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Monday 10th of August 2020
 























Global #COVID19 cases to surpass 20M on Monday at current rate. @jmlukens
Misc.



Total Cases: 19,632,931

New Cases: 259,346

Growth Rate: 1.32%

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10-MAY-2020 :: #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment
World Of Finance


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


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

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

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


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Global #COVID19 total deaths increasing on average 0.83% per day. @jmlukens
Misc.


Total Deaths: 726,679

New Deaths: 5,457

Death Rate: 3.7%

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In the last two weeks, the cumulative number of confirmed #COVID19 cases per million people has grown by:
Misc.


• 45% in Oceania

• 30% in Asia

• 28% in South America

• 28% in Africa

• 21% in North America

• 9% in Europe

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21 OCT 19 :: "The New Economy of Anger"
Law & Politics


Nose-diving economic opportunity is creating tinder-dry conditions. 

People have been pushed to the edge and are taking to the streets.


Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, 

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’



The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. 

Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feed- back loop.

Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.”

This level of unhappiness is unprecedented in a time of ‘’peace’’ and in a time when our august financial institutions keep touting about how it has never been so good for the Human Race.



Ryszard Kapucinski also said: “If the crowd disperses, goes home, does not reassemble, we say the revolution is over.”

It is not over. More and more people are gathering in the Streets.


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“Not getting to the bottom of this crisis would be the height of absurdity. Too much is at stake'' @JamieMetzl
Law & Politics

 “Not getting to the bottom of this crisis would be the height of absurdity. Too much is at stake. To ensure everyone’s safety, the WHO and outside investigators must be empowered to explore all relevant questions about the origins of the pandemic without limits. This comprehensive forensic investigation must include full access to all of the scientists, biological samples, laboratory records and other materials from the Wuhan virology institutes and other relevant Chinese organizations. Denying that access should be considered an admission of guilt by Beijing.”

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

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.

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.@WHO experts will travel to #China this weekend to work together with their Chinese counterparts to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of #COVID19. @DrTedros
China


“An inquiry that presupposes — without evidence — that the virus entered humans through a natural zoonotic spillover and that fails to address the alternative possibility that the virus entered humans through a laboratory accident, will have no credibility,” said Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“To have any credibility and any value, an investigation must address the possibility that the virus entered humans through a laboratory accident and must also address the further possibility that the ability of the virus to infect humans was enhanced through laboratory manipulation — ‘gain-of-function research of concern’.”

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The Abnormal Nature of the Fecal Swab Sample used for NGS Analysis of RaTG13 Genome Sequence Imposes a Question on the Correctness of the RaTG13 Sequence
China

RaTG13 is the next relative of SARS-CoV-2 derived from bat feces. The Illumina based NGS sequence of RaTG13 MN996532.1 was deposited on 27th Jan 2020 and the raw data, a little later on 13th Feb 2020 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra/SRX7724752[accn]. The fecal swab sample shows abnormally high reads from eukaryotes which includes not only bats but other animals, as per the NCBI site. Also, comparison of the fecal swab to other bat fecal swabs deposited by the same group on the same date indicates that the fecal swab from which RaTG13 sequence was derived looked abnormal. The proportion of bacteria in this RNA Seq project was only 0.7% in contrast to 70-90% abundance in other fecal swabs from bats. Also, the amplicon sequencing done on the same sample showed large number of gaps and inconsistencies. This poses a question on the authenticity of the RaTG13 sequence also.

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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19
Misc.

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”― William S. Burroughs

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Dear @MaEllenSirleaf & @HelenClarkNZ The starting point of your enquiry has to be precisely what is being precluded below because “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” #COVID19
China


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

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.

According to Daszak, the mine sample had been stored in Wuhan for six years. Its scientists “went back to that sample in 2020, in early January or maybe even at the end of last year, I don’t know. They tried to get full genome sequencing, which is important to find out the whole diversity of the viral genome.”

However, after sequencing the full genome for RaTG13 the lab’s sample of the virus disintegrated, he said. “I think they tried to culture it but they were unable to, so that sample, I think, has gone.”

