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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 25th of June 2020

Gold soars towards 8-year high as coronavirus cases jump @Reuters

Gold surged to its highest in nearly eight years on Wednesday as rising coronavirus cases globally dented hopes of a rapid economic recovery and pushed investors towards safe haven assets.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,772.43 per ounce by 1213 GMT, having earlier hit its highest since October 2012 at $1,779.06.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,791.80 per ounce.

“Everybody is worried about a second wave of the coronavirus not only in the U.S., but in Latin America, Brazil and Russia, so that’s supporting the rally,” said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Mumbai broker Anand Rathi Shares.

“People are expecting stimulus packages from central banks and higher the stimulus, better the prospects for gold.”

The United States had a 25% increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the week ended June 21 compared with the previous seven days, while the death toll in Latin America has surpassed 100,000, a Reuters analysis found.

The European Union is prepared to bar travellers from the United States, the New York Times said.

The surge in coronavirus cases also weighed on global stock markets. [MKTS/GLOB][.EU]

Global central banks have bumped up stimulus measures and kept interest rates low to ease the economic blow from the pandemic, driving a 17% rise in gold this year.

“Technicals are looking mighty bullish on the daily charts ... Solid daily close above $1,765 may encourage a move towards $1,796 and $1,800,” said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

Otunuga also said: “Any signs of the world economy recovering quicker than expected is poised to boost attraction towards riskier assets at the expense of safe-havens like gold.”

Indicative of investor sentiment, holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, rose 0.28% to 1,169.25 tonnes on Tuesday, its highest level since April 2013.

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Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. #WEO @IMFNews
World Of Finance

Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast.

The extent of the recent rebound in financial market sentiment appears disconnected from shifts in underlying economic prospects

Growth in the advanced economy group is projected at –8.0 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points lower than in the April 2020 WEO. 

There appears to have been a deeper hit to activity in the first half of the year than anticipated, with signs of voluntary distancing even before lockdowns were imposed.

In China, where the recovery from the sharp contraction in the first quarter is underway, growth is projected at 1.0 percent in 2020, supported in part by policy stimulus. 

India’s economy is projected to contract by 4.5 percent following a longer period of lockdown and slower recovery than anticipated in April. 

In Latin America, where most countries are still struggling to contain infections, the two largest economies, Brazil and Mexico, are projected to contract by 9.1 and 10.5 percent, respectively, in 2020. 

The disruptions due to the pandemic, as well as significantly lower disposable income for oil exporters after the dramatic fuel price decline, imply sharp recessions in Russia (–6.6 percent), Saudi Arabia (–6.8 percent), and Nigeria (–5.4 percent), while South Africa’s performance (–8.0 percent) will be severely affected by the health crisis.

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02-JUN-2020 :: Fast Forward The Markets are very complacent about A US China ‘’Hot War’’
World Of Finance

It has come to a Put Up or Shut Up moment Matters India Taiwan South China Sea et al. 

Neither Side have an ‘’Off Ramp’’ and the US Electoral Cycle and the ‘’Wolf Warrior’’ Strategy all point at more intensity rather than less.

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We will have to take a side in Cold War II @MaajidNawaz
Law & Politics

“It is important to comprehensively strengthen the training of troops and prepare for war”. 

The US won the first Cold War, largely due to its rival’s economic ineptitude, and afterwards political scholar Francis Fukuyama was so jubilant that he somewhat prematurely declared the End of History. Not Quite.

But if the old Cold War was a nuclear arms race, then Cold War II is a race for quantum supremacy. Control over Big Data determines which of the world’s superpowers emerges triumphant, because to reliably master quantum supremacy is to master the world.

A stable quantum computer with that much computing power would transform complex financial risk management into child’s play, take years off pharmaceutical research and development, leave vast amounts of personal data open to manipulation, and trigger a revolution in artificial intelligence and machine learning, which in turn would give modern militaries unmatched advantage in war.

Most crucially, a powerful quantum computer able to shave 10,000 years off its calculations would render previously unbreakable internet encryption useless, and replace it with unbreakable quantum encryption. 

Quantum calculations would be able to crack any current encryption code in existence. It follows, therefore, that whichever nation masters quantum supremacy first could instantly hack the entire internet, from the highly personal information of world leaders to every nation’s state bank encryption.

