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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Tuesday 30th of March 2021
 
Afternoon
Africa

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@Azeria64Azeria Dec 31, 2019 Syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère (#SRAS) en Chine ?
Misc.


Since the end of December 2019, when I learnt of covid19, time I have found has become non-linear. 

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It has been a paradoxical situation, physically static [for the most part] anticipating the ‘’virulent plague that travelled through the air as if on wings, it burned through cities like fire’
Misc.



But at the same time very stream of consciousness. My dreams became so vivid and real and just one portal of many


Is it really social distancing if we are all surrounded by djinn ASKED @AAOLOMI and I thought to myself we are all djinn now.

The Quran says that the Djinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire", They are usually invisible to humans, but humans do appear clearly to Djinn, as they can possess them. 

DJinn have the power to travel large distances at extreme speeds and are thought to live in remote areas.

I found myself immersing myself in the latin American genre of magic realism, following William Dalrymple’s twitter handle to exotic destinations

Dreaming of escape and travel and of portals through which I would pass like I imagined there was a portal at the bottom of my garden in Mombasa through which I could pass and return.


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Itamaraty Palace Spiral Staircase designed by #Oscar Niemeyer icekev
Misc.



I return to t.s eliot

To lead you to an overwhelming question ... Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

This strange dream like sequence of non linear time has been the overwhelming experience for what feels like an eternity now.


The Virus remains an exogenous uncertainty that is still not resolved though all the virologists who have metastasized into vaccinologists will have you believe its all sunlit uplands from here.

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Just a reminder that this pandemic, far from being over, is gathering steam once again globally with cases going up across the world. @kakape
Misc.



As You can see infection numbers have been rising since early February.

Wave 3 - We are once again entering an exponential escape velocity Phase #COVID19

Whilst we have witnessed a sharp slowdown in infections in the UK, US, Israel where vaccine deployment has been the most intense, cases now point higher.

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08-FEB-2021 :: We are at peak vaccine euphoria
Misc.



Folks I followed on Twitter for their epidemiological excellence now simply recite Vaccine / Inoculation data like a liturgy.

We have now passed peak vaccine euphoria because we are seeing a sustained acceleration in mutant viruses.



Of course we have P.1 is 2.5 times more transmissible than the wild-type B lineage. And way more transmissible than B.1.1.7. @bollemdb @obscovid19br

9. How P.1 prevalence has evolved in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. There is a striking jump between January and February 2021.@bollemdb @azavascki


Exponential growth unlike any other that we have seen. Brazil is a global threat @bollemdb


Brazil recorded 85,948 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 3,438 deaths from COVID-19 second day in a row fatalities have exceeded 3,000.

10. We have Ph-B.1.1.28 in the phillipines



Whole genome sequencing revealed that the 33 samples with the Ph-B.1.1.28 emergent variant merit further investigation as they all contain the E484K, N501Y, and P681H Spike mutations previously found in other variants of concern such as the South African B.1.351, the Brazil P.1 and the UK B.1.1.7 variants.

This is the first known report of these mutations co-occurring in the same virus.

@BNODesk Mar 26 NEW: The Philippines reports 9,838 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase on record


We just submitted a pre-print 'A novel variant of interest (VOI) of SARS-CoV-2 with multiple spike mutations detected through travel surveillance in Africa.' @Tuliodna


This VOI has 31 amino acids mutations. In Spike has 11 mutations and three deletions in the N-terminal domain

It has some key mutations, including the E484K, R346K and P681H. The R346K is the associated with resistance to class 3 RBD NAbs recently described by @jbloom_lab @Tuliodna

There are also 5 substitutions and 3 deletions in the NTD antigenic supersite (Y144Δ, R246M, SYL247-249Δ and W258L)


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Whilst we have only detected three cases with this new VOI, this warrants urgent investigation as the source country, Tanzania, has a largely undocumented epidemic and few public health measures in place to prevent spread within and out of the country.
Misc.


These are just three examples of what is now a trend in many parts of the world.

@bnodesk NEW: India reports 62,632 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one- day increase since October

We have reentered an escape velocity phase

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Sunrise, Hunt's Mesa, #Arizona @PrepSportsPlus
Misc.


Early morning light bathes the monumental sandstone formations in out-of-the-way Hunt's Mesa. Part of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, the iconic landscape served as the setting for countless Westerns, including the 1939 classic, “Stagecoach.”