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Real yields can’t move much lower? They got as low as -5% in the 70s. @TaviCosta
World Of Finance

That was also during two major bull markets for gold. Today's conundrum: Historically indebted corporations & governments can’t take higher yields. Monetary & fiscal stimulus are here to stay.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies



Euro 1.1781

Dollar Index 93.334

Japan Yen 105.80

Swiss Franc 0.9133

Pound 1.3058

Aussie 0.7168

India Rupee 74.8775

South Korea Won 1184.565

Brazil Real 5.4387

Egypt Pound 15.9699

South Africa Rand 17.6772



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


“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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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.
Commodities



During the Hunts' accumulation of the precious metal, silver prices rose from $11 an ounce in September 1979 to nearly $50 an ounce in January 1980.

Silver prices ultimately collapsed to below $11 an ounce two months later, much of the fall occurring on a single day now known as Silver Thursday, due to changes made to exchange rules regarding the purchase of commodities on margin.

“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.

“They broke the ascent by basically outlawing the buying of silver,” said Knight, who blogs at slopeofhope.com.

“Only liquidation orders would be accepted. It’s almost criminal what they did.”

On March 27, 1980 — what came to be known as “silver Thursday” — Comex asked Bache Group, the Hunts’ broker, for $134 million.

The three Hunt brothers had $4.5 billion in silver holdings, $3.5 billion of it profit, Knight said. But they didn’t have $134 million.

A $180 million judgment against them pushed the Hunts into bankruptcy.

All Bunker Hunt had left from his billions were a few million, a stable of racehorses and a $90 million tax bill to be paid over a 15-year period, Knight said.

Conclusions

Euro 1.25 $DXY < 90.00 Gold $2,200+ Silver $50.00+ EM a Sell

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African Countries with Fast, Slow, and Growing Rates of New Cases @jmlukens
Africa

#SouthAfrica 7.4k/day avg #COVID19 cases reduced 38% past two weeks. #Morocco now averages 906/day followed by #Kenya 643/day.

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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
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.

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

There is a delay between diagnosis and death, so the rate can be misleading when infections are rising rapidly. Also, only a few African countries keep good cause-of-death records. 

The who says it is trying to improve this, but the work is not happening fast enough. And politicians may not see it as in their interest to reveal how many people have died on their watch.

Even in South Africa, which has reliable records, the toll is probably far higher than the official tally of 9,298. 

On August 5th the country’s Medical Research Council noted that from May 6th to July 28th there were 28,329 more deaths from natural causes than forecast by historical trends. 

The vast bulk of these will probably have been related to covid-19.

Such data chime with Mr Nko’s experience. South Africa has an older population than other African states. 

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
Africa


The million-case milestone On February 14, the first case of Covid-19 in Africa was confirmed in Egypt. This week, the continent recorded an unwelcome milestone as it confirmed more than 1,000,000 positive cases.



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



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
Africa


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
Africa



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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Uganda’s ruling party has endorsed President Yoweri Museveni as its candidate for next year’s election. Should he win, this would be the 75-year-old’s sixth term @thecontinent_
Law & Politics


Meanwhile, the prez has released a workout video in which he drops for no fewer than 40 push-ups. While he may not want to step down, he does seem keen to get down. And if that doesn’t see him re-elected, he can always just blame it on the boogie.@thecontinent_

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How Putin Got a New Best Friend Forever in Africa @business
Law & Politics



Alpha Conde of Guinea had a favor to ask Vladimir Putin when the two presidents met at the inaugural Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in October.
“I would like, if possible, to spend most of our meeting in a one-in-one format because I have things to say to you that are not worth discussing in such a large group,” the 81-year-old West African leader said.
“My pleasure,” Putin, 67, replied as aides began to herd the several dozen officials and reporters in attendance out of the room, leaving him and Conde alone with their respective translators. 

