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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 07th of August 2020

Recovery in Advanced Economies Stalls (By Bjorn van Roye and Tom Orlik, Bloomberg economists) @dlacalle_IA
World Of Finance

Some countries have hit a ceiling on activity short of their pre-crisis level. Others face a drag from renewed outbreaks.

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On The Road The Star January 7th 2013
Tourism, Travel & Transport

My Christmas holiday ritual is to jump into a car and take the family down to the Coast. The Nairobi-Mombasa road arrows 'into immensities and is 'impossible-to- believe.' It retains a near mystical hold on my imagination and connects me to my childhood and beyond. Dad used to once own an Alfa Romeo [of which there were only three then in the country] and my pilgrimage along that road started then, when we used to come from Mombasa. Now, of course, we set off from Nairobi but the road still has its hold. The landmarks still reach out to me. This time we were swarmed by doves near Emali which was breathtaking. There is still the eerie and deserted very Oscar Niemeyer building which might have been a petrol station with a restaurant. We stopped at Makindu which is like being teleported to Amritsar and on New Years day was packed to the rafters. We always stop at Mackinnon road where there is a shrine which houses the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, a Punjabi foreman at the time of the building of the railway who was renowned for his strength.

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Mackinnon road where there is a shrine which houses the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, a Punjabi foreman at the time of the building of the railway who was renowned for his strength.

In World War II a Fleet Air Arm airfield was established at Mackinnon Road after the British Eastern Fleet retreated to Mombasa following the Indian Ocean raid. 

Airfields at Voi and Port Reitz Airport were also used to disperse the fleet's carrier aircraft in case of attack by the aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 

These airfields were administered by the Royal Navy shore establishment HMS Kipanga II ("Kipanga" is Swahili language for "goshawk").[1]

Between 1947 and 1950 Mackinnon Road was the site of a large British engineering and Ordnance Depot designed to hold 200,000 tons of military stores.[2] 

The British had anticipated the loss of military bases in Egypt due to a rise in nationalism in that country and decided to create another base that was able to serve their military needs in the western Indian Ocean. 

The plan was abandoned and the base became a detention camp for Mau Mau suspects until 1955.[3]

It has a station on the railway between Mombasa and Nairobi and was probably named because it was a junction of the Uganda Railway and the Mackinnon ox cart road 90 km (56 mi) outside Mombasa. 

Construction of the road was started in 1890 by the British East Africa Company and the railway in 1896 by the British colonial administration. The road fell into disuse as the railway overtook it.

There is a mosque which houses the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, a Punjabi foreman at the time of the building of the railway who was renowned for his strength. 

Originally there was a simple grave at the site, but after travellers attributed their safe journeys to visiting the grave, a mosque was built.[4]

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If war breaks out between China and the US, which side will have the upper hand? @globaltimesnews @HuXijin_GT
Law & Politics

In terms of overall military strength, who is more powerful, China or the US? It must be the US. 

However, when it comes to China's coastal waters, China's maritime strength plus onshore combat power vs the maritime strength of the US, it is difficult to say which side is more powerful. If you haven't tried it, there will be uncertainty.

If it comes to China's core interests, Taiwan, for example, crosses the line under the US encouragement and leads to a military showdown, then at that time there will be a contest of wills as well as a contest of strength. 

Who's at the upper hand in that situation? It's a combination of military strength plus morality plus the will to fight. Who do you think would be stronger in a war off China's coast?

So the US should be reminded to distance itself from China's core interests. Don't play with fire off China's coast, don't really stir up conflict over Taiwan question, and don't overdo it in the South China Sea. 

If the Trump administration just wants to create China-US tensions to help his re-election campaign, and is not really ready for a military showdown, then be careful for the next few months, and don't go too far.

China certainly doesn't want a war. My suggestion is that under no circumstances should the Chinese military fire the first shot. 

But I am confident that China will be well prepared to fire a second shot as a response to the first shot. 

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15 OCT 18 :: War is coming
Law & Politics

By March 2018 in a Shakespeare level moment of hubris, Xinhua pronounced this historical announce- ment; the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China “proposed to remove the expression that ‘the president and vice-president of the People’s Republic of China shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s constitution.” 

In one fell swoop, President Xi Jinping was President for Life. That was the Apogee.

‘’This geopolitical contest will likely escalate dangerously. Powerful forces on both sides are driving the world’s two strongest countries toward full-fledged confrontation’’ [The writer is the Douglas Dillon professor of government at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of ‘Destined for War’ in the FT] 

As a candidate, Donald Trump complained that China was “raping” America. After months of smaller steps, his administration has now pledged to fight back hard on all fronts — and win.

The US military is reportedly planning to send US warships, combat aircraft, and troops through the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and other contested waterways next month in a series of exercises designed to send a message to Beijing in November. 

The incident with the USS Decatur where a Chinese warship came within 45 yards of the USS Decatur in South China Sea is surely a precursor.