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This marks two of Taiwan's most strategically important companies to be hit in the past five days. @man_integrated
Law & Politics



Pertamina (Indonesia's state-owned oil company) signed a deal with CPC in June 2020 to double this refinery's capacity. 
CPC is Taiwan's state-owned oil and petrochemical company.



This marks two of Taiwan's most strategically important companies to be hit in the past five days.

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Xi Jinping is both Sun Tzu ‘'The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting'' And hard edged at the same time.
Law & Politics


He has brought Hong Kong to heel, he is prowling around Taiwan like a Lion prowled around our Tent one night in the Tsavo

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India recorded over 68,000 new infections on Sunday – a rapid, six-fold escalation in cases since mid-February @Telegraph
Misc.


The “double mutant” strain contains two key variations: one identical to a variant identified in California, which studies show is more contagious, and another similar to the South African strain, which can re-infect patients

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08-MAR-2021 My concern is that Brazil which was the epicenter of the Virus in May 2020 is once again a Precursor and a Harbinger
Misc.





And sure the numbers slid for around 6 consecutive weeks but they have bottomed out of late.
“I see a huge storm forming in Brazil.” Denise Garrett, vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington
The bottom line: P.1 is 2.5 times more transmissible than the wild-type B lineage. And way more transmissible than B.1.1.7. @bollemdb @obscovid19br

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett 


Exponential growth unlike any other that we have seen. Brazil is a global threat @bollemdb

Model-based evaluation of transmissibility and reinfection for the P.1 variant of the SARS-CoV-2

The variant of concern (VOC) P.1 emerged in the Amazonas state (Brazil) and was sequenced for the first time on 6-Jan- 2021 by the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

It contains a constellation of mutations, ten of them in the spike protein.The P.1 variant shares mutations such as E484K, K417T, and N501Y and a deletion in the orf1b protein (del11288-11296 (3675-3677 SGF)) with other VOCs previously detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa (B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351, respectively).

Prevalence of P.1 increased sharply from 0% in November 2020 to 73% in January 2021 and in less than 2 months replaced previous lineages (4).

The estimated relative transmissibility of P.1 is 2.5 (95% CI: 2.3-2.8) times higher than the infection rate of the wild variant, while the reinfection probability due to the new variant is 6.4% (95% CI: 5.7 - 7.1%).

If you have a "normal" pandemic that is fading, but "variants" that [are] surging, the combined total can look like a flat, manageable situation. @spignal

COVID19 Historic Peaks Deaths a day @brodjustice


I expect th P.1 Lineage to be dominant worldwide in 8-12 weeks notwithstanding the Focus on SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7
My Thesis is based on the ultra hyperconnectedness of the c21st World.

Therefore, I would be tempering my COVID19 optimism and holding my horses which introduces interesting dynamics into the markets.



 


 


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Teresina, Brazil, emergency room beyond capacity: a man critically ill with covid19 is brought in by family, stops breathing, dies on naked floor after 30 minutes @itosettiMD_MBA
Misc.


Teresina, Brazil, emergency room beyond capacity: a man critically ill with covid19 is brought in by family, stops breathing, dies on naked floor after 30 minutes of resuscitation attemps. No more beds. No stretchers. 

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We have Ph-B.1.1.28 in the Phillipines
Misc.



Whole genome sequencing revealed that the 33 samples with the Ph-B.1.1.28 emergent variant merit further investigation as they all contain the E484K, N501Y, and P681H 

Spike mutations previously found in other variants of concern such as the South African B.1.351, the Brazil P.1 and the UK B.1.1.7 variants.

This is the first known report of these mutations co-occurring in the same virus.

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The full @60Minutes segment on the #OriginsofCOVID talking lab leaks, WIV military research, and the WHO-China joint mission H/T @Ayjchan
Misc.




Jamie Metzl: I wouldn't really call what's happened now an investigation. It's essentially a highly-chaperoned, highly-curated study tour.

Lesley Stahl: Study tour?

Jamie Metzl: Study tour. Everybody around the world is imagining this is some kind of full investigation. It's not. This group of experts only saw what the Chinese government wanted them to see.



Jamie Metzl: We would have to ask the question, "Well, why in Wuhan?" To quote Humphrey Bogart, "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, why Wuhan?" What Wuhan does have is China's level four virology institute, with probably the world's largest collection of bat viruses, including bat coronaviruses. 

