|Monday 26th of August 2019
26-AUG-2019 :: China Strikes at Trump
''It’s Friday evening in Asia; it’s the weekend. The timing of this
news - smack toward the open in America'' tweeted David ingles. The
Precise timing of the news that China planned retaliatory tariffs on
$75 billion of U.S. goods was deliberate and designed to roil the US
markets. China pronounced that it had reinstated tariffs on cars and
car parts originating in the US and imposed an Extra 5% Tariff On Soy
Beans and a 5% Tariff On U.S. Crude Oil Imports From Sept. 1. The
Chinese have less to work with; They export less than they import
which is the crux of the matter for Trump. What is also clear is that
China has been very precise and taking aim at the Farm and Oil Economy
in particular is designed to strike at Trump's soft underbelly.
Hu Xijin 胡锡进 who occupies a unique position in China's messaging
machine and curates China inc's position in real time tweeted
China has 'lost' the US already: all-round high tariffs, Huawei ban,
political hostility, Hong Kong, Taiwan... We're facing a completely
different United States. We have nothing more to lose, while the US is
just starting to lose China. @HuXijin_GT
Of course, the level of Chinese retaliation was the message and of the
ilk of the Shoe thrower in Iraq all those years ago.
@IvanTheK put it pithily and tweeted
''CHINA TO THE CHOSEN ONE: GFY''
The Chinese Renminbi has now depreciated 10% over 12 months and is
being used as a shock absorber and a very precise first responder to
President Trump who had said previously ‘trade wars are good, and easy
to win.’ and only on Wednesday said
“I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it, I’m taking on China on
trade. And you know what? We’re winning.”
Of course "I am the chosen one'' became a Meme in the blink of an eye
and played to Trump's evangelical base which pays a great deal of
attention to the Book of Revelations;
I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was
and who is to come, the Almighty.
President Trump responded overnight
Trump said existing 25% tariffs on some $250 billion in imports from
#China would rise to 30% on Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of the
founding of the People’s Republic of China
Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products
from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now
be taxed at 15%. Thank you for your attention to this matter! tweeted
Furthermore, President Trump threatened to use emergency authority to
''order'' US businesses to cut ties in China. Trump called the Federal
Reserve Chairman Powell an Enemy bigger than Xi.
Trump's newly minted Defence Minister Esper told Fox that the testing
of previously banned ground-launched intermediate-range missile and
releasing the video of it meant to "deter Chinese bad behavior"
This is now a rupture plain and simple. Safe Havens which were already
in nose-bleed Territory [Gold, Yen, CHF, Sovereign Bonds] and priced
for Armageddon or an Apocalypse Now rallied on the news. The Stock
Markets fell sharply. The overarching Question Investors need to ask
themselves is this
Is this a permanent rupture? Or is this a crazy off the charts
escalation just before a Deal? The Markets pirouette on the answer to
The President of the African Development Bank spoke to the negative
feedback loop Phenomenon and told Reuters
The U.S.-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to
Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day”
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan
and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war
between the United States and China. All these things can combine to
slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth
prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen
significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa
will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own
outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these
could also affect official development assistance.
There are opportunities for Africa in this rupture and next week I
will look more closely at what those opportunities might be
The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice breaks in
The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice
breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable
He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm
officers at Colorado Command:
“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”
“We copy. There’s a voice.”
“We have gross oscillation here.”
“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m not sure
“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”
“Thank you, Colorado.”
“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on the
“It was a voice,” I told them.
