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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Thursday 13th of August 2020
 














US surveillance aircraft appearing like commercial airliner constantly fly near China. @HuXijin_GT
Law & Politics

They even follow civil aviation flights to confuse Chinese radars. This poses a threat to safety of civil aircraft over the South China Sea. It’s shameful for the US military to do so.

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27-JUL-2020 :: Drinking the Kool-Aid
World Of Finance


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.

"This isn’t about containment. It’s about a complex new challenge we’ve never faced before: The USSR was closed off from the free world. Communist China is already here, within our borders." - @SecPompeo

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It is as if everything has turned viral, non linear and multiplicative and that Feedback Loops can spin with dizzying speed and out of control, in a blink of an eye.
World Of Finance

In the Year [2020] of the Virus, which began with a Bang and the Assassination of the iconic Qasem Suleimani, it is as if everything has turned viral, non linear and multiplicative and that Feedback Loops can spin with dizzying speed and out of control, in a blink of an eye.

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Saint Quentin, 2,200 cases and 25 deaths among a population of 3,260 people. 67% infected, new cases have slowed but still occurring, herd immunity not yet achieved. @alfonslopeztena
Misc.


Saint Quentin, 2,200 cases and 25 deaths among a population of 3,260 people. 67% infected, new cases have slowed but still occurring, herd immunity not yet achieved. 767 people dying out of every 100,000 persons, equivalent to 2.5 million deaths in U.S.

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San Quentin’s death toll translates to a mortality rate of about 767 people dying out of every 100,000 persons. @latimes
Misc.



If that same rate occurred across California, that would translate to a staggering 300,000 deaths statewide — many times larger than California’s cumulative death toll of more than 10,400. 

Nationally, that would be equivalent to 2.5 million deaths; the current cumulative U.S. death toll is more than 163,000.



San Quentin is an imperfect setting to help understand when herd immunity might be achieved. 

Prisons are crowded settings that will promote coronavirus transmission more so than among people in other settings, like those who live in single-family homes.

But the San Quentin experience — as well as other data — does show that, in the absence of a vaccine, “in order to get to something that approaches herd immunity, we’re going to have to get something well on the far side of 50% of people infected,” Rutherford said. 

“Which comes with a resultant large cost in mortality and severe morbidity.

“If you believe the San Quentin stuff, you got to get up to way-up-there before you start seeing slowing of transmission,” Rutherford said.


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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1827

Dollar Index 93.131

Japan Yen 106.67

Swiss Franc 0.9094

Pound 1.3072

Aussie 0.7175

India Rupee 74.8195

South Korea Won 1183.395

Brazil Real 5.436

Egypt Pound 15.9599

South Africa Rand 17.40175

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Tencent, the parent company of social media giant WeChat, said its revenue jumped 28 percent in first half of this year as the coronavirus pandemic kept people glued to their screens. @AFP @YahooNews
World Of Finance


Trump has announced a ban from mid-September on WeChat and TikTok, which is owned by a separate Chinese company.

The mobile apps "threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States", he said last week.
But for now Tencent -- one of the world's largest gaming companies -- is enjoying a boost from the pandemic, with billions of people forced to stay indoors for weeks on end under lockdowns.
"During this challenging time, we utilised our platforms and technologies to help users adapt to the new normal via online tools, to support enterprises in conducting digital upgrades, and to broadly contribute to economic recovery," it said in a statement.
First-half revenue was 222.9 billion yuan ($32 billion) and net profit rose 21 percent on-year to 62 billion yuan.
"In China, user time spent on our smartphone games increased year-on-year but decreased quarter-on-quarter due to seasonality and back-to-office behavior," the company said, reflecting the country's move out of lockdown as coronavirus cases have dwindled.
But as the disease spread around the world in spring and early summer, monthly active users increased "significantly" both year-on-year and between the first and second quarter, it said.
This was "due to new game launches and more user time spent during the stay-at-home period".

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They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences. #COVID19
Misc.


―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 ha

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Dramatic SkySat images of the Mauritius fuel oil spill surface thanks to the @planetlabs @TankerTrackers
Africa


The people are tirelessly rallying their efforts to prevent further damage to their waters by constructing makeshift boom lines made of whatever's available, including vegetation & hair.

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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. 

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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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Question: what do Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt and Kenya have in common? @Brad_Setser
World Of Finance


Answer: the external debt of their governments (in dollar terms) doubled between 2015 and 2019 ...

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Ethiopia’s inflation soaring to 22.3 percent, food prices unbearable for millions
World Of Finance



An increase in the price of food, up to 23.7 percent at times, is said to be the major factor in the new high inflation rate. 

Compared to the inflation rate last year, this year’s is up by 24.9 percent according to the Central Statistical Agency report.

The ministry of agriculture attributes the increase in prices of food items to the problem in the market chain rather than a supply problem.  

During the production year, there was a plan to cultivate 1.9 million hectares of land and the ministry claims that over 2.1 million hectares are cultivated. 

The problem in the supply chain is due to price gouging by “greedy businessmen” as the ministry calls them.