Lesley Stahl: I had seen that the World Health Organization team only spent 3 hours at the lab.

Jamie Metzl: While they were there they didn't demand access to the records and samples and key personnel.

That's because of the ground rules China set with the WHO, which has never had the authority to make demands or enforce international protocols.

Jamie Metzl: It was agreed first that China would have veto power over-- over who even got to be on the mission. Secondly--

Lesley Stahl: And WHO agreed to that.

Jamie Metzl: WHO agreed to that. On top of that, the WHO agreed that in most instances China would do the primary investigation. And then just share its findings--

Lesley Stahl: No.

Jamie Metzl: --with these international experts. So these international experts weren't allowed to do their own primary investigation.

Lesley Stahl: Wait. You're saying that China did the investigation and showed the results to the committee and that was it?

Jamie Metzl: Pretty much that--

Lesley Stahl: Whoa.

Jamie Metzl: --was it. Not entirely. But pretty much that was it. Imagine if we have asked the Soviet Union to do a co-investigation of Chernobyl. It doesn't really make sense.

China had ruled out a lab accident long before the WHO team arrived at the airport in Wuhan on January 14 and were greeted by people in full PPE gear. 

The team included some of the world's leading experts on how viruses are transmitted from animals to humans. But even though there have been accidental lab leaks of viruses in China in the past that have infected people and killed at least one, no one on the team was trained in how to formally investigate a lab leak. 

They were there for a four-week mission, but two of those weeks were spent holed up at this hotel in quarantine. Once out, they had some tense exchanges with their counterparts, a team of chinese experts, over their refusal to provide raw data.

If the virus originated in animals, one of the mysteries has been: how did it travel the thousand miles from the bat caves in southern China to Wuhan? The WHO team thinks it found the answer. 

Peter Daszak: What we found as part of this WHO mission to China is that there is a pathway.

Peter Daszak, a member of the WHO team, and an expert on how animal viruses jump to humans, has worked on previous viral outbreaks, including in China. 

He says the pathway leads not to the lab in Wuhan but from wildlife farms in southern China directly to the wet market in Wuhan, the Huanan Seafood Market.

Peter Daszak: The theory is that somehow that virus got from a bat into one of these wildlife farms. And then the animals were shipped into the market. And they contaminated people while they were handling them, chopping them up, killing them, whatever you do before you cook an animal. 

Lesley Stahl: Wild animals?

Peter Daszak: Yeah, these--

Lesley Stahl: Like what?

Peter Daszak: They're a traditional food. Civets, these are like ferrets. There's also an animal called a ferret badger. Rabbits, which we know can carry the virus. Those animals were coming into the market from farms over 1,000 miles away. 

Lesley Stahl: Were you able to test any of the animals found in the Wuhan market for the virus?

Peter Daszak: Well, the China team had done that, and they found a few animals left in freezers. They tested them, they were negative. But the fact that those animals are there is the clue.

Lesley Stahl: But there's no direct evidence that any of those animals were actually infected with the bat virus?

Peter Daszak: Correct. Now what we've gotta do is go to those farms and investigate. Talk to the farmers. Talk to their relatives. Test them. See if there were spikes in virus there first.

Lesley Stahl: So, the team doesn't actually know if any of the farmers or the truckers were ever infected?

Peter Daszak: No one knows yet. No one's been there. No one's asked them. No one's tested them. That's to be done. 

Despite those unanswered questions, the WHO team and their Chinese counterparts all agreed that this hypothesis of a pathway - from bat caves to butcher shops like these - is the most likely explanation. 

Peter Daszak: Something like 75% of emerging diseases come from animals into people. We've seen it before. We've seen it in China with SARS.

Lesley Stahl: Is the lab leak theory any more or less speculative than the-- your pathway?

Peter Daszak: For an accidental leak that-- that then led to COVID to happen, the virus that causes COVID would need to be in the lab. They never had any evidence of a virus like COVID in the lab.

Lesley Stahl: They never had the COVID-19 virus-- 

Peter Daszak: Not prior--

Lesley Stahl: --in that lab?

Peter Daszak: --to the outbreak, no. Absolutely. No evidence of that.

Jamie Metzl begs to differ, pointing to the lab's own reports that it sent field researchers to the bat caves who brought back samples with viruses.

Jamie Metzl: We know that among those viruses, one of them is the virus that is genetically most related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Lesley Stahl: But most related isn't the same, right?