Russia, on the other hand, is throwing its weight behind Conde’s undeclared campaign. That makes Guinea, holder of the world’s largest deposits of bauxite, a key raw material for making aluminum, the latest focus in a renewed tug-of-war among global powers for influence and profit across resource-rich Africa.
Putin is widely viewed as a kind of “guru” in Africa, Viktor Boyarkin, a former diplomat and ex-Rusal security chief who’s known Conde for a decade, said in an interview in Moscow. “People come to him for advice.”
In August, the International Monetary Fund called the poor, mainly Muslim nation of 13 million “a fragile country with heightened risks of social and political instability.”
In a speech broadcast on state television, then-Ambassador Alexander Bregadze called Conde “legendary” and argued that constitutions shouldn’t be considered immutable works akin to “The Bible or Koran.” 

Four months later, Rusal hired the ambassador as its country chief in Guinea. Rusal, which was run by billionaire Oleg Deripaska until U.S. sanctions imposed over his ties to Putin forced him to step down in 2018, sources about 40% of its bauxite from Guinean mines.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia isn’t involved in anything to do with Guinea’s “internal affairs.”
“Since the days of the Soviet Union, you have been alongside us, protecting us,” he told Putin.

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Russia is planning military bases in Africa Among the countries of interest are #Egypt, #CAR, #Eritrea, #Madagaskar, #Sudan. @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

Russia is planning military bases in Africa and its private security company Wagner should play a key role. Among the countries of interest are #Egypt, #CAR, #Eritrea, #Madagaskar, #Sudan. #security #defence #geopolitics #geoeconomics

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Crisis-hit Zimbabwe ready to ‘implode’, warns Booker Prize nominee @FinancialTimes @jsphctrl
Law & Politics



Zimbabwe will “implode” unless its citizens are allowed to speak out, according to award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga who was arrested last week as part of a crackdown on anti-government protests in Harare.

Ms Dangarembga, whose book This Mourning Body is on the long list for this year’s Booker literature prize, was released on bail after being detained for joining demonstrations demanding an end to misrule and corruption under President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The protests were called over an economic crisis that has led to a currency collapse and triple-digit inflation, and evidence of rampant corruption that this week triggered US sanctions on a leading supporter of Mr Mnangagwa.

“Unless something shifts then Zimbabwe is going to continue to implode,” said Ms Dangarembga in an interview with the Financial Times. 



The severity of the crackdown showed the pressures facing a country “on its knees economically”, she said. 

“It’s an extreme reaction, and extreme reactions usually occur when a person or a piece of wood or anything is under extreme tension. A piece of wood will snap when the tension is great.”

As condemnation mounted this week, South Africa dispatched envoys under President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose ruling party also issued rare criticism of Zanu-PF, its cousin as a former national liberation movement.

But, underlining the limits of international pressure, Mr Ramaphosa referred to the banning of protests and abuses under Mr Mnangagwa only as “recent reports of difficulties”.

Mr Mnangagwa has been unrepentant. In a national address this week he promised to “flush out” opposition to his rule and he blamed a “few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors” for the unrest.

“The dark forces inside and outside our borders have tampered with our growth and our development for too long,” he said.



The severity of the crackdown showed the pressures facing a country “on its knees economically”, she said. 

“It’s an extreme reaction, and extreme reactions usually occur when a person or a piece of wood or anything is under extreme tension. A piece of wood will snap when the tension is great.”

As condemnation mounted this week, South Africa dispatched envoys under President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose ruling party also issued rare criticism of Zanu-PF, its cousin as a former national liberation movement.

But, underlining the limits of international pressure, Mr Ramaphosa referred to the banning of protests and abuses under Mr Mnangagwa only as “recent reports of difficulties”.

Mr Mnangagwa has been unrepentant. In a national address this week he promised to “flush out” opposition to his rule and he blamed a “few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors” for the unrest.

“The dark forces inside and outside our borders have tampered with our growth and our development for too long,” he said.

Before her arrest, Ms Dangarembga said she continued to believe “there was still a space for citizens to express themselves”. 