VOA Amharic spoke to Bisrat Teshome, an economist, and he said that baseless speculation in the supply-chain is responsible for the price hikes on food items.

According to economists, devaluation of the Ethiopian currency has also played a part for the rising inflation and price hike of food items.

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Why Hasn’t Africa Gone Digital? @sciam
Africa



But without power, there is no internet. The entire digital ecosystem relies so heavily on reliable, affordable electricity, from home internet connections to the base stations that underpin cellular networks to the data centers that store the internet’s content.
 

This means that countries with weak power infrastructures—which were already struggling to compete in the new digital economy—are facing bleak prospects in a post-lockdown world in which Zoom, Dropbox and Google Classroom are the new office or school.

Sub-Saharan Africa, where the digital transition has long been touted as a way to leapfrog traditional infrastructure, is especially vulnerable to falling behind. 


And without robust data center development, activities with hefty data requirements like remote work, digital classrooms, video streaming and data analytics—all especially needed in the COVID-19 era—will start to crumble.
 


In the current pandemic moment, governments must especially recognize the power and ICT sectors both as responses to the current crisis and as building blocks for long-term resilience.




Recognizing that digital infrastructure can benefit the growth of the entire power sector, sub-Saharan Africa utilities can develop specific strategies to attract “anchor ICT customers” through expedited power connections, aligned tariffs, and availability of renewable energy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the reliance of every nation on the digital economy—and has exposed the lack of readiness in sub-Saharan Africa to provide inexpensive, reliable and abundant power to that economy moving forward.

This lack of readiness isn't just about the health emergency facing the region now. It's about the economic emergency that the region will face if decision-makers don't prioritize a robust ICT-power sector partnership.

No power, no internet, no digital transformation. And no chance of making sub-Saharan Africa more economically competitive in a world recovering from COVID-19 where being digital is assumed, not aspirational.

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South Africa Nears the Point of No Return @bpolitics
World Of Finance

 



A sudden change of heart by the government in Pretoria brought the country’s promising wind and solar energy program to a crashing halt. In June this year, DCD’s state-of-the-art equipment was auctioned off.

DCD’s unrealized potential is a footnote in South Africa’s story of the last decade, one of chronic under-performance that is pushing the continent’s dominant powerhouse to the edge of economic and political disaster.

With debt surging and the coronavirus pandemic threatening the deepest economic contraction in almost 90 years, business leaders are warning that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government can no longer procrastinate. 

With the situation deteriorating rapidly, they say, South Africa faces a choice between loosening the grip of vested interests to embrace radical — and likely painful — reform, or risking a sovereign debt crisis and more permanent scars.


“We are looking at a wasteland,” said Martin Kingston, chairman of Rothschild & Co.’s South African unit and deputy president of Business Unity South Africa, the country’s main business organization. 

“The ramifications of not taking the necessary action in the near future are catastrophic.”

The fact that government officials broadly agree with the prognosis underlines the seriousness of South Africa’s plight. 

Yet addressing the challenge is far from straightforward, and will require a wholesale change in the African National Congress government’s approach to marshaling the $350 billion economy.


Investors in South Africa are wearily familiar with policy inconsistency. The frustration of the renewables sector was a result of former President Jacob Zuma’s decision to start pursuing an ultimately unsuccessful nuclear power deal with Russia from about 2014, leaving purchase agreements with renewables companies unsigned. 

That ultimately brought a halt to what was one of the world’s most successful clean-energy programs.

Telecommunications companies have waited over a decade for the sale of spectrum needed to expand their services and potential offshore oil resources lie untapped because the requisite laws haven’t been passed. 

Labor unions have used their political power to block everything from education reform to the closure of heavily polluting coal-fired power plants.

South Africa may now be running out of road. Without urgent action, national debt could exceed 140% of gross domestic product by the end of the decade, according to an emergency budget presented in June. 

That’s almost on a par with Lebanon, and compares with only about 26% in 2008, when the last global economic crisis began.


Covid-19 is accelerating the downturn. By the time coronavirus restrictions were imposed in the country in March, South Africa was already in recession and unemployment, at 30.1%, was at a 17-year high. 

One of the world’s strictest lockdowns has probably left millions more jobless and slashed economic output, while the number of confirmed cases has surged to over half a million regardless.


The economy probably contracted more than 30% on an annualized basis in the second quarter, according to central bank forecasts, and portfolio outflows in the first three months of 2020 were at the highest level on record. 

Consumer confidence is at the lowest since 1985, when the United Nations Security Council urged further economic sanctions against South Africa over its apartheid policies and the Whites-only government declared a partial state of emergency.



“I shudder to think how much worse things must get before any action is taken.”

One possible way ahead lies in leveraging pension funds that are flush with cash, giving South Africa the financial wherewithal to solve some of its problems. 

Together with private pensions and bank assets, South Africa has 12 trillion rand ($700 billion) available for investment, according to Business for South Africa, an alliance of the country’s main business organizations.