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This is intergalactic Darwinism. @bopinion @nfergus

The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ... The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him.

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It is a PUT UP or SHUT UP MOMENT and @SecPompeo is signaling the US will not SHUT UP
Law & Politics

First, “Survival is the primary need of civilization.” Second, “Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant.” Third, “chains of suspicion” and the risk of a “technological explosion” in another civilization mean that in space there can only be the law of the jungle. 

In the words of the book’s hero, Luo Ji:

The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ... The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds other life — another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod — there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them. In this forest, hell is other people ... any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out.

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7 OCT 19 :: China turns 70

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.

Some of the Xi-era slogans are short and simple, in the manner of Western advertising, such as the “Chinese Dream,” the catchphrase embodying the party’s aim to be- come a global power by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People Republic of China. 

But Xi has taken the propagation of ideology and the cult of personality to extremes not seen since the days of Chairman Mao. 

Xi in fact has replaced Jesus in Churches and Mohamed in the mosques. “Unity is iron and steel; unity is a source of strength,” 

“Complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend..no one and no force can ever stop it!” he added.

Today we know the Chinese economy is slowing, but Xi is relying on Chinese resilience 

“If there is a decoupling between the two econo- mies, so be it. The Chinese people can endure more pain than the spoiled and hubristic Americans.

“The Folks in Hong Kong [whom Xi is seeking to unmask so he can exercise algorithmic control over them] are in open rebellion. 

Joshua Wong told German Media “Hongkong ist das neue Berlin”

I am sure Xi sees Hong Kong and Taiwan like a virus and he is looking to impose a quarantine just like he has imposed on Xinjiang. 

The Chinese Dream has become a nightmare at the boundaries of the Han Empire.

The World in the 21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight. I would venture that Xi’s high water mark is behind him.

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27-JUL-2020 :: Last week, the US China ‘’Tit for Tat’’ went ‘’Rat a Tat Tat’’
Law & Politics

Frequent criticism of “Communist” China and its ruling Communist Party - @SecPompeo used the word 27 times in a speech on Thursday that called a more assertive approach to China the “mission of our time”

"Today we sit wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP failed in its promises." - @SecPompeo

I am convinced that the only ‘’zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory #COVID19

There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released – Wuhan is to the CCP as Idlib is to the Syrian Regime – and propagated world wide.

"...watching the Chinese military grow stronger and more menacing...Is this China’s definition of a “win-win” situation? Is America safer?" - @SecPompeo @NAR

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This reads like a spoof - ⁦@Twitter is blocked in China Communist Party’s English language propaganda platform is claiming ⁦@Twitter blocks free speech! @TomTugendhat
Law & Politics

This reads like a spoof - ⁦@Twitter is blocked in China by the Communist Party to silence “patriotic voices” and now the Communist Party’s English language propaganda platform is claiming ⁦@Twitter blocks free speech!

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Angela Merkel: “You cannot fight the pandemic with lies and disinformation...the limits of Populism are being laid bare.”
Law & Politics

Angela Merkel: “You cannot fight the pandemic with lies and disinformation...the limits of Populism are being laid bare.” Angela MerkelThe Correlation between the Case Load and Populism has a stupendously high correlation coefficient.

political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble. @FukuyamaFrancis

I was reading Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah which sought to explain the intrinsic relationship between political leadership and the management of pandemics in the pre-colonial period.

Historically, such pandemics had the capacity to overtake “the dynasties at the time of their senility, when they had reached the limit of their duration” and, in the process, challenged their “power and curtailed their [rulers’] influence...”

Rulers who are only concerned with the well-being of their “inner circle and their parties” are an incurable “disease”.

States with such rulers can get “seized by senility and the chronic disease from which [they] can hardly ever rid [themselves], for which [they] can find no cure”

To thwart calamities, rulers should possess certain qualifications. Khaldun recognizes wisdom, logic, honesty, justice and education as the most desirable qualities in a ruler.

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I don't mean to be flip but it will be hard for Beijing to think of a like-for-like counter since nearly all of the top offerings by U.S. tech companies are already blocked in mainland China. @Rover829
Law & Politics

China will obviously be unhappy with this decision. I don't mean to be flip but it will be hard for Beijing  to think of a like-for-like counter since nearly all of the top offerings by U.S. tech companies are already blocked in mainland China.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1824

Dollar Index 93.062

Japan Yen 105.63

Swiss Franc 0.91156

Pound 1.3091

Aussie 0.7217

India Rupee 74.975

South Korea Won 1185.265

Brazil Real 5.3327

Egypt Pound 15.9692

South Africa Rand 17.56

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Many trying to call a top in $GOLD - its true we're overbought to a historic degree and vulnerable to a hard snap down. @AdamMancini4

I'm not interested in timing it though. My base case is dips to be bought until we get to $2200 ($2300 ideally). I will be looking for a good correction there

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Brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and Herbert Hunt attempted to corner the world silver markets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at one stage holding the rights to more than half of the world's deliverable silver.