Jamie Metzl: Yes, exactly. But we do know that there were 9 viruses at least that were brought back. And it's extremely possible that among these viruses is a virus that's much more closely related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And when I put all those pieces together, I said, "Hey, wait a second, this is a real possibility. We need to be exploring it."

Lesley Stahl: The pathway that Peter Daszak and the team have come up with-- now that sounds plausible.

Jamie Metzl: Oh, it's certainly plausible.

Lesley Stahl: Very, seriously plausible.

Jamie Metzl: No, it is plausible. Let's just say that that theory is correct. You would have had an outbreak, perhaps in Southern China where they have those animal farms. You may have seen some kind of evidence of an outbreak along the way.

Lesley Stahl: And there wasn't?

Jamie Metzl: There wasn't.

Lesley Stahl: But listen, your theory is also full of holes.

Jamie Metzl: I wouldn't say it's full of holes, but it's incomplete. That's why we need access to the data in order to prove one hypothesis for another.

Metzl says Peter Daszak has a conflict of interest because of his long-time collaboration with the Wuhan lab.

Peter Daszak: I'm on the WHO team for a reason. And, you know, if you're going to work in China on coronaviruses and try and understand their origins, you should involve the people who know the most about that. And for better or for worse, I do.

He says the team did look into the leak theory during a visit with lab scientists and deemed it 'extremely unlikely'.

Peter Daszak: We met with them. We said, "Do you audit the lab?" And they said, "Annually." "Did it you audit it after the outbreak?" "Yes." "Was anything found?" "No." "Do you test your staff?" "Yes." No one was--

Lesley Stahl: But you're just taking their word for it.

Peter Daszak: Well, what else can we do? 

There's a limit to what you can do and we went right up to that limit. We asked them tough questions. They weren't vetted in advance. And the answers they gave, we found to be believable-- correct and convincing. 

Lesley Stahl: But weren't the Chinese engaged in a cover-up? They destroyed evidence, they punished scientists who were trying to give evidence on this very question of the origin.

Peter Daszak: Well, that wasn't our task to find out if China had covered up the origin issue.

Lesley Stahl: No, I know. I'm just saying doesn't that make you wonder?

Peter Daszak: We didn't see any evidence of any false reporting or cover-up in the work that we did in China.

Lesley Stahl: Were there Chinese government minders in the room every time you were asking questions? 

Peter Daszak:  There were Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff in the room throughout our stay. Absolutely. They were there to make sure everything went smoothly from the China side.

Lesley Stahl:  Or to make sure they weren't telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth--

Peter Daszak:  You sit in a room with people who are scientists and you know what a scientific statement is and you know what a political statement is. We had no problem distinguishing between the two.

Speaking of political statements...

Geopolitics loomed over the entire inquiry with some tit for tats: Beijing said COVID-19 originated in the U.S.; the Trump administration accused China of a cover-up. 

Matt Pottinger: There was a direct order from Beijing to destroy all viral samples -- and they didn't volunteer to share the genetic sequences.

Matt Pottinger, the then deputy national security adviser, quoting from declassified intelligence information, says Beijing also hid that several researchers at the Wuhan lab had come down with COVID-like symptoms and that the Chinese military was working with the lab. 

Matt Pottinger: There is a body of research that's been taking place conducted by the Chinese military in collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has not been acknowledged by the Chinese government. We've seen the data. I've personally seen the data. 

Lesley Stahl: Why the military? Why were they in that lab?

Matt Pottinger: We don't know. It is a major lead that needs to be pursued by the press, certainly by the World Health Organization. Beijing is simply not interested in allowing us to find the answers to those very pertinent questions.

What the U.S. government does know, he says, is that the Wuhan lab director published studies about manipulating bat coronaviruses in a way that could make them more infectious to humans, and there were reports of lax safety standards at the lab.

Matt Pottinger: They were doing research specifically on coronaviruses that attach to the ACE2 receptors in human lungs just like the COVID-19 virus.

Lesley Stahl: Is that a smoking gun?

Matt Pottinger: No, it's circumstantial evidence. But it's a pretty potent bullet point when you consider that the place where this pandemic emerged was a few kilometers away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The lack of transparency has led to widespread criticism of the WHO for agreeing to China's demands.