Yet for now it’s hard to argue that much has changed. State-owned companies that were saddled with debt during Zuma’s scandal-ridden nine-year reign remain dysfunctional, little new legislation has been passed and there have been no significant convictions for graft despite widespread evidence of pervasive corruption.


True, Mboweni has pledged to cut government spending by 230 billion rand over the next two years, partly by freezing most civil servant wages — after earlier agreeing to raise them despite years of above-inflation pay rises. 

But he may struggle to get his way in the face of entrenched labor opposition.

That sets up a battle ahead over South Africa’s economic and political future.

''Structural economic reforms are going to be contested and they are going to be contested very, very hard,” said Lumkile Mondi, an economics lecturer at the University of The Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. “It is going to be a very hard sell.”





 

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02-JUN-2020 :: Fast Forward On top of all that we know have an Ebola Outbreak in DR Congo
Africa



The first known emergence of Ebola Zaire—the hottest subtype of Ebola virus— happened in September, 1976, when the virus erupted simultaneously in fifty-five villages near the Ebola River. 

Ebola Zaire is a slate-wiper in humans. It killed eighty- eight per cent of the people it infected. 

Apart from rabies and the human immunodeficiency virus, H.I.V., which causes aids, this was the highest rate of mortality that has been recorded for a human virus. 

Ebola was spread mainly among family members, through contact with bodily fluids and blood. 

Many of the people in Africa who came down with Ebola had handled Ebola-infected cadavers. It seems that one of Ebola’s paths wends to the living from the dead.

These remain precarious times.

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Mocimboa da Praia: Key Mozambique port 'seized by IS'
Africa


Militants linked to the Islamic State group have seized a heavily-defended port in Mozambique after days of fighting, according to reports.

Local media say government forces that were in the far northern town of Mocimboa da Praia fled, many by boat, after Islamists stormed the port.

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Some reports indicate insurgents sank one of the French-made HSI32 interceptors Mozambique bought from Privinvest, in the latest attack on the port. @TomBowk
Africa


(Even 
@nrogeiro says "One Mozambican Navy FPB was damaged by apparent RPG 22 fire (range 250 meters) from MdP's pier")

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KCB Group Ltd
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment




Par Value:                  1/-
Closing Price:           32.70
Total Shares Issued:          3087443344.00
Market Capitalization:        100,959,397,349
EPS:             8.11
PE:                 4.032



KCB Group reports HY Earnings through 30th June 2020 

HY Total Assets 947.068b versus 746.519266b 
HY Loans and Advances to Customers [net] 553.861270b versus 478.740510b
HY Customer Deposits 740.444394b versus 563.236258b
HY Total Interest Income 41.382127b versus 33.602783b
HY Total Interest Expenses 10.312539b versus 8.210214b
HY Net Interest Income 31.069588b versus 25.401569b
HY Total Other Operating Income 13.963610b versus 13.172144b
HY Total Operating income 45.033198b versus 38.573733b

HY Loan Loss Provision 11.027244b versus 3.031105b +263.8% 

HY Total Other Operating expenses 13.963610b versus 13.172144b

HY Profit before Tax 12.824758b versus 17.933076b

HY Profit after Tax 7.577605b versus 12.722943b

HY EPS 4.72 versus 8.30 

For the period under review, KCB restructured facilities worth KES 101.0 BN to cushion customers against the effects of the crisis.


(NPLs) expanding by 214.6 percent to Kes.83.9 billion from Kes.39.1 billion

Conclusions 

Predictably grim. The Challenge is around the longevity of the COVID19 [economic primarily]  Pressure which I do not expect to abate through H1 2021 


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The stock of NPLs increased to KShs.83.9B up from KShs 39.1B in 2019. @KCBGroup
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment


For the six months, the ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) to total loan book increased to 13.7% from 7.8% in 2019, mainly due to consolidation of NBK & heightened defaults associated with the pandemic. The stock of NPLs increased to KShs.83.9B up from KShs 39.1B in 2019.

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Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd.
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



Par Value:                  1/-

Closing Price:           10.45

Total Shares Issued:          5867179554.00

Market Capitalization:        61,312,026,339

EPS:             2.48

PE:                 4.214

COOP Bank Half Year through 30th June 2020 

HY Total Assets 513.923987b versus 429.591235b

HY Loans and Advances [Net] 272.156870b versus 257.563635b

HY Customer Deposits 384.636644b versus 323.599694b

HY Total Interest Income 15.913727b versus 14.253768b 

HY Total Operating Income 24.221029b versus 23.005277b

Total Operating expenses 14.567856b versus 12.595406b

HY Loan Loss Provision 1.864902b versus 1.181163b 

Gross Non Performing loans 34.300888b versus 30.555911b

HY Net NPLS 3.802361b versus 154.012m

HY Profit before Tax 9.599297b versus 10.436607b

HY Profit after Tax 7.197918b versus 7.469480b

HY EPS 1.23 versus 1.27 

Conclusions

COOP net NPLSs exposure as a % of the Loan Book is an Outlier 

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