“Hunt had a paranoid world view and it made sense to him to amass silver and hang on to it.”

Most traders buy and sell paper. The actual stuff represented by that paper is delivered to someone else. Hunt wanted the silver.

He chartered three 707 jet aircraft to haul the metal to warehouses in Switzerland and hired a dozen sharpshooting cowboys to provide security, according to Knight.

When he began buying silver with his brothers in 1973, it cost $2 an ounce and a big consumer was Eastman Kodak to make film.

Before the Hunts were through, seven years later, they’d stockpiled more than 200 million ounces, the price was soaring past $45 an ounce and regulators were preparing to take measures to make sure nothing like what Nelson Bunker Hunt had done would ever happen again.

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27-JAN-2020 :: “But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola.''

“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused to believe -that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return.’’

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Depreciation pressure is building again across EM & bond yields are rising as a result. @robinbrooksiif
Emerging Markets

Chart compares local currency 10-year yields in December 2019, i.e. before COVID-19 (vertical), with yields as of today (horizontal). EMs below the diagonal line have seen yields rise in 2020.

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EM FX remains highly vulnerable to FX policies in Turkey & China. Our sensitivity analysis to $TRY & $CNY devaluation risk shows that the high-yielding & commodity-sensitive FX $ZAR $BRL $MXN $RUB are most exposed @VPatelFX
Emerging Markets

EM FX remains highly vulnerable to FX policies in Turkey & China. Our sensitivity analysis to $TRY & $CNY devaluation risk shows that the high-yielding & commodity-sensitive FX $ZAR $BRL $MXN $RUB are most exposed given risks of EM debt outflows & weaker commodity prices

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A million and not counting Africa closes in on 1m reported cases of covid-19 The true number will be much higher @TheEconomist

“It’s been hectic,” says Thabo Nko, an undertaker in Soweto, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. 

Before the pandemic he would do two or three burials in a week. These days he is doing about 20. The nearest public cemeteries are full, so he has to bury some corpses 50km away.

Surprisingly, all the death is not good for business. Overwhelmed authorities are behind on issuing the death certificates families need to claim on their funeral insurance policies. 

For the first time since opening in 2007, Mr Nko is laying people to rest before he is paid. “I had to drop that rule,” he says. “There is too much to do.”

South Africa has the world’s fifth-highest number of reported cases. It accounts for 53% of the confirmed cases and 43% of deaths from covid-19 in Africa. But that does not mean the rest of the continent is being spared. Instead it reflects a lack of data in most other countries—and how their peaks may be yet to come.

As of August 5th the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a public-health body, had recorded 992,710 cases in Africa. 

It took about five months for the continent to reach 500,000 cases and another month to reach close to 1m. 

The compound daily growth rate of new cases over the past two weeks was higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions. In reality the millionth African contracted covid-19 many weeks ago.

The full extent of the undercount is unknown. The share of tests that come up positive is below 5% in only a few countries, suggesting widespread underreporting elsewhere. 

Low test-positivity-rates are found in states with relatively efficient governments, such as Botswana; countries with feared security forces, like Uganda; and those that have both, such as Rwanda.

Elsewhere the shares are much higher. In most of the countries where the International Rescue Committee works the rates are in double digits—for instance Somalia (17%, as of July 30th), Congo (20%), South Sudan (19%), Ivory Coast (16%) and the Central African Republic (16%)

Relative to its population, Britain has done 600 times more tests than have the African countries where the irc works.

Another hint of underreporting is found in the number of cases among Africa’s elites, who are more likely to get tests. At least three of South Sudan’s five vice-presidents have had covid-19. Burundi’s former president, Pierre Nkurunziza, probably died of it. So too did Perrance Shiri, Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister (who was better known for organising mass killings in Matabeleland in the 1980s). 

Unlike most of the country’s doctors, his pallbearers had protective gear.

Patchy data make it hard to assess many African countries’ responses. 

Mauritius, an island that quickly closed its borders, has largely suppressed the virus. Rwanda’s track-and-trace system, which includes random testing, has slowed transmission.

Cases seem to be growing quickly in most countries as they loosen lockdowns to try to revive their economies. 

States that appeared to have the virus under control, such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia, are all experiencing daily growth rates above the regional average. 

Ghana’s widely praised testing strategy, involving a “pooled method” in which multiple samples are tested at once, is becoming less effective as cases rise. 

In Nigeria, home to nearly one-sixth of Africans, testing is held back by shortages of reagents and kits. It is using less than half of its testing capacity, according to a survey by the Tony Blair Institute.

Two supposed advantages for African countries are geography and demography. The relative isolation of rural areas was meant to slow transmission. It still might. 

But, notes Matshidiso Moeti, the head of the who Africa region, “the virus has spilled out of major cities and spread into distant hinterlands.”

The continent’s youthfulness is more of an obvious boon. Most Africans were born in the 21st century. Africa has a lower share of people over the age of 65 than any other continent. 