“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We will
correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”
The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of
repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest
“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60
Distinct properties of the radio burst emission from the magnetar XTE J1810−197
XTE J1810−197 was the first ever magnetar which was found to emit
transient radio emission. It has recently undergone another radio and
high-energy outburst. This is only the second radio outburst that has
been observed from this source. We observed J1810−197 soon after its
recent radio outburst at low radio frequencies using the Giant
Metrewave Radio Telescope. We present the 650MHz flux density
evolution of the source in the early phases of the outburst, and its
radio spectrum down to frequencies as low as 300 MHz. The magnetar
also exhibits radio emission in the form of strong, narrow bursts. We
show that the bursts have a characteristic intrinsic width of the
order of 0.5−0.7 ms, and discuss their properties in the context of
giant pulses and giant micropulses from other pulsars. We also show
that the bursts exhibit spectral structures which cannot be explained
by interstellar propagation effects. These structures might indicate a
phenomenological link with the repeating fast radio bursts which also
show interesting, more detailed frequency structures. While the
spectral structures are particularly noticeable in the early phases of
the outburst, these seem to be less prominent as well as less frequent
in the later phases, suggesting an evolution of the underlying cause
of these spectral structures.
When a 26-year-old American missionary set out for a lush island in the Indian Ocean last year, it was with one objective in mind: to convert the uncontacted Sentinelese tribe, who had lived for centuries in isolation @GQMagazine
After the storm ﬁnally passed, a crew of local Christians hid Chau on
their 30-foot open wooden boat and struck out under darkness for the
most extreme outcrop of the Andaman archipelago, on a route presumably
meant to resemble that of a normal ﬁshing expedition. As they dodged
other craft, Chau recorded, “The Milky Way was above and God Himself
was shielding us from the Coast Guard and Navy patrols.” The Indian
government bans contact with the Sentinelese as a way of protecting
them from outsiders—and outsiders from them. The Sentinelese have
maintained their independence by frequently repelling foreigners from
their shoreline with eight-foot-long arrows. Bioluminescent plankton
illuminated ﬁsh jumping “like darting mermaids” as the boat motored
more than 60 miles. Sometime before 4:30 a.m., the crew noted three
bonﬁres on a distant beach and then anchored outside the island’s
barrier reef. While resting, eyes shut but not asleep, Chau had “a
vision as I’ve never had one before,” of a meteorite—possibly
representing himself—streaking toward a “frightening city with jagged
spires,” seemingly Sentinel Island. Then “a whitish light ﬁlled [the
city] and all the frightening bits melted away.” He couldn’t help
wondering in his diary: “LORD is this island Satan’s last stronghold
where none have heard or even had a chance to hear Your Name?” Dawn
soon revealed a hut on a white-sand beach, backed by primordial
jungle. Chau off-loaded from the ﬁshermen’s boat a kayak and two
waterproof cases jammed with wilderness survival supplies. He paddled
a half mile in shallow water over dead coral, and as he approached
shore, he heard women “looing and chattering.” Then two dark-skinned
men, wearing little, if anything, ran onto the beach, shouting in a
language spoken by no one on earth besides their tribe. They clutched
bows, though they hadn’t yet strung arrows onto them. From his kayak,
Chau yelled in English: “My name is John. I love you, and Jesus loves
you. Jesus Christ gave me authority to come to you.” Then, offering a
tuna most likely caught by the ﬁshermen on the journey to the island,
Chau declared: “Here is some ﬁsh!” In response, the Sentinelese
socketed bamboo arrows onto bark-ﬁber bowstrings. Chau panicked. He
ﬂung the gift into the bay. As the tribesmen gathered it, he turned
and paddled “like I never have in my life, back to the boat.” By the
time he reached safety, though, his fear was already turning to
disappointment. He swore to himself that he would return later that
The airstrike is the first Israeli attack in Iraq since jets destroyed a nuclear reactor being built by Saddam Hussein in 1981. @thetimes
Law & Politics
Israeli jets attacked an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq in an
escalation of covert strikes to counter Tehran’s growing influence in
the region, US officials have said.
The raid risks destabilising Iraq during a period of relative peace.
The airstrike is the first Israeli attack in Iraq since jets destroyed
a nuclear reactor being built by Saddam Hussein in 1981.
Iranian media reported that a funeral was held the day after the
attack for Abolfazl Sarabian, a Revolutionary Guard commander
described as a “shrine defender”.