Matt Pottinger: The one thing that I wish the WHO had done is to pick up their megaphone and start screaming through it to demand that China be more transparent, that it open its border to allow American CDC officials and other experts from the WHO and around the world to come investigate and to help.

After 15 months and more than 2.7 million deaths worldwide, it was hoped the team would provide some clarity on the origin of COVID-19. But the exercise ends with even more questions than it began with.




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Xi has taken calculated risks. The muscular and multi-faceted nature of Chinese Power is seen in its handling of COVID19
Misc.



Controlling the COVID19 Narrative, suppressing the Enquiry, parlaying the situation into one of singular advantage marks a singular moment and Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from the Home Front, the International Media Domain, the ‘’Scientific’’ domain over which he has achieved complete ownership and where any dissenting view is characterized as a ‘’conspiracy theory’’

It remains a remarkable achievement.

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’Zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory.
Misc.


There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released

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It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later.
Misc.



Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 

There is no natural Pathway for the Evolution of COVID19.

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"Let’s say, for instance that a Florida panther rampaged through the South Bronx, injuring many people. It would be immediately reasonable to wonder: How could that possibly happen?." @R_H_Ebright
Misc.



"Let’s say, for instance that a Florida panther rampaged through the South Bronx, injuring many people. It would be immediately reasonable to wonder: How could that possibly happen? Florida panthers don’t live anywhere near the Bronx and aren’t normally so ferocious."



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



“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

 “There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”

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

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You just have to believe in the immaculate infection. @gdemaneuf
Misc.


If you have the faith, then it much better explains an outbreak of a fully adapted SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan than the pagan lab-related accident.

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Currency Markets At A Glance WSJ
World Currencies



Euro 1.1744

Dollar Index 93.038

Japan Yen 110.17

Swiss Franc 0.9409

Pound 1.3765

Aussie 0.7635

India Rupee 73.1815

South Korea Won 1134.585

Brazil Real 5.7823

Egypt Pound 15.7025

South Africa Rand 14.9426

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Dubai, the business capital of Africa - "There are now more than 21,000 African companies in Dubai..." H/T @gyude_moore @MiddleEastEye
Emerging Markets




For hundreds of years, the business capitals of Africa were in Europe - in London, Paris, Berlin and Lisbon.

Despite decolonisation, money still flows from Africa to European financial hubs, but over the past decade business headquarters have geographically shifted. Not back to Africa, but to another former British colony: Dubai.

There are now more than 21,000 African companies in Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

It's a number that has increased by over a quarter since 2017, according to Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry figures.     


“There were big inflows of Africans to Dubai from 2011 onwards. The Arab Spring actually helped open Dubai and the UAE to greater interest from African countries,” Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics, a Washington-based consultancy, told MEE.

The number of tourists from Africa has increased from just 6,954 in 1984 to 600,000 in 2016, reaching 810,000 in 2019, equivalent to 6% of all visitors, according to Dubai Tourism figures.

Overall trade with Africa also surged, from 3% of Dubai’s total trade at the turn of the century to 10% in 2018.




The African continent has become the third-largest trade region for Dubai after Asia and Europe, according to Dubai Customs.

“Years ago it was the Russians coming in, then the Chinese, and as that tapered off we were seeing Africans, with an explosion of wealth in this direction,” Scott Cairns, managing director of Creation Business Consultants in Dubai, told MEE. 

“It has slowed a little bit [over the past year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic] but once travel is allowed again we will see Africa re-emerge, as it is so close for building up business, and to commute [from Dubai] for projects.”

The Gulf city, which sits on the other side of the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, did not intentionally become a hub for African business.

“It was not the Dubai government, but people in power in Africa that chose to do business in Dubai,” Martin Tronquit, managing partner at Infomineo, told MEE.

But capitalising on its geographical position, the Gulf city has transformed into the business hub of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) through laissez-faire policies, infrastructure and aviation networks.

The boom in MEA firms setting up shop in Dubai has contributed, in part, to the emirate successfully weaning itself off reliance on oil revenues. 

Non-oil trade with Africa has grown by 700 percent over the past 15 years, surging from $33bn in 2015 to $50bn in 2019, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

While six regional HQs are in the energy sector, eight are involved in financial services, seven in motor vehicles and parts, and five in technology, followed by wholesalers, aerospace and defence companies, healthcare, and transportation, according to Infomineo.