A recent paper published by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene argued that Uganda’s age structure will keep death rates lower than in other parts of the world. (Other pan-African models suggest that such advantages are outweighed by poor health systems.)

About 2% of Africans diagnosed with covid-19 have died. That is only half the global average. But such numbers should be treated with great caution

But many covid-watchers fear that what is happening at the southern tip of the continent may be repeated elsewhere. Whether it will be recorded is another question. ■

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Africa is entering a Fast Growth ‘’escape’’ velocity Phase #COVID19

It took 123 days to go from the first case of #coronavirus to 250,000 confirmed cases Africa. From 250,000 to 500,000 21 days. From 500,000 to 750,000 14 days

Africa on track to pass 1 million diagnosed #COVID19 cases shortly @jmlukens

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Africa has a Problem COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ @AP #COVID19

Africa has a Problem COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ @AP #COVID19 and it’s good to prepare for the worst-case scenario, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said 

’We’ve crossed a critical number here,” he said of the half-million milestone. 

“Our pandemic is getting full speed.”

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

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.

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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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China-Africa relations enter new era as easy money dries up @AfricanBizMag

China has lent over $150bn to African countries in nearly two decades, but as concerns mount over repayment, the nature of the China-Africa relationship is set to change for good, writes David Thomas 

Appearing before a row of African flags on 17 June, Xi lavished praise on the joint efforts of his African partners and deployed military metaphors to promise that Covid-19 will strengthen China’s economic and diplomatic ties with the continent.  

“China and Africa have offered mutual support and fought shoulder to shoulder with each other. China shall always remember the invaluable support Africa gave us at the height of our battle with the coronavirus. 

In return, when Africa was struck by the virus, China was the first to rush in with assistance and has since stood firm with the African people… No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa.” 

The pandemic has decimated Africa’s fragile economic assumptions, sapped Chinese demand for the commodities that support its leading economies, and forced the implementation of growth-eroding lockdowns. 

The World Bank predicts that GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa could fall from 2.4% in 2019 to between -2.1% and -5.1% in 2020. 

That is causing African policymakers to cast a nervous eye towards the continent’s debt pile, swollen by hundreds of billions of dollars in loans from the Chinese government, banks, and state-owned enterprises. 

Without debt support, unaffordable payments on the vast portfolio of loans from China and other wealthy nations could lead to a series of chaotic defaults by individual African countries.  

Meanwhile, China itself is facing a daunting economic reckoning after years of expansive growth. Its status as Covid-19’s Ground Zero and the cost of unprecedented population restrictions have forced the government to abandon its official GDP target for the first time since 1990 – the IMF predicts it will grow by just 1% this year compared to 6.1% in 2019.  

The flagging outlook and a damaging US-China trade war have spurred doubts over whether Chinese policymakers will continue to plough billions of dollars into African projects with limited immediate upside. 

“On both the demand and supply side we’re going to see a huge detrimental impact. The fiscal space for African governments is becoming increasingly constrained and it’s very unlikely they’ll be able to pay back existing debts let alone take on new ones,” says Yunnan Chen, senior research officer in the development and public finance team at the Overseas Development Institute.

“On the supply side China is going to have to confront a growing economic recession at home. The war chest of foreign reserves it had over the previous few decades that it was able to slosh around in developing countries is going to be a lot more limited and prioritised for domestic needs.”  

While the relationship may be poised for a reset, it could offer an opportunity for the partners to place relations on a more sustainable footing by reordering debts, shifting towards mutually beneficial trade and foreign direct investment, and rethinking Africa’s debt model.  

“There has been a shift in the tenor of the relationship even in the last 10 years where what used to be an economic relationship primarily based on the resource trade has shifted towards infrastructure and a political and strategic relationship. 

It remains in African leaders’ interests to have China as a powerful partner, but that era of debt-dependent finance is coming to a close,” says Chen.  

Renegotiation time 

While analysts are in broad agreement that the pandemic will hasten the decline of easy Chinese credit in Africa, there is little consensus around the appropriate timing or structure of Chinese debt relief.   

The scale of the issue is obscured by a dearth of quality data. The Chinese government does not release official data on Chinese loan finance, export credits, or official development assistance on a regional or country basis, but Johns Hopkins University’s China Africa Research Initiative calculates that the Chinese government, banks and state-owned enterprises lent some $152bn to the continent between 2000 and 2018, some of which has been repaid. The World Bank estimates that China accounts for 17% of African debt.  

“In brief, on China’s debt relief for Africa, the world is looking at a long process of bilateral renegotiations, debt restructuring, and refinancing instead of a rapid, blanket, and comprehensive solution,” writes Sun.  

In April 2020, Deborah Brautigam, director of the China Africa Research Initiative, wrote in The Diplomat that it was a “myth” that China frequently cancels debts, and argued that most cancellations were limited to “interest-free, foreign aid loans that had reached maturity without being fully paid off.” 