Reports said that the base was storing medium-range missiles in
refrigeration lorries. A further shipment of missiles had arrived
before the attack on July 19 from across the Iranian border, 50 miles
Nouri al-Maliki, the former Iraqi prime minister, said that the
Israeli attack would elicit a strong response.
Mr Maliki, who leads a Shia block in the Iraqi parliament, said
yesterday that Israel was fighting a secret war in Iraq. If that
policy continued, he said, Iraq would become “a battle arena that
drags in multiple countries, including Iran”.
“Be sure that if the confrontation between us starts, it will only end
with your removal from the region once and for all,” he warned the
What drives migration today? The answer is neither war nor politics @FinancialTimes
Law & Politics
That we live in a populist moment is evident. The list — to some the
litany — of Brexit and Donald Trump, the rise of far-right movements
in Germany and France, the governments of Italy, Poland and Hungary,
is all that is needed to make the case that there is a revolt afoot
against a global, cosmopolitan, liberal consensus.
And more than anything it is attitudes to immigration and to the
resulting rapid ethnic transformation of large parts of the west that
tally closest to support for populist causes.
With immigration so central to the politics of the day, a number of
new books are appearing on the subject. Two share a pan-European lens:
Peter Gatrell’s The Unsettling of Europe: The Great Migration, 1945 to
the Present and Stephen Smith’s The Scramble for Europe: Young Africa
on Its Way to the Old Continent.
Gatrell takes a historical view, placing what is happening now in the
context of population movements which have been going on since the end
of the second world war.
Smith adopts a more geographical perspective, taking as his starting
point the contrasting demographic conditions of Africa and Europe, the
former home to ever-larger cohorts of young people, the latter greying
before our eyes.
These now-distant events have every right to a place in the history
books, and Gatrell has done us a service in chronicling them so
But they have little or nothing to do with the German response to the
2015 Syria migrant crisis or the fact that, ONS data suggest, since
the late 1990s the UK has had more immigration from beyond the British
Isles in an average two-year period than it experienced from the
Norman Conquest to VE Day.
a demographically waning continent, facing Africa, the last great
repository of population dynamism.
Take for example the UK and Nigeria. According to the UN, in 1950,
when still a British colony, the number of Nigerians aged under 10 was
perhaps half as high again than the UK’s. Today there are nearly eight
times as many under-10s in Nigeria versus the UK, despite the latter
having been a land of mass immigration for the best part of two
By 2050, the UN estimates that the ratio will be more than 12 to one.
Parallels between the ethnic transformation of the developed world and
the millions uprooted in the wake of the second world war are
If migration is the driver of the populism that defines the current
political scene, it is demography — specifically the radically
different demographic profiles of north and south — that creates both
its demand and supply.
Gatrell has little sympathy for the unpopularity of mass migration
across Europe and he devotes little attention to the great demographic
fissures that are driving these migrations today.
Downplaying the historical novelty of a phenomenon, failing to listen
to those unnerved by it and insisting that only its positive side can
be discussed in polite society did not work out well for proponents of
ever-closer European union and it will not do in the debate about
By contrast, it is on an understanding of the underlying demography
where Stephen Smith is at his best. His book is something of a
misnomer. The Scramble for Europe is really about Africa, just as a
book about the Scramble for Africa of the 1880s would really be about
Smith locates in Africa the vast population growth that is making it
the mirror image of Europe.
Europe was the first continent out of the Malthusian trap of high
fertility and high mortality into the demographic transition of
persistently high fertility, falling mortality and exploding
It was Europe’s population growth that made possible its outward
expansion before the first world war, when its children were
populating everywhere from California to Australia.
Africa is the last continent into the demographic transition. While
Europe has for decades seen declining and low family sizes, long life
expectancy and corresponding greying, Africa is still seeing
persistently high fertility, exceptionally fast falls in infant
mortality and extensions in life expectancy, all characteristics of
the late-adopters of the demographic transition.
