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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 13th of April 2017

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Macro Thoughts

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Dollar slides after Trump tells WSJ it's 'getting too strong' @markets

President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal the currency is
"getting too strong."

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Japanese 10-year bond yields might just turn negative again David Ingles

Home Thoughts

“If you want to be happy, be.” ― Leo Tolstoy

“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey
or a stranger comes to town.” ― Leo Tolstoy

“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see
them.”  ― Leo Tolstoy

“A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose
denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator,
the smaller the fraction.”  ― Leo Tolstoy

“What am I coming for?" he repeated, looking straight into her eyes.
"You know that I have come to be where you are," he said; "I can't
help it.”  ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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Dr. Martin Luther King got it right when he taught us:

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.

Political Reflections

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The Hermit Kingdom The Star 2010
Law & Politics

FAR away in distant lands lies the Hermit Kingdom. This land is ruled
by The House of Kim and its capital is Pyongyang. The first and
‘Eternal’ President was Kim Il-sung and his successor Kim Jong-il
whose designated successor is Kim Jung-un. They all have had tiny
little hands like the Elves in the Elves and the Shoemaker.And this
country has nuclear weapons and on its border with its neighbour South
Korea sit 25,000 American soldiers.

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Foreign journalists in North Korea told to prepare for 'big' event
Law & Politics

Foreign journalists visiting North Korea have been told to prepare for
a "big and important event" on Thursday, although there were no
indications it was directly linked to tensions in the region over the
isolated state's nuclear weapons program.

Around 200 foreign journalists are in Pyongyang as the country marks
the 105th birth anniversary of its founding president Kim Il Sung on
April 15, North Korea's biggest national day called "Day of the Sun".

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Why Unseating Assad Risks Unleashing Even More Chaos THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (ZEINA KARAM)
Law & Politics

The statement by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the reign
of President Bashar Assad's family "is coming to an end" suggests the
U.S. is taking a much more aggressive approach about the Syrian

Russian officials often cite the U.S. failures in Iraq and Libya,
where state institutions disintegrated following Western military
intervention, to illustrate the perils of forced regime change in

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"Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?" Tillerson asks
Law & Politics

The chance of an American dying in a refugee-led terrorist attack is 1
in 3.64 bn annually @BrookingsGlobal

UK goes beyond UN to say South Sudan violence 'is now genocide'

Priti Patel says there are 'massacres taking place, people's throats being slit'

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10-APR-2017 :: I remember the cries of "South Sudan Oyee!" as Juba got its independence
Law & Politics

I remember the cries of ‘’South Sudan Oyee!’’ as Juba got its
independence. There was so much momentum, but look at what has
happened. Everything became binary [Dinka versus Nuer] and the economy
has crashed and burned. The River Nile flows through Juba, it could
have been the ‘’bread-basket’’ of East Africa, but today a biblical
famine stalks the land. Why? Politics.

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Who are the new jihadis?
Law & Politics

Biographies of ‘homegrown’ European terrorists show they are violent
nihilists who adopt Islam, rather than religious fundamentalists who
turn to violence

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29-APR-2013 :: The Brothers Tsarnaev and the Long Tail
Law & Politics

There are more than seven billion of us now in this c21st world of
ours. The long tail in a population of seven billion is not an
insignificant absolute number.

‘’In statistics, a long tail of some distributions of numbers is the
portion of the distribution having a large number of occurrences far
from the “head” or central part of the distribution.’’

Put in a different way, there are surely many Brothers Tsarnaev in
this new c21st of ours. And whilst I appreciate Osama Bin Laden is
being nibbled by the fishes somewhere in the ocean, he basically
inspired the likes of the Brothers Tsarnaev, i.e those disaffected
with the c21st. In truth, that disaffection might have any number of
reasons and I am reminded of my French O level where I studied Albert
Camus’ L’Etranger and Camus said;

“The byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible
love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, his condition
exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible
exaltation of a brief and destructive action*.”

Don’t get me wrong, I do not think of these folks as byronic, not by a
long shot.