“When we looked at where Fortune 500 decision-makers were based, almost half of total headquarters covering MEA were in Dubai, more than triple the number of Johannesburg [South Africa], which was ranked second, followed by Nairobi [Kenya], Casablanca [Morocco] and Lagos [Nigeria],” said Tronquit, citing data from Infomineo.

“It did feel counterintuitive as Dubai is not technically located in Africa.”


Dubai’s aviation links, tourism infrastructure and ease of access have also been a big driver in making the emirate such a hub for African business, said Cairns.


For a lot of them, said Isaac Kwaku Fokuo Jr, founder of Botho Emerging Markets Group, an investment advisory firm based in Dubai, 

“it is easier to go from Dubai to Africa than fly within Africa. And the ability to let people travel here freely is a big deal, compared to say London or New York, where there are multiple unnecessary barriers like the provision of bank statements to procure a visa just to attend a business meeting.

“Also, within the African continent, some countries such as South Africa, another business hub, have strict visa regulations,” he told MEE. 

“That means that visiting can be an onerous experience. In contrast, the hospitality on display in Dubai signals that Africans from across the continent are welcome.”

Dubai has been helped, said Tronquit of Infomineo, by the fact that while “African business environments have massively improved in the last 20 years, [they] are not yet on par with the expectations of global companies - especially when it comes to international trade, like double taxation agreements, work visas for expats, corporate laws and tariffs.”

Lagos should logically be Africa’s business capital, he added. Nigeria has the continent’s largest economy. 

South Africa’s is second. However, “Lagos has been ranked as one of the world’s worst cities to live in, and personal safety is a massive issue, as it is in Johannesburg.

“It is also difficult to attract top executives and their families to countries where, for most of them, education, healthcare and safety are not up to global standards,” said Tronquit, based on criteria in an Infomineo report.

While “Dubai locals have considered the emirate the business capital of Africa for over a decade,” said Karasik of Gulf State Analytics, to Africans the moniker does not always sit well. 

“Dubai is a hub that plays a critical role for business into Africa, but it would be unfair to say that it is the business capital for an entire continent,” said Fokuo.

 “Cities such as Nairobi, Johannesburg, Cairo and Accra also play critical roles as hubs for business.”

He moved to Dubai from Nairobi four years ago, and has since seen an upswing in business, partnering with firms in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt to help them expand into Africa. 

“I jokingly say there are now more African companies trying to work with us in Dubai than when we had a presence only in Kenya.”

Africa-UAE trade and business is set to increase as the Emirates look to expand ties with emerging markets. 

The UAE is the second-largest country investor in Africa after China, according to UNCTAD, investing $25.3bn between 2014 and 2018, while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the emirate’s foreign aid agency, has been the biggest investor, at $16.6bn, in 28 African countries, according to the Financial Times’ fDI Intelligence.

Other countries in the region are also eyeing up the opportunities. “Africa is a central focus of the Gulf states due to Covid-19 and the need for economic recovery, with a focus on mining and green energy projects,” said Karasik. “They are competing on the continent.”

Israelis, too, are seeking business in Africa through Dubai, with consultancy firms in the emirate noting an uptick in contact from Israel since the recently signed Abraham Accords, normalisation deals between Israel and several Arab states.

This renewed interest in Africa is being bolstered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into effect in January. It brings together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4tn economic bloc of 54 African countries.

The UAE has been a strong proponent of the scheme.

“As African markets are very fragmented, consolidated projects [like the AfCFTA] make it easier to engage. Dubai is identifying opportunities,” said Fokuo.

One disadvantage of being located in Dubai, however, is that firms are far-removed from their target markets. 

“There are lots of ‘Africa’ HQs in Dubai, but that doesn’t allow you to get a sense of what is happening on the ground, as you’re not in Nairobi or Ghana,” said Fokuo.

With this in mind, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry has established four international offices in Africa over the past seven years – in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya.

“It would also be great if more Dubai-Africa events took place in Africa instead of in Dubai," added Fuoko.

Another concern is that Dubai’s growing role as a tax haven is hurting African nations. 

According to UK-based advocacy group the Tax Justice Network, 

“Dubai is unquestionably one of the world’s best-known secrecy jurisdictions, built on an increasingly complex array of offshore facilities that include free-trade zones, a low-tax environment, multiple secrecy facilities and lax enforcement.” 

Such policies enable the illicit flows of capital out of Africa to Dubai.