As a result, population explosion in Africa has been supercharged
compared with earlier adopters of modernity in Europe. If large
numbers of people are a good thing, then this is a case of last-mover
The pull of a rich, old Europe in need of workers on a poor young
Africa in search of opportunity is immense. But Smith does not see the
entry of a large number of Africans into Europe as necessarily a good
thing; quite apart from transforming a continent with its own
traditions and patterns of life and provoking a political backlash, it
will strip Africa of its best and brightest and thereby of its own
hopes of progress.
Nor does he fall into the trap of considering it inevitable.
Demography is indeed a great factor in history but it does not remove
the abilities of peoples and nations to make decisions, albeit that
those decisions must be made in a demographic context.
Take, for example, the case of wealthy but ageing Singapore; it is
surrounded by relatively poor Indonesians and Malaysians yet quite
capable of controlling inward migration because it chooses to.
In the end, at current fertility rates, Europeans are breeding
themselves out of existence, some (Spaniards, Italians, Bulgarians,
Estonians, Germans) in the relatively short term, others (Irish,
British, French, Scandinavians) with a slightly longer time horizon.
The latest UK data suggest a lowest-ever birth rate and a sinking
fertility rate. Whether Europeans wish, like the Japanese, to make way
for nature as they abandon villages and even suburbs, or instead to
make way for other people who do wish to reproduce, is ultimately a
decision of policy and practice.
At the root of all of this is not the population boom in Africa or
anywhere else but the ever-smaller family sizes in Europe. Whilst we
should have the courage to stand up to those who wish the whole debate
would go away and are too quick to throw accusations at those who
believe it is healthy and necessary to discuss it, we should be
equally determined to stand up to those on the far-right who speak the
absurd language of “white genocide” and “replacement”. In response to
the white supremacists chanting “they shall not replace us” — and
indeed for predominantly white societies across Europe nervous about
the ethnic change they are witnessing — we need to ask “are you
prepared to reproduce yourselves?”
For Europeans wanting neither a radically new ethnic complexion to
their countries nor their emptying out altogether, an acceptable and
effective pronatalist politics will need to be constructed.
For liberals who are relaxed about immigration and ethnic change, it
is now incumbent upon them to come up with ways in which a coherent
society can be formed from people of different backgrounds.
Just as a nationalist sentiment was required to form the warfare
states of Europe over the past two hundred years, so something new
will be needed in its place if the welfare states of today are to
survive in anything like their current form.
10 NOV 14 ::Ouagadougou's Signal to Sub-Sahara Africa
Law & Politics
What’s clear is that a very young, very informed and very connected
African youth demographic [many characterise this as a ‘demographic
dividend’] – which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic
terminator – is set to alter the existing equilibrium between the
rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun.
"In a multi-polar world, you need a multi-polar currency," he told @CNBC's Steve Liesman
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the world’s reliance on the
U.S. dollar as a reserve currency is too risky and proposed a new
digital currency to replace it.
“In a multi-polar world, you need a multi-polar currency,” he told
CNBC’s Steve Liesman at the Federal Reserve’s annual conference in
Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Carney said a new digital currency based on a global basket of goods
would provide equilibrium to a system where some countries have moved
to zero or negative interest rates, while others, including the U.S.,
“The question is how do you get there,” he said. “You don’t just jump
to something new over night.”
Sudan PM Says Country Needs $8 Billion in Aid: @AlArabiya_Eng @markets
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said the country requires $8
billion in foreign aid for the next two years to cover its import
bills and regain trust in its currency, Al Arabiya Television
Hamdok said Sudan will need $2 billion in foreign deposits to stop the
African nation’s pound from falling further. The prime minister said
Sudan has started negotiations seeking to have the U.S. remove the
country from its terrorism-sponsor list, according to Al Arabiya.
Economist's Calculation Shows Zimbabwe's Inflation Is 230% @economics
Zimbabwe’s official annual inflation rate was 230% in July, according
to John Robertson, an economist based in Harare, but the nation’s
statistics office won’t tell you that. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube
said earlier this month that the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency
won’t report year-on-year inflation figures until February 2020 and
will only release the monthly moves in the consumer-price index. Less
than three years after Zimbabwe had deflation, the economy may be
heading back to the hyperinflation of a decade ago after the
introduction of a new currency pushed up prices and led to shortages
of goods from bread to fuel.