To put this into context, a quantum computer with ‘only’ 500 qubits would be able to encode more bits of information than there are atoms in the observable universe. 

Let there be no doubt that, if reliably achieved, quantum supremacy changes the world.

This is why the US and China are in a race to determine who will first achieve quantum supremacy. And just as in the old Cold War, the economy will be a decisive factor. 

In August last year, the US Department of the Army issued a request for information on quantum technologies for ‘Threat Military Applications’, stating that “A global race has ensued to exploit and operationalise quantum technologies for the use of military effects.”

In November 2018, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), the country’s largest defence electronics company, unveiled a prototype quantum radar that it claims can detect stealth aircraft in flight.

Chinese researchers also claim to have built a satellite that can send quantum-entangled encrypted messages between distant locations. 

Meanwhile, a team of researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland, is working on a similar approach called quantum teleportation.

The attackers primarily used a tactic called “remote code execution vulnerability”, which involves hackers attempting to insert their own software code into a vulnerable system like a server, in order to steal information. 

Cyber-security experts have said that some of the same computer code and tactics used in these cyber-attacks were also used in a February 2019 hack into Parliament House, also blamed on China.

Sydney’s cyber-attack was deemed serious enough for the Australian PM to confirm that he “spoke to Boris Johnson last night”. 

But Britain is also beset by problems wi

Google’s former Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt, who is now chairman of the Pentagon’s Defence Innovation Board, reaffirmed this month that “There’s no question that Huawei has engaged in some practices that are not acceptable in national security”.

He compared Huawei to “signals intelligence” – or spy agencies – and said that information “from Huawei routers has ultimately ended up in hands that would appear to be the state”. However it happened, he said, “we’re sure it happened”.

To protect China’s Huawei deal from being rescinded, Beijing has unleashed a series of economic threats against Britain. 

The state-backed Global Times warned that the British economy faces “substantial damage” if Boris Johnson’s government did not change course on Huawei as well on the political situation in Hong Kong.

Beijing, it said, would “strike back… where the UK steps out of line”. 

Citing British operations in China, in particular the HSBC bank, as well as Chinese investment at a nuclear plant in Somerset, the editorial said Britain “does not have many cards to play” and “further moves to cut co-operation could lead to the UK shooting itself in its own foot”. 

In response, in a review called Project Defend, Downing Street is now investigating how to reduce reliance on China for critical products.

In response to China’s threats to Britain, the US State Department issued what only a few years ago would have been considered a shockingly bullish reply.

“The United States stands with our allies and partners against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics,” it stated: 

“Shenzhen-based Huawei is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state. Beijing’s aggressive behavior shows why countries should avoid economic overreliance on China and should guard their critical infrastructure from CCP influence. Australia, Denmark, and other free nations have recently faced pressure from CCP interests to bow to China’s political wishes. The United States stands ready to assist our friends in the U.K. with any needs they have.”

Meanwhile US Secretary of State Pompeo recently confronted China’s foreign minister Yang Jiechi with a list of China’s actions around the globe. 

“I ticked through a few of them,” he said: “Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, what they’re doing in India, what they’ve done in the economic zones along the Philippines and Malaysia and Indonesia and Vietnam, the coercion on Australia.”

Yet the US does not have the strength to fight the new cold war alone, and it will require a new NATO-style containment and security policy for Asia, whereas until recently, most European nations had not been alert to the threat posed by an increasingly assertive China.

This has led to a particularly insidious and weak policy response, barely disguised as typical and unoriginal European anti-Americanism, but dressed up as realpolitik. 

“Analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century,” the European Union’s Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell Fontelles stated: 

“This is now happening in front of our eyes… the pressure to choose sides is growing. As the EU, we should follow our own interests and values and avoid being instrumentalised by one or the other.”

French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian declared in the French Senate that “regarding China, I do not think we should be locked into a logic of confrontation bipolar world. To not start a second Cold War we must affirm Europe’s autonomy”.

Indeed, Macron’s chief diplomatic advisor Emmanuelle Bonne is reported to have confirmed to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about “France’s readiness to step up strategic communication with China” assuring China that “France respects China’s sovereignty, appreciates the sensitivity of Hong Kong-related issues, and has no intention of interfering in Hong Kong affairs.”

That was the harsh lesson learned by Bilbo Baggins, when he left his Shire in support of the free world. And even though the Hobbits were initially oblivious to it, the battle eventually came to them regardless. 

