock exchange in
Kenya, one of the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. A
dual listing in Africa would be a natural step for the Company
considering its corporate name, “BANGI” means “marijuana” or “hemp” in
Swahili, one of the most spoken languages in Africa. Kenya, being one
of the major financial hubs in Africa, has regulations that expand its
Capital Markets to the world. Under Capital Markets Authority
Regulations, it will allow for citizens in the East African Community
(EAC), which comprises of approximately 300 million people - - the
same size of the United States - - the ability to invest in BANGI,
Inc. The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organization consisting
of six countries: The Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South
Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda,
with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. African Investors Will Be
Able to Invest in BANGI via Seamless Payment Systems such as M-Pesa
and Airtel Money The Company today also announced that its cross
listing will represent the first U.S. company listed both in the U.S.
and the NSE. The Company’s listing on the NSE will allow investors to
use various seamless Financial Payment Systems such as M-Pesa and
Airtel Money, amongst others, to purchase the Company’s shares. The
listing of BANGI on the NSE should dramatically increase BANGI’s
exposure to Africa’s investment community as it will enable investors
to purchase stock in the Company through mobile platforms, which are
currently used by more than 26 million Kenyans. According to the World
Bank, M-Pesa processes more transactions within Kenya each year than
Western Union does globally. By listing on the region’s largest
Securities Market, which can be accessed by investors of all income
levels via Financial Payment Systems, BANGI’s Cross Listing is a
significant milestone both for the Company and the banking industry as
it will greatly level the playing field. The Company also noted that
its cross listing should significantly increase new investor demand
for its stock as a result of the region’s recent reforms relating to
geographic and industry diversification. The most significant reform
relates to mandates that pension and institutional funds in the region
are required to invest a large portion of their capital in companies
with a focus in real estate, such as BANGI. Accordingly, as part of
its cross listing strategy, the Company will pursue key initiatives
designed to leverage these mandates in order to create and drive new
investor demand for its stock.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BANGI, Inc. “The Kenyan
capital market has grown rapidly in recent years and has also
exhibited strong capital raising capacity, which will allow us to
access an entirely untapped market valued in the hundreds of billions
of dollars. We expect the cross listing will allow BANGI to expand its
shareholder base, increase its liquidity and enable a convenient way
for Africa’s retail and institutional investors to invest in the
Company as we launch the initial stage of our growth strategy,”
concluded Dr. Parsan.

To be added to BANGI’s investor or media lists, please call
833-BANGINC or via email at ir@bangistock.com.

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

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