Such loans amount to less than 5% of Chinese lending in Africa. Problematic loans are also reported to go through an onerous process involving staff from Chinese government ministries and state-owned lenders before being written off – easy debt renegotiations with China are another myth, Brautigam writes. 

ODI’s Yunnan Chen agrees that cancellation is unlikely to be on the agenda in many cases: “It’s likely that on a lot of these debts that China has incurred, they’re not going to make their money back. China Exim Bank and a lot of Chinese institutions already accepted even before the pandemic that there were some projects that shouldn’t have been financed and there will be a lot of bad debts. But this acceptance doesn’t extend to blanket generosity and saying we’ll just call the whole thing off. These loans were extended for commercial purposes and Chinese institutions are still there to make as much money back as possible… What is likely to happen I think with respect to China and the bulk of concessional and commercial loans which makes up a huge proportion of Chinese debt in Africa is that there will be some flexibility.”  

“Most of China’s debt is for investment purposes… those kind of assets are productive assets and so when the situation returns to normal they will generate revenues. What China sees is a temporary pressure, so it proposes to postpone repayment,” says Lin. 

Any successful renegotiation is likely to be on a case-by-case basis – a process in which shrewd African governments overseeing credible projects can vie for more generous terms rather than apply for a blanket write-off. 

In 2018, China agreed to restructure some of Ethiopia’s debt, including extending repayment of a loan from 10 to 30 years for a $4bn railway linking its capital Addis Ababa with neighbouring Djibouti – a process in which Ethiopia successfully wielded a “great deal of agency”, according to Chen.

With Chinese policymakers and lenders coming under increasing fiscal pressure as economic constraints weigh on the domestic market, there is mounting pressure to prioritise projects that can deliver returns or achieve defined strategic goals. 

A critical railway project in a strategic partner like Ethiopia is deemed to reach that threshold.  

“Domestically [in China] there’s a constituency who continue to say where are our priorities and why aren’t we building our economy? A positive response by African governments can help to make the case but what the Chinese government increasingly needs to do is make a stronger economic justification for this kind of engagement. What really matters is not necessarily the amount or type of debt, what really matters is how growth-inducing these projects are and there’s a case to say some projects will face challenges through Covid but there’s others where the business case becomes stronger, like rail projects for example,” says Hannah Ryder.  I don’t think [all financing] will freeze.” “I think most [African governments] don’t feel they’re in a debt trap but where they are expressing concern is on trade. They want to get more exports into China and are really pushing on that agenda starting in 2018. Some are much more interested in FDI from China than loans from China. They need to really learn the lessons from the past and be cautious on the specific terms and conditions for all those things and exchange notes, just as they need to on loans.”

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Growth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 is projected at –1.6 percent, the lowest level on record @PaulWallace123 Here are the #IMF's GDP-growth projections for SSA in 2020

I Thought the GDP Projections for 2020 and 2021 a little bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Lets Turn now to the defining Engagement of the last two decades for SSA – The SSA China relationship.

And the entire China Africa relationship has been an extraordinary exercise in Narrative Framing and linguistic control, accompanied by a chorus of Party Hacks chirruping Hosannas at every turn amplifying largely meaningless feel good Phrases artfully placed in the mouths of our Politicians and our Newspapers. It is remarkable.

I reference excerpts from Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony of 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit

BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) here on Monday.

September has just set in Beijing, bringing with it refreshing breeze and picturesque autumn scenery. And we are so delighted to have all of you with us, friends both old and new, in this lovely season for the reunion of the China-Africa big family at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over a month ago, I paid my fourth visit to Africa as the Chinese President, which was also my ninth visit to this land of great promise. During the last visit, I once again saw an Africa that is beautiful and richly endowed, that is full of dynamism in development, and I learned about first-hand the African people's ardent hope for a better future. 

I concluded the visit even more convinced that Africa's development has great potential, that this great continent is full of hope, that China-Africa friendship and cooperation have broad vistas, and that China and Africa can forge an even stronger comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership!

it is for both China and Africa to pursue win-win cooperation and common development. In doing so, China follows the principle of giving more and taking less, giving before taking and giving without asking for return. With open arms, we welcome

African countries aboard the express train of China's development. No one could hold back the Chinese people or the African people as we march toward rejuvenation. Ultimately, it is for the peoples of China and Africa to judge the performance of China-

Africa cooperation. No one could deny the remarkable achievements made in China- Africa cooperation, not with their assumption or imagination.

 On the other hand, we also face challenges unseen before. Hegemony and power politics persist; protectionism and unilateralism are mounting; war, conflicts, terrorism, famine security challenges, both traditional and non- traditional, remain as complex and interwoven as ever.

However, we are firm in our conviction that peace and development remain the underlying trend of our times. Indeed, they are the call of the times. The international community should take our historical responsibility and respond to the call of our times with solidarity, vision, courage and a sense of mission.