The rise of Mordor was simply too powerful and too dangerous an event to countenance, even for the little people in the Shire.

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07-OCT-2019 :: China turns 70

Hu Xijin [President Xi’s trusted mouth-piece] described as ‘’This is the legendary DF41 ICBM. But it is not a tale. Today it is displayed at Tiananmen Square I touched one about four years ago in the production plant. No need to fear it. Just respect it and respect China that owns it’’.

They have “stood up.” Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.

The World in the 21st century ex- hibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight. 

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“One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims.”

This information warfare will not be couched in the rationale of geopolitics, the author suggests, but will be “spawned” - like any Hollywood drama - out of raw emotions. “Hatred, jealousy, and greed - emotions, rather than strategy - will set the terms of [information warfare] struggles”.

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#COVID19 and the Spillover Moment

They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

―In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.

But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.

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01-MAR-2020 :: Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19

Structural modeling of 2019-novel coronavirus (nCoV) spike protein reveals a proteolytically-sensitive activation loop as a distinguishing feature compared to SARS-CoV and related SARS-like coronaviruses

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In the case of MERS-CoV, but not SARS-CoV, it is known that priming of S by “pre-cleavage” occurs at the S1/S2 site, giving 2019-nCoV cleavage activation properties more in line with MERS-CoV than SARS-CoV @Rossana38510044

4. 2019-nCoV is currently believed to be highly SARS-CoV like with respect to its receptor binding, and the modeling studies reported here are broadly in line with this finding, despite the relatively low amino acid identity in the RBM.

5. However it is important to remember that changes in protease usage may allow coronaviruses to undergo receptor-independent entry (virus-cell fusion) as well as affect syncytia formation (cell-cell fusion) and tissue pathology (Gallagher et al., 1992

6. To our knowledge, the enlarged priming loop of 2019-nCov is unique among the viruses in Betacoronavirus lineage C. The presence of a distinct insert containing paired basic residues in the S1/S2 priming loop is common in many coronaviruses in Betacoronavirus lineage C

7. (e.g. MERS-CoV), as well as in lineage A (e.g. mouse hepatitis virus, MHV) and lineage d, and is universally found in Gammacoronavirus S (e.g. IBV) (Shang et al., 2018). It is noticeably absent in most Alphacoronaviruses, with the clear exception of type I canine and feline

8. coronaviruses. This suggests that instead of receptor binding, the S1/S2 loop is a distinctive feature relevant to 2019-nCoV pathogenesis and marks a unique similarity to MERS-CoV. We would predict that distinct insert in 2019-nCoV S would give the virus biological properties

9. in line with MERS CoV and not SARS-CoV, especially with regard to its cell entry pathway. However, it may also impact virus spread and transmission.

10. While many epidemiological features of 2019-nCoV still need to be resolved, there are many features of transmission that align more with MERS-CoV then SARS-CoV.

11. we consider that the S1/S2 loop controls virus stability, likely via access to the down-stream S2’ site that regulates fusion peptide exposure and activity. As such it will interesting to monitor the effects of S1/S2 loop insertions and proteolytic cleavability in the context

12. of virus transmission, in addition to virus entry and pathogenesis. Is that not a result of GoF? SARS+MERS?

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Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection from contaminated water systems @medrxivpreprint H/T @Rossana38510044

Following the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in China, airborne water droplets (aerosols) have been identified as the main transmission route, although other transmission routes are likely to exist. 

We quantify SARS-CoV-2 virus survivability within water and the risk of infection posed by faecal contaminated water within 39 countries. 

We identify that the virus can remain stable within water for up to 25 days, and country specific relative risk of infection posed by faecal contaminated water is related to the environment. 

Faecal contaminated rivers, waterways and water systems within countries with high infection rates can provide infectious doses >100 copies within 100 ml of water. 

The implications for freshwater systems, the coastal marine environment and virus resurgence are discussed.
Water aerosols originating from individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 are considered a major pathway for infection

water contaminated with sewage provides a potential faecal-oral transmission route 

Exponential temperature driven survivability identifies that the virus can remain stable and above detection limits for up to 25 days

Assuming infection requires a dose of 100 copies, then a person within the 3 countries with the highest concentrations (Spain, UK, Morocco) who within 24 hours of a spill ingests 100 ml of the contaminated water could receive a total dose >468 copies resulting in a high probability of infection (table 1; full dosage range across all cases is 46 to 3080 copies). 