Investors Say No Thanks to Ghana Debt Offering Yield Above 20% @economics
In a world awash with negative yields, Ghana offered debt returning
more than 20% -- and investors weren’t interested.
The West African nation sold 162.1 million cedis ($30 million) of
20-year bonds Thursday with a yield of 20.2%, well short of its target
of raising 450 million cedis, as investors balked at the term and
“The duration is too long for the level of investor confidence in the
economy,” Anthony Asare, the Accra-based head of treasury at GCB Bank
Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender and a primary dealer in government
debt, said by phone.
“People are not very certain over that length of time.”
Ghana, which completed a four-year International Monetary Fund program
in April, raised its fiscal deficit projection for the year to 4.5% of
gross domestic product from 4.2% in a mid-year review of the budget.
Inflation quickened to 9.4% in the year through July as the cedi
declined about 10% against the dollar. The Ministry of Finance warned
earlier this month that the country is at “high risk” of debt
“The yield pick up is not sufficient to compensate for the risk,” Mark
Bohlund, an Africa economist at Bloomberg Economics, said in an
emailed response to questions.
“If you’re a foreign investor then you not only care about the yield
on the bond but also at what exchange rate you can repatriate your
19-AUG-2019 :: Emerging and Frontier Markets look in big trouble this time around.
Now the last time G7 Economies went full on ‘’zombie’’ the liquidity
surge washed up just about everywhere in every corner of the World.
It was characterised as the Global Hunt for Yield.
Now when safe Haven Demand turns parabolic, Investors are signalling
they are not interested in the return but only in getting their
Principal back. Emerging and Frontier Markets look in big trouble this
@StanChartKE reports H1 2019 EPS +5.486% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 194.50
Total Shares Issued: 343510571.00
Market Capitalization: 66,812,806,060
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya H1 2019 results through 30th June 2019
vs. 30th June 2018
H1 Kenya government securities – available for sale 98.008575b vs.
H1 Loans and advances to customers (net) 120.064909b vs. 111.748653b +7.442%
H1 Total assets 294.542970b vs. 295.955246b -0.477%
H1 Customer deposits 228.499892b vs. 230.845308b-1.016%
H1 Total shareholders’ equity 46.873705b vs. 44.641514b+5.000%
H1 Total interest income 12.732332b vs. 13.741748b-7.346%
H1 Customer deposits interest expense [2.602577b] vs. [3.358699b] -22.512%
H1 Total interest expenses [2.886305b] vs. [3.898873b] -25.971%
H1 Net interest income 9.846027b vs. 9.842875b +0.032%
H1 Other fees and commissions 2.410907b vs. 2.821839b -14.563%
H1 Total operating income 14.559215b vs. 14.663490b -0.711%
H1 Loan loss provision [378.942m] vs. [1.266286b] -70.075%
H1 Total other operating expenses [7.638944b] vs. [8.092601b] -5.606%
H1 Profit before tax and exceptional items 6.920271b vs. 6.570889b +5.317%
H1 Profit after tax and exceptional items 4.705902b vs. 4.466719b +5.355%
EPS 13.46 vs. 12.76 +5.486%
Dividend per share 5.00 vs. 5.00 –
Net NPL and advances 12.642305b vs. 11.727030b +7.805%
Liquidity ratio 67.23% vs. 71.31% +4.080%
@FlameTreeGroup reports H1 EPS 2019 -77.273% Earnings here
Closing Price: 2.80
Total Shares Issued: 161866804.00
Market Capitalization: 453,227,051
Flame Tree Group HY 2019 results through 30th June2019 vs. 30th June 2018
HY Revenue 1.254949910bvs.1.265671964b -0.847%
HY Cost of sales [856.151845m] vs. [861.833396m] -0.659%
HY Gross profit [398.798065m] vs. [403.838568m] -1.248%
HY Other operating income 2.834978m vs. 4.894212m -42.075%
HY Selling and distribution costs [207.681819m] vs. [182.639627m] +13.711%
HY Administrative expenses [115.658006m] vs. [116.695930m] -0.889%
HY Other operating expenses [32.688054m] vs. [19.933230m] +63.988%
HY Operating profit after gain on disposal of Property, Plant and
Equipment 45.605164m vs. 89.463993m -49.024%
HY Finance Costs [36.011003m] vs. [34.613987m] +4.036%
HY Profit before tax 9.594161m vs. 54.850006m -82.508%
HY Profit for the period 9.594161m vs. 39.917062m -75.965%
EPS 0.05 vs. 0.22 -77.273%
Shareholders’ Funds 1.352430754b vs. 853.683622m +58.423%
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period [106.691055m] vs.