International Markets

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Trump comments, North Korea fears sink dollar, bond yields
World Of Finance

The U.S. dollar and Treasury yields tumbled on Thursday on U.S.
President Donald Trump's comments favoring lower interest rates and
tensions over North Korea, while Asian stocks put in a mixed
performance amid a raft of regional economic data.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six
trade-weighted peers, fell 0.6 percent to 100.07. U.S. Treasury yields
slid to 2.232 percent, just slightly above a five-month low of 2.221
hit earlier in the session.

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The work ahead: Seizing the digital advantage in banking and financial services COGNIZANT @FT
World Of Finance

Less than a decade ago, banks faced one of the biggest challenges in
living memory as financial chaos ripped through the global economy,
leaving the sector’s balance sheets in tatters. Today, the banking
industry faces a second defining challenge: how to survive the digital
revolution and take advantage of the possibilities it creates.

The rise of big data, artificial intelligence and automation has
upended the way all companies operate. This has created a wealth of
new opportunities but also forced incumbents to adapt more quickly
than they have ever done.

The dual threat of more digitally savvy start-ups and changing
consumer expectations have begun to shift the boundaries of
competition. In the banking and financial services sector, the dual
threat of more digitally savvy start-ups and changing consumer
expectations have begun to shift the boundaries of competition. It is
not enough to focus on the traditional areas of price, product
features, marketing and service quality. Companies now need to think
about new territories such as the “hyper-personalisation” of services.

BBVA, the Spanish bank, has created a dedicated digital banking
division starting a fintech-focused capital firm to tap innovations,
acquire start-ups and invest in digital banks. Among the organisations
it has backed are UK-based Atom Bank.

According to the survey, banking executives expect digital to account
for more than 12 per cent of revenues in the financial sector by 2018,
up from 5.3 per cent in 2015.

Digital’s growing importance means late adopters pay a hefty price:
those behind the curve today only experience a 3.1 per cent average
economic impact of digital based on cost savings and revenue growth
compared with 7.4 per cent for companies at the forefront of the
digital transformation.

Cognizant warns that if companies attempting to make the digital
transformation “pursue their programmes with only half-baked
initiatives, it’s unlikely they will survive over the next 10 to 15

The application of digital transformation in financial institutions’
back offices is still widely overlooked, for example, with many banks
yet to modernise or replace their legacy systems. “Digital has as much
to do with streamlining back-office operations and improving processes
as it does with defining the face of the company,” the study says.
“Companies have yet to unlock the real value of their back offices.”

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I called this a "Schumpeter moment" for banking a little while ago
World Of Finance

I called this a “Schumpeter moment” for banking a little while ago.
According to Schumpeter, the “gale of creative destruction” describes
the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly
revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly
destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one”.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.0653
Dollar Index 100.10
Japan Yen 109.22
Swiss Franc 1.0021
Pound 1.2544
Aussie 0.7581
India Rupee 64.315
South Korea Won 1130.13
Brazil Real 3.1252
Egypt Pound 18.003
South Africa Rand 13.4974

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Saudi Arabia's debut dollar-denominated Islamic bond attracted more than $17.5 billion of investor order
Emerging Markets

Saudi Arabia’s debut dollar-denominated Islamic bond, which is due to
price Wednesday, attracted more than $17.5 billion of investor orders
as of Tuesday evening, people familiar with the matter said.

The government plans to sell the five-year sukuk in the 115 basis
points area over mid-swaps and a 10-year tranche at a spread of about
155 basis points, the people said, asking not to be identified because
the information is private. Books for sale opened to investors on

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PDVSA Notes Rally After Venezuela Makes Good on $2.2 Billion Debt Payment Bloomberg
Emerging Markets

Bonds issued by Venezuela’s state oil company rallied after the
country made $2.2 billion in payments on notes that matured Wednesday.

The $1.1 billion of notes from Petroleos de Venezuela that come due in
seven months gained 2.1 cents to 87.3 cents on the dollar as of 3:17
p.m. in New York. The payment, which was confirmed by Delaware Trust
Company, strengthened investor confidence that the nation can avoid
default for yet another year.