To respond to the call of the times, China is ready to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative with international partners. We hope to create new drivers to power common development through this new platform of international cooperation; and we hope to turn it into a road of peace, prosperity, openness, green development and innovation and a road that brings together different civilizations.

To quote a Chinese saying, "The ocean is vast because it rejects no rivers." 

China, the world's largest developing country, and Africa, the continent with the largest number of . Indeed, we share a common stake. China will work with Africa to achieve our shared goal of building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future and turn it into a pacesetter for building such a community for mankind.

Second, let us build a China-Africa community with a shared future that pursues win- win cooperation.

Third, let us build a China-Africa community with a shared future that delivers happiness for all of us.

Fourth, let us build a China-Africa community with a shared future that enjoys cultural prosperity. developing countries, have long formed a community with a shared future

Together, we could make China and Africa beautiful places for people to live in harmony with nature.

"The red rising sun will light up the road ahead." I am confident that the baton of China-Africa friendship will be passed from one generation to the next and that China and Africa, working together, will build an even more vibrant community with a shared future. 

The day will surely come when the Chinese nation realizes its dream of national renewal and Africa realizes its dream of unity and invigoration!

Interestingly, At that 2018 FOCAC Meeting Xi Jinping also delivered a thinly veiled warning

China's Xi says funds for Africa not for 'vanity projects' Reuters #FOCAC2018

Our African Leaders did not take notes and that Warning was missed.

2-SEP-2019 :: the China EM Frontier Feedback Loop Phenomenon. #COVID19

This Phenomenon was positive for the last two decades but has now undergone a Trend reversal. The ZAR is the purest proxy for this Phenomenon.

African Countries heavily dependent on China being the main Taker are also at the bleeding edge of this Phenomenon.

This Pressure Point will not ease soon but will continue to intensify

“China had a singular and positive influence on Africa. It rebalanced the demand side for Africa’s commodities and also bought those commodities on a long-term basis. It was this which triggered the African recovery some two decades ago, However, since then a freewheeling China has favourited elites, has facilitated large-scale looting via inflated infrastructure, some of which were white elephants and has lumped the African citizen with the tab. How this plays out is now the key to Sino-African relations going forward. A Hambantota scenario would be problematic,” referring to the Sri Lankan port which has been leased to China for 99 years.

Tavi Costa tweeted

1/12 The idealization of Chinese economic success has always been a big scam. Throughout history we have had several similar examples of communist countries that have reached unsustainable levels of internal and external debt and have suffered marked collapses.

2/12 Para elaborar nessa proposição, considere a seguinte reflexão. De acordo com o PIB publicado pelo governo chinês, a China foi responsável por mais de 60% do crescimento econômico global desde 2008.

2/12 To elaborate on this proposition, consider the following reflection. According to GDP published by the Chinese government, China has accounted for more than 60% of global economic growth since 2008.

3/12 Com isso, ela passou a ser, incomparavelmente, a maior importadora de commodities no mundo. Se caso o seu crescimento de PIB tivesse sido tão expressivo, como justificaríamos a queda geral de preços de commodities no mundo?

3/12 As a result, it has become, by far, the largest importer of commodities in the world. If your GDP growth had been so expressive, how would we justify the general drop in commodity prices in the world?

4/12 Curiosamente, esse período marcou uma das piores décadas para esse mercado na história. É incontestável a contradição entre esses números, presumivelmente mais apurados, e os números “criados” pelo próprio governo comunista Chinês.

4/12 Interestingly, this period marked one of the worst decades for this market in history. The contradiction between these numbers, presumably more accurate, and the numbers “created” by the Chinese communist government is undeniable.

A Lot of these Loans are not on the Official Register.

The Hambantota Moment has arrived

18-JUN-2018 :: So the first overarching Point, is that creditors are not Santa Claus and miscues will exact a very heavy price, Countries will be "Hambantota-ed"

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Some African governments who are already bilaterally petitioning China for relief say Chinese envoys are citing provisions in loan agreements that would transfer collateral, in some cases strategic state assets, into Beijing’s hands:

This is a symptom of the SSA disease.

Basically China has an Option to buy in SSA Assets at fire-sale Prices.

In an interview, The World Bank’s Malpass cited liens against Angola’s oil revenues associated with Chinese debt that were hidden by non-disclosure agreements, convenient for politicians and contractors.

“Let the people of the country see what the terms of the debt are as their government makes commitments,” Malpass said.

The Terms of these debts are hidden precisely because they are so egregious.

And this is now precisely the Point we have arrived at.

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Zimbabwean President, Deputy Clash as Economy Tension Grows @bpolitics

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa accused his deputy of plotting against him in a heated exchange, highlighting a rift between the nation’s two most powerful men as the economy implodes.

At a meeting of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s politburo last week, Mnangagwa shouted at Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, according to two people familiar with the situation. 

They asked not to be identified because the quarrel hasn’t been publicly disclosed.