Kumar noted that Dubai plays a key role as a tax haven, with the Dubai International Financial Centre having the largest cluster of financial institutions anywhere in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Dubai has also been criticised for its role in the illicit gold trade, with “blood gold” smuggled from Africa to the emirate.

Analysts said that Dubai has become an increasingly important hub over the past year for gold exports from Africa, while the Emirate’s low taxation rate continues to make it attractive to set up businesses, for African as well as European firms avoiding higher tax rates.

The city’s property market has also been fingered as an ideal outlet for ill-gotten gains, such as for Nigeria’s elite.

“Dubai is a key centre for almost every crime, which makes it a bit unique,” said Kumar.


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Chinese Lending to Africa Down on Debt-Default Fears, Study Says @business
Africa



Chinese lending to African governments dropped by nearly a third in 2019 -- and probably continued to fall last year -- as a rising threat of defaults stemmed a deluge of credit from the country in the past decade.

A study by Johns Hopkins University’s China-Africa Research Initiative showed that Chinese financing to Africa fell below $9 billion for the first time in nearly a decade in 2019, with Beijing refraining or reducing the size of loans to major borrowers such as Angola and Ethiopia.

The decline indicates China turned more cautious about lending to Africa even before the coronavirus pandemic upended economies across the world, having committed $153 billion in loans since 2000. Much of that came after the boom of commodity prices in 2010.

“Rather than continuing to blindly dump finance into countries with debt issues, Chinese financiers have shifted away from these countries -- albeit belatedly in some cases, such as Zambia,” wrote Kevin Acker and Deborah Brautigam, the authors of the study.

Zambia become the first African country to default since the onset of the outbreak in 2020, raising fears other heavily indebted countries could follow suit.

China’s more cautious approach started shortly after lending hit its peak in 2013, after which global commodity prices plunged.

The number of Chinese lenders to Africa rose to more than 30 in 2019 from just three at the turn of the century, with commercial loans growing faster than official credit in recent years. 

But they are now focusing on bigger economies on the continent such as Egypt and South Africa, avoiding risky countries.

Even so, “Chinese finance will continue to be an important source of infrastructure finance for African countries,” the study concludes.

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19-APR-2020 :: The End of Vanity China Africa Win Win
Africa




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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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Chinese loan commitments to Africa in 2019: $7 billion, down 30% from 2018. Total commitments (2000-2019) now $153 billion. @GDP_Center H/T CelestinMonga
Africa


Chinese loan commitments to Africa in 2019: $7 billion, down 30% from 2018. Total commitments (2000-2019) now $153 billion. Figures not equivalent to African government debt, as they don’t account for disbursement or repayment. Great stats from @GDP_Center

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Joe Hanlon: “The whole gas gamble was bet on a promise of security, and Nyusi - and Mozambique - lost the bet.” @jsphctrl
Africa


Yes, on the other hand these companies have managed to work in lots of dangerous places, but I’m finding it hard to disagree.

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31 OCT 16 :: Mozambique from Boom to Bust - A Cautionary Tale
Africa


I said "Mozambique could be the next Qatar." as we stuffed ourselves with wonderfully flavour some tiger prawns.

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304,287 Active COVID-19 Cases in Africa @BeautifyData
Africa


-41.48% below record high reached in January 2021 

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The steepest one day fall in 11 months. @MwangoCapital
N.S.E General



- The steepest one day fall in 11 months. 

- 80B fall is ~3% of total market capitalization.

- 93% of decline was caused by declines in Safaricom, Equity, EABL, KCB and Cooperative Bank 

- These 5 account for 79.8% of total NSE market cap.

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Equity Group reports FY 2020 EPS -11.635% skips dividend
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment


Par Value:                  0.50/-

Closing Price:           38.20

Total Shares Issued:          3773674802.00

Market Capitalization:        144,154,377,436

EPS:             5.24

PE:               7.29 

  

Equity Group reports FY Earnings through 31st December 2020 versus trough 31st December 2019 

FY Total Assets 1015.093315b versus 673.682541b

FY Investment Securities Held to Maturity 15.842417b versus 21.572268b

FY Investment Securities Available for Sale 201.565468b versus 150.635919b

FY Loans and Advances to Customers [Net] 477.847189b versus 366.440456b

[Equity Bank Kenya 313.065151b versus 276.863043b]

FY Customer Deposits 740.800779b versus 482.752.134b

[Equity Bank Kenya 496.748100b versus 380.603583b]