Traders will be closely watching foreign reserve levels, which have
dropped to a 15-year low under embattled President Nicolas Maduro, for
clues as to the severity of the cash crunch that’s limited Venezuela’s
ability to import food and medicine.

"If Maduro needed an excuse to declare a default, the current
explosion in social unrest would have been the perfect one," said
Francisco Rodriguez, the chief economist at Torino Capital in New
York. "The fact that he didn’t use it suggests that the government
continues to be willing to go to very great lengths to honor its
international commitments."

Frontier Markets

Sub Saharan Africa

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Somalia security forces free 8 Indian sailors from pirates XINHUA

MOGADISHU, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Security forces from Somalia's
Galmudug State have rescued eight of the 11 Indian crew members who
had been kidnapped from a cargo ship and taken ashore by pirates.

District Commissioner of Hobyo town Abdulahi Ahmed Ali confirmed that
the sailors were rescued without resistance from the pirates after the
security forces overwhelmed them in the central town of Hobyo.

"I can confirm that all eight Indian hostages who were being held by
pirates were rescued, we have them and they are safe and in good
health.," Ali said.

Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, deputy commander of the maritime force in
Galmudug State, said their forces captured three pirates.

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Anheuser-Busch InBev NV will export African beer brands to its markets around the world

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV will export African beer brands to its markets
around the world as the Budweiser maker seeks to maximize the
potential of a continent that was key to its decision to buy rival
SABMiller for $103 billion.

“There are so many very unique African brands and I think it is time
to sell African beers to the greater market,” said Ricardo Tadeu, a
40-year-old Brazilian who moved to Johannesburg from Mexico to head up
AB InBev’s African operations. “There is huge potential for these
brands to be exported.”

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Investors want ANC to explain "radical economic transformation": S.African fin min

South African investors want the ruling African National Congress to
explain in detail what "radical economic transformation" as stated by
the government in recent speeches means, Finance Minister Malusi
Gigaba said on Wednesday.

"The sense from the investors is we need to explain in detail what we
mean by radical economic transformation ... we don't want to create a
disjuncture between growth and development," Gigaba said.

Speaking to local investors at the Development Bank of South Africa,
Gigaba said treasury will unveil plans to deal with downgrades from
S&P Global Rating and Fitch after a special cabinet meeting scheduled
to take place later on Wednesday.

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Uganda Cuts Benchmark Rate as Growth Fails to Meet Target

Benchmark rate reduced for seventh consecutive time to 11%
Central bank sees economic growth underperfoming 4.5% target
Uganda’s central bank reduced its benchmark rate for a seventh
consecutive time to support economic growth and encourage banks to
lend more to the private sector.

Policy makers at the Bank of Uganda cut the rate by 50 basis points to
11 percent, extending an easing cycle that began in April 2016. They
have reduced the rate by a total of 550 basis points at the past six

Lending to business and individuals contracted 0.9 percent in
December, according to the Finance Ministry. Total private-sector
loans rose 7.5 percent in February from a year earlier and 5.3 percent
in January, Nairobi-based Stanbic Holdings Ltd. said in an emailed
note Wednesday.


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Chase Bank now sues former bosses for stealing Sh14 billion @bd_africa

Troubled Chase Bank has sued its former chairman and former senior
managers seeking to recover billions of shillings they are accused of
illegally siphoning from the lender during their more than a decade at
the helm.

The bank, in a suit filed through its lawyer Philip Murgor, says
former chairman Zafrullah Khan, former managing director Duncan Kabui,
former general manager corporate assets James Mwaura and former
general manager finance Makarios Agumbi used their positions to
illegally acquire and benefit from the bank’s assets it now seeks to

Also included in the suit are Chase Assurance and Ghengis Capital
managing director Ali Cheema, Rafiki Microfinance chief finance
officer Daniel Mavindu, former directors Anthony Gross and Ruth
Muthoni, and a network of 11 companies said to have been used to
siphon funds from the collapsed lender.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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April 2017

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