The president accused his deputy of instigating a plan to use an opposition protest on July 31 over the deteriorating economic situation to embarrass the national leader, the people said

Some party members would have been encouraged to demonstrate alongside the opposition, but focus their criticism on Mnangagwa to weaken his standing within the ruling party, the people said.

Chiwenga denied any plot against the president, saying he’d endorsed Mnangagwa as president for Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections, the people said. He said he had protected Mnangagwa against enemies within the party who have now fled the country.

The clash shows the tension between Mnangagwa, 77, and Chiwenga, the 63-year-old former head of the armed forces who installed Mnangagwa when he led a November 2017 coup that ousted President Robert Mugabe. 

Some military leaders and their allies have grown increasingly impatient as inflation has exceeded 700% and shortages of fuel and food have become rife.

Calls to government spokesman Nick Mangwana and Chiwenga’s office weren’t answered when Bloomberg sought comment.

Mnangagwa’s relationship with the military is complex. It elevated the former spy chief to power, but at the same time Chiwenga is seen by analysts as ambitious and impatient to take over from Mnangagwa. 

The ex-military general wields influence within the ruling party and was this week handed oversight of the Health Ministry.

In June, military leaders held a press conference to say they weren’t planning a coup, stoking speculation of disquiet within the ruling elite. 

Still, later that month they ordered the closing of the stock exchange and banned large mobile-money transfers in a bid to stabilize its collapsing national currency, people familiar with the situation said at the time.

At last week’s meeting, Mnangagwa brandished fliers denigrating him that were seized by the Central Intelligence Organisation from the home of Cleveria Chizema, the party’s health secretary, the people said. 

Chizema has been suspended. She didn’t answer calls to her mobile phone.

The fliers called for Zanu-PF supporters to join the opposition protest, which was stillborn after security forces deployed on the streets of the capital, Harare. 

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@edmnangagwa in search of enemies @Africa_Conf
Law & Politics

After two years of dangerous drift, military officers and state officials are covertly talking to oppositionists about the President’s exit and a transitional authority

The extraordinary morning broadcast by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 4 August reinforced the national sense that his legitimacy is eroding as fast as the value of Zimbabwean dollar. Heading a government which has detained some of the region's best novelists and journalists, abducted and tortured opposition activists, Mnangagwa warned citizens about 'the bad apples that have attempted to divide our people. Good shall triumph over evil.'

Those divisions are festering at the heart of his government. A week earlier at a meeting of the politburo, the 50-strong policy-making body of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, Mnangagwa called on Isaac Moyo, director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation, to report on a 'de-stabilisation' plot claimed to have been run by Claveria Chizema, a politburo member, and Tendai Savanhu, a former MP for Mbare.

Moyo explained that the plot showed collusion between dissidents within the ruling party and opposition activists whose aim was to drive Mnangagwa from power with a campaign of mass protests. Moyo claims his spies had discovered stocks of posters and placards calling for the toppling of Mnangagwa and praising his deputy former army general Constantino Chiwenga stashed at the homes of the party dissidents.

According to Moyo, after Mnangagwa was forced out, the plan was that Chiwenga would preside over a national transitional authority committed to constitutional and economic reforms and free elections. In other words, a classic palace coup. An ironic reworking of the putsch that Mnangagwa and Chiwenga had jointly organised against President Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

As Moyo explained the details of the plot against Mnangagwa to the politburo, Chiwenga, just back from another medical check-up in China, looked on impassively. Neither Moyo nor Mnangagwa accused Chiwenga of complicity in the plot from which he was meant to benefit. But the implied accusation hung in the room.

The only action following Moyo's report was the suspension of Chizema from the politburo for 'dereliction of duty', by not reporting the delivery to her house of posters calling for Mnangagwa's overthrow. The claimed uncovering of this plot set the scene for a crackdown by police and special forces' commandos on the opposition's anti-corruption demonstration on 31 July.

A 2,000 strong unit known as 'ferret' within the army's special forces has abducted and tortured activists, the latest being the nephew of Mduduzi Mathutu, editor of the ZimLive website, one of the leading local news operations.

Police also arrested and detained author and film maker Tsitsi Dangarembga and opposition spokeswoman Fadzayi Mahere for holding protest placards in the Borrowdale suburb of Harare. In the townships, raids on houses and meetings by the ferret unit were far more brutal. Some of the footage was relayed on social media, triggering the #Zimbabweanlivesmatter campaign. Taken up by national artists, athletes and musicians it is spreading across Africa, further undermining Mnangagwa's standing.

Economic conditions in Zimbabwe, with inflation at over 700% a year and the value of the local dollar in free fall after a money printing blitz by the Reserve Bank, are driving more desperate nationals to flee.