FY Total Interest Income 73.764833b versus 59.722807b

FY Total Interest Expenses 18.616042b versus 14.740466b

FY Net Interest Income 55.148791b versus 44.982361b

FY Non Interest Income 38.508081b versus 30.780053b

FY Total Operating Income 93.656872b versus 75.762414b

FY Loan Loss Provision 26.631273b versus 5.302566b

FY Staff Costs 15.418429b versus 12.808766b

FY Other Operating Expenses 23.512357b versus 19.583855b

FY Total Operating Expenses 72.664472b versus 44.284984b 

FY Profit [Loss] before Tax and exceptional Items 20.992400b versus 31.477430b

Exceptional Items-Gain on bargain purchase 1.177390b 

FY Profit before Tax 22.169790b versus 31.477430b

Deferred Tax 8.236431b versus 1.106659b

FY Profit after Tax 20.099546b versus 22.560714b

FY EPS 5.24 versus 5.93

No Dividend 

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Equity Bank [@KeEquityBank] 2020 results summary: @MwangoCapital
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment




- Net interest income up 23.5%

- Profit before tax and exceptional items down 33%

- Profit after tax down 12%

- Loan loss Provisions up ~5 times to 26.6B 

- 32% of loan books restructured (171B)

- No dividends


Conclusions

A Dash for Growth [driven by the DRC acquisition - which I believe will prove a Jewel in the Crown] in a pandemic Year.

Not sure what the deferred Tax is all about.

Looks like a very attractive prospect over the medium term.

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NCBA Group PLC reports FY 2020 EPS -62.818 pays 1.50 Final Dividend Earnings
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment



Par Value:                  5/-

Closing Price:           24.50

Total Shares Issued:          1497745029.00

Market Capitalization:        36,694,753,211

EPS:               2.77 

PE:                8.844


NCBA Group reports FY 2020 Earnings through 31st December 2020 versus 31st December 2019 

FY Total Assets 527.953979b versus 494.843401b

FY Kenya Government Securities HTM 87.407372b versus 79.507225b

FY Kenya Government Securities Available for Sale 60.933924b versus 49.500824b

FY Loans and Advances to Customers [net] 248.497903b versus 249.355409b

FY Customer Deposits 421.504454b versus 378.237043b

FY Total Interest Income 44.244631b versus 25.513831b

FY Total Interest Expense 18.751339b versus 12.175938b

FY Net Interest Income 25.493292b versus 13.337893b

FY Total Non Interest Income 20.943361b versus 20.321833b

FY Total Operating Income 46.436653b versus 33.659726b 

FY Loan Loss Provision 20.441270b versus 6.250273b

FY Staff Costs 7.235776b versus 5.582121b

FY Total Operating Expenses 40.033431b versus 20.357328b

FY Profit before Tax and exceptional Items 6.403222b versus 13.302398b

FY Exceptional Items [1.579181b] versus [2.132719b]

FY Profit before Tax 4.981921b versus 11.313559b

FY Profit after Tax and exceptional Items 4.570867b versus 7.841776b

FY EPS 2.77 versus 7.45 -62.818%

FY Final Dividend 1.50 versus 0.00 

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NCBA [@NCBABankKenya] 2020 results summary: @MwangoCapital
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment




- Net Interest Income up 91% to Ksh 25.5B

- Customer deposits up 62.4%

- Loan Loss Provisions up more than 200% to Ksh 20.4B

- Profit After Tax down 41% to Ksh 4.6B

- Ksh 1.50 dividend proposed [Vs No dividend FY 2019]


Conclusions

The FY Dividend 6.122% Yield will support the Price.

Fairly priced to slightly rich for now. 

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Limuru Tea Company Ltd reports FY EPS Loss [1.53]
N.S.E Equities - Agricultural




Par Value:                  20/-

Closing Price:           360.00

Total Shares Issued:          1200000.00

Market Capitalization:        432,000,000

EPS:               -1.53

PE:                 


Limuru Tea reports FY 2020 Earnings through 31st December 2020 versus through 31st December 2019 

FY Turnover 96.670m versus 91.049m

FY [loss] Profit before Income Tax [7.898m] versus 3.016m

FY Income Tax credit [expense] 4.233m versus [1.116m]

FY EPS [1.53] versus 0.79

FY Dividend 0 versus 0.7

Conclusions

Its a real Estate play now. 

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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March 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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