100 ml is the equivalent of 1 to 2 mouthfuls and swimmers can swallow up to 280 ml in a 45 minute swim 

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1235

Dollar Index 97.39

Japan Yen 107.08

Swiss Franc 0.9486

Pound 1.2429

Aussie 0.6857

India Rupee 75.62

South Korea Won 1205.925

Brazil Real 5.3483

Egypt Pound 16.194

South Africa Rand 17.49

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10-MAY-2020 :: #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment
Emerging Markets

We are witnessing a Spill Over into EM and Frontier Geographies

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The Pandemic’s Worst-Case Scenario Is Unfolding in Brazil #COVID19 @BW

Although the novel coronavirus is widespread across Brazil’s northeast, she wasn’t wearing a mask. Nor was anyone else in her crowded neighborhood, where basic services have been so neglected that many residents have no access to clean water.

Castro’s brother Moises, a garbage collector, was the first in her family to get sick. Then her other brother, Luciano, did too, followed by their father, Francisco, who has diabetes. He suffered badly, struggling to breathe and running a soaring fever. 

But no one in Castro’s household went to the hospital—a place that some in São Luís believe makes patients sicker than when they came in, or worse. “That would be a death sentence,” Castro said.

As Asia, Western Europe, and parts of the U.S. emerge from what will hopefully be the worst of the pandemic, the virus in Brazil isn’t slowing down. 

Between late May and mid-June the country galloped past Spain, Italy, and the U.K. in total fatalities, which now exceed 51,000, the second-highest toll after the U.S

It’s second in overall cases too, with more than 1 million confirmed infections. With local officials now lifting quarantines despite continued growth in cases, it’s conceivable that, when Covid-19 finally recedes, Brazil will have been hit harder than any other country.

Like the U.S. it never issued nationwide rules for social distancing.Poverty is certainly also part of the picture: In the densely packed favelas threaded through Brazilian cities, social distancing isn’t feasible, and not working means not eating, especially with the cash-strapped state unable to provide enough support. Bolsonaro, meanwhile, has doubled down, insisting that the anti-malarial drug chloroquine is an effective treatment and claiming the number of cases is being exaggerated.

The consequences are severe. In Pará, a vast and underdeveloped state that neighbors Maranhão, Covid-19 has been killing about 50 out of every 100,000 citizens, more than double the national average. 

“I saw people getting to the hospital with family members already dead in the passenger seat, people given CPR on the sidewalks because the hospitals are full,” says Alberto Beltrame, the state health secretary. 

One day in April, he visited the morgue in the capital, Belém. “There were 120 bodies, scattered everywhere. It’s something you’d see in a war.” 

As the virus’s spread continues, Brazil may be turning into the true worst-case scenario, a laboratory for what happens when a deadly and little-understood pathogen spreads without much restriction.

Unlike past plagues, the coronavirus has spread in substantial part from the rich to the poor, with prosperous and well-connected global cities—Milan, London, New York—among the earliest hot spots outside China

The story in Brazil was similar. The first clusters emerged in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital, in early March as wealthy residents returned from overseas trips.

One of the first so-called superspreader events was the wedding of a social media star, held at a beach-side resort in Bahia state on March 7

A 27-year-old São Paulo lawyer named Pedro Pacífico—an Instagram personality himself, with hundreds of thousands of followers for a feed devoted mainly to literary recommendations—was one of the guests. 

He felt lousy when he got home, figuring he had an exceptionally bad hangover. When he found out that another guest had been diagnosed with Covid-19, Pacífico went for a test. He had it too—as, he gradually learned, did about 15 of his friends. 

But at that point, Pacífico says over a video call, the disease seemed more like a nuisance than a threat. 

He isolated at home, suggesting quarantine reading to his followers and trading virus stories with other well-off paulistanos. “It was the novelty of it,” Pacífico says. “No one saw it coming, or thought it would be so bad.”

“The virus is here,” Bolsonaro said after walking around visiting shops one Sunday. “We’re going to have to face it, but face it like a f---ing man”

As everyone who deals with him knows, Wajngarten is what Jerry Seinfeld would call a close talker, with a habit of leaning in when he speaks

Five of the eight people who sat at his table at a Mar-a-Lago dinner tested positive, and in all 30 people on the trip got sick. 