But that was rapidly vanishing as the arrests, abductions and intimidation tactics once targeted at known political foes of Zanu-PF have been turned on ordinary professionals — journalists, lawyers, and authors — with devastating effect.

This week a judge denied bail to Hopewell Chin’ono, a journalist who exposed serious graft in pandemic-related procurement and was arrested last month on what are widely seen as trumped-up charges.



Others point to signs that Mr Mnangagwa is under pressure from army commanders who originally handed him power.

The US sanctions on Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a major ally of Mr Mnangagwa, have also added to the pressure. 

The US accuses the businessman of using his relationship with the president to amass wealth improperly. But the true state of the factions within the army and ruling party remains murky.

“There’s a deep sense of unhappiness among certain elements of the military, but there’s a lot of misinformation, and disinformation, flying around,” said Piers Pigou, a consultant at the International Crisis Group.


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“The dark forces, both inside and outside our borders, have tampered with our growth and prosperity for too long. They have thrived on dividing us.” @thecontinent_
Law & Politics


“Zimbabwe currently is on a knife edge...Violence has its limits and I’m not convinced the situation is sustainable,” Mathuthu told The Continent

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South African Business Leaders Fret Over Post-Virus Revival @economics
Africa



South African business leaders are growing increasingly concerned that the government doesn’t have the will or capacity to overcome the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Business for South Africa, an alliance of the nation’s main business groups also known as B4SA, expects the economy to contract as much as 10% this year and has spent the past four months drafting a plan to get it back on track. 

About 250 experts worked for free on the proposals that could potentially add 1 trillion rand ($58 billion) to gross domestic product, but they have gained limited traction with the authorities so far.

“My confidence in the government implementing this is very low,” Busi Mavuso, the chief executive officer of Business Leadership South Africa, which forms part of B4SA, said in an online briefing with Bloomberg. 

“I can’t say the government jumped for joy in receiving it.”

The 5.1 trillion-rand economy, which was already in recession before the coronavirus struck, went into a tailspin after a lockdown was imposed in late March to curb the spread of the disease. 

Most businesses were shuttered for five weeks and a study by a group of 30 academics and researchers estimated that 3 million people lost their jobs between February and April, while 1.5-million others were furloughed.

“Where there is skepticism or concern amongst the leadership of business is that leopards don’t change their spots. The hallmark of inaction and indecision is going to carry on.”

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Shoprite admits defeat after 15 years in Nigeria, South African supermarket giant Shoprite announced this week that it plans to exit Africa’s largest economy. @thecontinent_
Retail & Manufacturing



It is the latest in a long line of major South African companies – including 
Woolworths, Truworths and Mr Price – that have tried and ultimately failed to crack the Nigerian market.

“But the supermarket chain’s exit, as such a prominent investor in the country, sends a strong signal that Nigeria is a tough place to do business, which the authorities need to take seriously for local companies as much as for foreign investors,” said Dianna Games, the executive director of the SA-Nigeria Business Chamber, in a column for Business Day. 

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Seeing lowering weekly % test positive rates for SARS-COV-2 PCR on Nairobi samples @LancetKenya_PLK @DrAhmedKalebi
Africa


First steady decrease in a month since the index cases at our lab, suggesting the infectivity is decreasing & the cumulative curve is peaking soon if not already 

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Limuru Tea Company reports H1 2020 Earnings through 30th June 2020
N.S.E Equities - Agricultural



Par Value:                  20/-

Closing Price:           385.00

Total Shares Issued:          1200000.00

Market Capitalization:        462,000,000

EPS:             0.79

PE:                 487.342

Limuru Tea reports H1 2020 Earnings through 30th June 2020 

H1 Turnover 50.643m versus 29.352m

H1 Profit [Loss] before Tax [11.355m] versus [25.941m]

H1 Profit [Loss] after Tax [11.071m] versus [18.159m]

H1 EPS [4.61] versus [7.57]

Commentary 

Company produced 2,172 Tons of green leaf which was manufactured into 458 tons of Black Tea.

+72% increase in Made tea volumes compared to H1 2019

No interim dividend 

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