H1 2019 reported revenue Kes 1,255M
Gross Profit reached 399M, with gross margin at 32%
EBITDA was 68.9M, 5.5% over sales and a decrease of -39% vs. LY
23rd August 2019, Nairobi – Flame TREE Group Holdings (FTGH: NSE) the
diversified manufacturer and distributor of plastic tanks, cosmetics,
snacks, spices and playground equipment is pleased to announce its
financial performance for HY2019.
The group reported revenue in H1 2019 of Kes 1,255M and gross profit
reached 399M, with gross margin at 32% all in line with previous year.
By Business line
Plastics: Sales in plastics was up by +13%, reporting a Gross Profit
of 293.5 MM (+8% vs. LY), showing a slight reduction in margin by 1.4
p.p. which is mainly due to the negative impact of the business
situation in Ethiopia and Mozambique. The division also posted a sharp
increase in Selling & Distribution costs (+27% and +30MM vs. LY),
mainly linked to transport costs and sales teams.
Snacks: Sales was down -15% vs. LY. Total Gross Profit was also down
to 16MM (-32% vs. LY) caused by the drought experienced in the country
resulting in scarcity of potatoes and price increases. This affected
both production and margins.
Cosmetics: Reported a positive growth in sales +11% vs. LY. Despite
the higher cost of sales due to 16MM paid in demurrage charges, gross
profit moved up by 9% vs. LY. Margin for last 2 months improved and
was above 30%. The division also reported an increase in distribution
expenses and higher cost of transport. EBT remained the same level as
LY, and EBITDA improved 4%. We have undertaken strong investments in
marketing with advertising campaigns in mainstream and online media
platforms, we have opened a new SuzieBeauty store in Sarit Center and
launched a new product range in ZOE lotions which will have a positive
impact on revenue in the second half of the year.
The group has made significant improvements in production, staff &
logistics and marketing:
Inauguration of new factory in Ethiopia, now fully operative.
New store of Suzie Beauty in Sarit Center.
Distribution of cosmetics in Mozambique and considerable increase in
exports to Rwanda.
Several new machines: blancher and oil filter in Chirag, PET machine &
compressor and second injection moulding machine in Jojo, new HDPE
pipe machine in Rwanda to meet demand of projects in agriculture,
homogenizer machine in Flame Tree Africa.
Additional investment in 9 trucks to reduce logistic costs in Kenya
• New media promotion with Bahati as Brand Ambassador for ZOE Men’s
range, several promos and marketing actions like launch of 5 new
products on the Churchill Show - Laugh Festival including our Zoe
fragrance lotions & Men’s Shampoo, merchandising actions and focus on
• Launch of new Chigs Corn Crunch range in the snacks line.
• Revaluation of assets made by an independent company brought 216,2
million KES of additional value to the Trial Balance.
According to Mr. Heril Bangera, CEO Flame Tree Group, “We have seen a
very positive trend in the last 2 months both in sales and margin.
Traditionally the second half of the year shows better performance
than H1, and we are still targeting to push for final net growth in
Sales and Profit vs LY.”