Blog Archive

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The next Triton... is....

The next Triton-like scam will involve a politically connected firm known as "Gulf Energy"... you read it here first...

(I am gathering details...)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

KQ cannot trust corrupt KAA

KQ used to face multiple complaints about lost/stolen luggage when it relied on KAA for safety of its passengers' cargo & luggage.

No more. KQ hires its own guards to man the holding area for cargo & luggage.

An added cost of doing business in Kenya. No wonder the cost of flights to/from Kenya are so high.

The Kenya Airports Authority (under the political appointee george 'banana' muhoho) needs to be privatised. It remains a bastion of corrupt deals.

In spite of all the problems in the 'West' & all the 'potential' in Africa, I wonder if it makes more sense to invest in Asia, Europe & America rather than Africa...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why doing business in Kenya cost more

Many un-informed journalists, citizens, politicians & idiots complain about the 'margins' or 'spreads' charged on goods & services. On the surface that is true. Kenyan businesses tend to have wider spreads than what is common in the Western world.

(Let's be clear... I am NOT condoning any sort of scam or counterfeiting or shortchanging or cheating... I am talking of WYSIWYG)

I will try to provide specifics instead of 'general comments' favored by the group/s above.

Let's look a little deeper:
  • Inefficiencies - Many firms e.g. Kenol-Kobil have to deal with an inefficient oil importation regime. They are forced to process 50% (by law 70%) of their requirements through Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd (KPRL) which uses much older technology (hydro-skimming) as well as being sub-optimal in size. This leads to lower high-value (white fuels) derivatives. Cost to Kenyans an additional 3/- per litre.
  • Corruption - Many firms e.g. Kenol-Kobil are forced to pass on additional 'charges' to consumers since the management of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has a history of being involved in corrupt deals (including tenders to extend the pipeline). The latest scandal was Triton-KPC. Cost to Kenyans is hard to determine but definitely high.
  • Legal system breakdown - HFCK will take defaulters to court but the case could take 5 years even if HFCK has all the cards. Why? An over-burdened court system which does not have a dedicated 'business' court. Deferrals are common as lawyers postpone, postpone & postpone hearings. And when they do show up, the judge/magistrate does not.
  • KRA (non)refunds - KRA collects VAT, duties, taxes, etc. Penalties abound if a business is late in remitting the payments. In the event of a refund... get in line. We are not talking of disputed refunds. Even simple refunds are not paid to the businesses in a timely manner. KRA claims they are given KShs 1.04 billion per quarter for refunds REGARDLESS of what they collect. Kenol-Kobil & Total could have KShs 1,000,000,000 outstanding to each of them at any one time. So they borrow from the market. And add financing costs to our petrol price.
  • Taxes ad infinitum - The government imposes horrendous amount of taxes in the form of levies, duties, VAT, income tax, etc. Then there are property taxes, license fees, payroll taxes, etc. A retail outlet in the CBD with a 10% margin can't even break-even. And this is before rent is due!
  • Insecurity/theft - Theft by employees is pretty common in Kenya. And I do not mean office supplies. I have so many personal examples. My Dad (an engineer/entrepreneur) used to scour Industrial Area factories for jobs - rewind/resuscitate old (burnt) motors. Reduced imports. Saved Kenya forex. Helped the environment. Provided Kenyans jobs. While he was juggling sales, accounting, etc... the employees were busy stealing & selling NEW copper wire (used to rewind motors) as scrap metal. He soon found out about the theft since income didn't match expenses. The copper wire was bought on credit. He paid the suppliers out of his pocket. Heart-broken. Fired ALL the employees. Shut the business down.
  • Uncertainty - Uncertainty is very costly. The KShs careens all over the place because of Kenya's fragility. These ups & downs creates problems. Look at the volatility of the Kenya Shilling. Or how volatile oil prices caused KQ's KShs 7.5 billion loss on hedges. Or the 'fear' of violence in almost every election. Fear had gripped the country in 2002. and when Kenyans relaxed in 2007, it blew up in their faces.
  • The 'politically-connected businessmen' - How does a legit business compete against these tax evaders who the KRA never touches? Goods come in from Somalia untaxed but nary a raid on Eastleigh or Mandera?
No wonder the markups in Kenya are so high... what else do you expect?

Therefore, even if I feel I am being over-charges vis-a-vis Amazon's prices... my hats off to the businesspeople/entrepreneurs in Kenya!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Idiocy is the new fashion in Kenya

The National Environmental Management Agency in Kenya is supposed to safeguard Kenya's environment.