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The incumbent president lost the election in Malawi, following the judicial annulment of a rigged election last year. @kopalo
Law & Politics

Elections do not make a democracy, but these outcomes are important chapters in the story of political development in Malawi.

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Post-Nkurunziza Burundi: The Rise of the Generals @AfricaACSS @PNantulya
Law & Politics

Rumors swirled about possible causes, with some saying he died of COVID-19 and others citing foul play. The government said he died of cardiac arrest. A succession crisis immediately ensued, exposing rifts in the ruling party and military.

General Evariste Ndayishimiye, the ruling party candidate widely known by his guerrilla nickname Neva (“never”), claimed a landslide victory in the May 20 presidential elections in a process that was widely seen as unfair. 

Recognizing that the playing field was not level, the African Union didn’t send observers. 

Burundi’s highly respected Catholic Bishops Conference did field 2,716 observers in all 119 municipalities, however. And they denounced the polls as neither free nor fair based on their tally. 

The government reacted by demanding the bishops be defrocked

Campaign rallies drew large crowds without masks or social distancing. 

Three weeks before polling, Nkurunziza downplayed the risks, claiming that masks were unnecessary because “God has purified the air of Burundi.” 

He then expelled the WHO coronavirus task force for “unacceptable interference.” Burundi now faces a spike in underreported cases.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Burundi has noted that the death toll is grossly undercounted given the scale of mass atrocities committed. 

This is corroborated by hundreds of eyewitness testimonies, data obtained through government sources, and mass graves discovered around the country.

Under Nkurunziza and the ruling National Council for Defense of Democracy/Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD/FDD), factions within the state and party organs had established informal, multi-layered power structures. As Chief of Military Affairs, Ndayishimiye oversaw the Imbonerakure, the party militia, which was responsible for much of the intimidation and violence against civilians during Nkurunziza’s tenure

What emerged was a political process and security sector dominated by the CNDD/FDD and their Hutu nationalist ideology.

In the process, the rump military became highly politicized. The most powerful faction is known as the Committee of Generals (sometimes called the Nonoka Association), consisting of CNDD/FDD civil war commanders. 

Eventually, Nkurunziza himself was not able to control the deep politicization of the military. 

On the eve of the January 2020 CNDD/FDD Congress, the Committee of Generals forced him to install Ndayishimiye as flagbearer for the May elections, upsetting his plans to hand power to the Secretary General and Speaker of the Assembly, Pascal Nyabenda, who the 2019 United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Burundi report identifies as a leader of one of the parallel power structures inside the presidency.

Under a Russia-style triumvirate written into the party Constitution, Nkurunziza was to continue as “Supreme Eternal Guide,” with powers to veto decisions by the President and Prime Minister.

Reflective of the Hutu nationalist origins of the CNDD-FDD, they wanted a fellow military man and comrade from their days as Hutu rebels—and someone seen as even more hardline than Nkurunziza.
He is currently Minister of Public Security and in that capacity controls the gendarmerie and police. This portends an arrangement where competing political structures are in control of different arms of the security sector.

Other key members within the Committee of Generals include Chief of Cabinet in the President’s Office, General Gervais Ndirakobuca, widely known by his nickname Ndakugarika (literally meaning “I will kill you”), and General Etienne Ntakarutimana, who heads the National Intelligence Service. 

CNDD/FDD-dominated Constitutional Court, which promptly ruled that Ndayishimiye should be sworn in “immediately.” 

This created a veneer of constitutionalism, but in reality, the succession process was stage-managed by a select group of insiders.

Its newfound professionalism was on full display during the protests against Nkurunziza’s third term when the military refused to use force against demonstrators and instead created buffers between them and the police and announced it would remain faithful to the Accords.

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Zimbabwe increases fuel price by 150 percent @AFP @YahooNews

Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwe on Wednesday announced a 150 percent rise in the price of fuel following the launch of a forex auction system which eroded the value of the local currency.

The price of a litre of diesel jumped 152 percent to ZW$62.77 ($1.12) from ZW$24.93 while petrol shot up 147 percent to ZW$71.62, the country’s Energy Regulatory Authority said in a notice.

Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time leader Robert Mugabe at the back of a military coup in 2017, pledged to mend the economy but things have only got worse with shops running short of basic commodities like bank notes, sugar and the staple cornmeal

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21-JAN-2019 :: The Mind Game that ZANU-PF played on its citizens has evaporated in a puff of smoke
Law & Politics

The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between high Inflation and revolutionary conditions, Zimbabwe is a classic example where there are $9.3 billion of Zollars in banks compared to $200 million in reserves, official data showed.

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On the 10-MAY-2020 : Africa was at 56,000 confirmed #COVID19 cases continent

The number of confirmed cases in Africa has been rising by about 30% a week over the past month, but is set to incline steeply now.

There was a lot of FOX News level, mathematically illiterate magical thinking about Africa and how it was going to dodge a ‘’Silver Bullet’’

That thinking is now debunked. Africa is playing ''Whack a Mole'' with a blindfold on

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02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word

We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and multiplicative.

what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world. Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ... then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!

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10-MAY-2020 :: The worrying development is Transmission Hotspots #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment

Kano in Nigeria for example

Western Cape growing at an alarming rate @sugan250388

Someone with close knowledge of the medical profession said it was almost impossible to secure a hospital bed in several cities.

The Aga Khan hospital in Dar es Salaam had a well-equipped ward for 80 coronavirus patients, but several were dying each night, he said.

The Question for SSA is whether these Transmission Hot Spots expand and conflate?

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The bonds are trading near 54 cents on the dollar, indicating market expectations that investors will have to waive almost half the face value of their investments. @markets.
World Of Finance

A group of lenders owning about a third of the nation’s dollar bonds, and in contact with another third, have formed a committee to negotiate with the government. 

Newstate Partners LLP will advise the creditors, who didn’t disclose who they were. Lazard Ltd. is representing Zambia.

Zambia is looking to overhaul as much as $11 billion in foreign debt as part of efforts to unlock emergency funding from the International Monetary Fund. 

The bonds are trading near 54 cents on the dollar, indicating market expectations that investors will have to waive almost half the face value of their investments.

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#Zambia's yields have come down a lot since their peak in late March. But at almost 30%, they're still well into distressed territory. @PaulWallace123
World Of Finance

Lebanon's yields were higher before its default, so investors seem to be predicting they'll take a smaller hit on Zambia's debt.

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.@CBKKenya has extended the waiver on mobile money transaction fees under Sh1,000 for another six months after the initial 90-day period lapsed, a move that could see @SafaricomPLC lose up to Sh15.3B.
Kenyan Economy

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has extended the waiver on mobile money transaction fees under Sh1,000 for another six months after the initial 90-day period lapsed, a move that could see Safaricom lose up to Sh15.3 billion.

The banking sector regulator Wednesday said that the free service aimed at cutting down on the handling of cash and the attendant risk of Covid-19 being transmitted from person to person will run to the end of December. 

The order will also affect commercial banks, which had on March 16 removed charges for customers moving money between their mobile wallets and bank accounts.

Safaricom   had earlier said that the free M-Pesa service had seen it lose an average of Sh1.8 billion monthly since mid-March, a pointer that it could miss sales of up to Sh16.2 billion in the nine months to December.

The Sh16.2 billion is equivalent to about a fifth or 19.1 percent of M-Pesa’s annual sales, underlining the impact of the pandemic on Safaricom’s earnings.

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@Safaricomplc share price data
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services

Closing Price: 28.65 Market Capitalization: $10.808b EPS:1.84 PE:15.571


Safaricom PLC FY 2019/ 2020 Results for the year ended 31st March 2020 

FY Voice revenue 94.45b vs. 95.80b -1.41%

FY Mpesa Revenue 84.44b vs. 74.99b +12.60%

FY Profit after tax 73.66b vs. 62.49b +17.87%

EPS 1.84 vs. 1.56 +17.95%


MPESA grew 12.6% YoY in the period. On an underlying basis, excluding the impact of betting and our COVID19 response, MPESA grew 17.2%. 

This growth was driven by savings and lending and P2P which make up two thirds of the total growth. 

However, we have seen a slowdown in the growth rates across withdrawals and payments, partly driven by a general economic slowdown, and this is likely to get worse as we face the coronavirus pandemic in FY21. 

While we are facing some short term headwinds, there is still a lot of opportunity to grow and we are excited about MPESAs future.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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June 2020

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