We hear that several in this ruling group now favour either Chiwenga or General Sibusiso Moyo to take over from Mnangagwa in a palace coup that would allow the formation of a National Transitional Authority, in consultation with opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

When first mooted, the plan would have granted Mnangagwa immunity from prosecution and a soft landing and he was said to have given it serious consideration. That option looks less likely now with fresh investigations reckoning that Mnangagwa's personal fortune could be around US$500 million involving substantive stakes in at least four national banks, several gold mines and equity interests in transport and agribusiness companies.

The decision by the United States Treasury on 5 August to sanction Mnangagwa's business ally Kudakwashe Tagwirei, chief executive of Sakunda Holdings and majority owner of Landela Mining Ventures, raises the stakes (AC Vol 61 No 5, Oil, guns and politics). Widely seen as a proxy for Mnangagwa, Tagwirei's dealings with commodity traders Trafigura have made him immensely wealthy in his own right. 

Tagwirei is also said to have used some of the $3 billion of Mnangagwa's grossly mismanaged Command Agriculture programme to distribute largesse to senior ranks in the military. Any gratitude appears to have been short-lived. This week, Tagwirei was looking uncharacteristically worried when driving his new pink Rolls Royce through Chisipite, one of Harare's most prosperous suburbs.

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Foreigners dipped their toes in the SAGB market for the first time since Feb but the earlier sell-off is unlikely to reverse in full. @sergilanauiif

The local financial system has already absorbed 6% of GDP in govies and will have to take a lot more for the remainder of the year.

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Safaris That Bring $29 Billion to Africa Threatened by Virus @luxury @AntonySguazzin

Africa’s wildlife tourism industry, which usually generates $29 billion a year and employs 3.6 million people, is under threat as the coronavirus has brought leisure travel to a near halt, a report published in Nature Ecology & Evolution said.

Many wildlife-protection services will struggle without money from safaris and hunting, according to research by scientists from various universities ranging from South Africa to the U.S. 

Hardest hit will be countries that boast the so-called Big Five -- elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards and rhinoceroses -- such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. 

Others like Uganda, where gorillas are a drawcard, will also suffer, the study shows.

“Tourism helps governments justify protecting wildlife habitat,” the scientists said. 

“It creates revenue for state wildlife authorities, generates foreign-exchange earnings, diversifies and strengthens local economies.”

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Dollar versus Rand via @slipcatch 17.56 [Target 19.00+]
World Currencies

Nasty and it will get nastier ... The $4.3b IMF loan was at a rate of 16.32 R70.2b. Less than 2-weeks later it is R75.3b that needs to be repaid, R5b in less than 2-weeks and now you understand why I say #VoetsekANC  The R5b will become R16b in the next 20 weeks!!!

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WPP Scangroup reports H1 2020 Earnings here
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services

Par Value:                  1/-

Closing Price:           10.55

Total Shares Issued:          432155985.00

Market Capitalization:        4,559,245,642

EPS:             1.37

PE:                 7.701


1st Half Earnings through 30th June 2020

H1 Net Sales 1.089337b versus 1.371348b -21%

H1 Operating and administrative expenses [excluding provision for bad debts] [1.356850b] versus [1.313521b]

H1 Provision for bad and doubtful debts [328.820m] versus [53.054m]

H1 [Loss] Profit before Tax from continuing operations [517.081m] versus 127.765m

H1 [loss] for the Period [532.020m] versus 79.329m

[Loss] profit for te period from discontinued operations [126.682m] versus 170.524m

Net Gain on disposal of discontinued Operations 2.242028b

H1 Profit for the Period 1.583326b versus 249.853m

H1 EPS 3.77 versus 0.51 

H1 Net Increase in Cash and Cash Equivalents 5.319128b

Cash and Cash equivalents at End of Period 7.4339976b


Company completed Sale of Millward Brown East Africa, Nigeria, West Africa and Research and Marketing Group. Net Gain of 2.24b.

Net Sales reduced by -21% as advertising business was significantly affected due to cost-cutting measures taken by a number of our clients as a result of COVID19.

Bad debt provision of 329m as been made in this period overdue amount for a Parastatal Client.


Underlying organic conditions weak. 

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Kenya Re reports H1 2020 Earnings
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Par Value:                  2.50/-

Closing Price:           2.20

Total Shares Issued:          2799796272.00

Market Capitalization:        6,159,551,798

EPS:               0.6375 



Kenya Re H1 2020 Earnings through 30.06.2020

H1 Net Earned Premiums 8.660175b versus 7.429247b

H1 Investment Income 1.904899b versus 1.945421b

H1 Total Income 10.613697b versus 9.420657b

H1 Net claims and Benefits [5.148480b] verssus [4.995268b]

H1 Total Claims benefits and other expenses [8.522421b] versus [8.041312b]

H1 Profit before Tax 2.091276b versus 1.379345b +52% 

H1 Profit after Tax 1.568457b versus 1.075802b

H1 EPS 0.56 versus 1.54 


FIRE recorded the highest gross premium +71%

Life Business grew 17% 

Investment Income 1.905b -2.00% attributed to COVID19 


Its a very cheap share but it always has been. 

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

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