Yet, the agency plans to build their HQ on land in the Karura Forest - a fast disappearing forest within the greater Nairobi area.

Blogging vs Tweeting

Do you wonder why coldtusker is not blogging as much?

Check out my Twitter page for answers.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kenya - is there any good news?

KenGen & KPLC - They are raising their rates since Kenya has a shortfall of Hydropower. And the politicians bicker & dither over the water catchment areas. Even worse? We are setting ourselves up for a massive famine.

Nairobi City Council - Stupid by-laws.
Welfare Programs (Cash handouts) - Does anyone beside me see the potential for abuse? And where is the GoK going to get funds for this?

Subsidies - Overall, these drain the coffers while imposing a burden on the greater society. Fertilizer subsidies matter little if there is NO water.

Water Shortages - No action on water catchment areas. Forest being decimated. And prime forest land continues being 'allocated' to & by politicians.

Crime - Nairobbery deserves its name. No more "Green City in the Sun". Even the Prime Minister's office was broken into. So much for security! This article is a must read. Even Mombasa is being hit by the crime wave. I used to walk around Old Town at 1am... no fear... not the same anymore...

Guns & murders are commonplace...

Untreated sewage dumped into the ocean - Yuck and double yuck. Kenya's 'favorite' ocean town discharges all its RAW sewage into the sea. I am sure this will do wonders for tourism.

Post-election Murderers running free - Yep, running all over. Free as birds. And stealing whatever they can lay their hands on.

No wonder Prez Obama stayed away from Kenya...

Is there anything to redeem Kenya?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Olympia Capital Holdings Ltd - Cautionary Statement



Olympia Capital Holdings Limited (OCHL) owns 51% of Olympia Capital Corporation Limited (OCC), a company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. In December 2006, OCC purchased 74% of Plush Products (pty) Limited (Plush).

For the fnancial periods ended December 2006, February 2008 and February 2009, Plush did not contributed positively to the bottom line of the group. From September 2008, following the slipping of the South African economy into a recession, we saw a signifcant drop in our sales that made the company go into a loss making situation.

We believe in the products and the market, but not the model to market that we have used to date. A decision has been made to close the company, sell the assets to meet our obligations and consider re-entering the market with a leaner model.

The closure of Plush will not have any negative effect on the operational group proftability, however we will only tell with time the effect that the loss of the actual investment will have on our group balance sheet.

Michael Matu

Chief Executive

23rd June 2009

Many folks have been asking about Olympia Capital Holdings (Kenya). The shares' trading was suspended on Monday at 11am but resumed trading on Tuesday after the statement was released. We will have to wait for the FY 2008-9 results expected by 30 June 2009.

The conventional wisdom in financial markets is that the longer the delay in announcing results, the worse they are.

[KQ released their 2008-9 results 1 week later than usual. Well, there was a Kes 7.5bn charge to profits relating to hedging.]

It is highly likely that OCHL will have to write off the ENTIRE equity injection into Plush-Yokota. And there is a chance that the profitable units might suffer as well from the cash drain or 'connection'. Nevertheless, OCHL's acquisition of Plush has set Olympia back many years.

That said, Plush has NEVER contributed to the bottomline for OCC (Botswana). So this action will stop the cash outflows for now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Corruption at KPC continues!

KPC's scams continue... The idiots (or thieves or both) at the Ministry of Energy wanted to blame spiraling fuel prices on everyone else BUT the crooks at KPC.

Kenyans pay (IMHO) at least an extra 8/- per litre of fuel thanks to corruption & inefficiencies in the government, Ministry of Energy, Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Refineries, Kenya Ports Authority...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Likoni ferries stall - DANGEROUS but Deja Vu

This is an earlier post on the danger of not using the old ferries.

And in a repeat of what happened earlier... two ferries stalled at the Likoni channel... Again and again and again...

Aga Khan Firms - Invest for the future

I am a huge fan of all the listed Aga Khan firms (run/controlled by AKFED). They are a great investment at current 'depressed' prices.

Diamond Trust Bank - Among Kenya's best mid-tier banks. Regional growth is boosting its profile.

Jubilee Insurance - Among the largest of East Africa's insurance firms. It also owns a part of Africa Re.

Nation Media Group - The largest media group in East Africa. Future growth prospects in other parts of Africa.

TPSEA (Serena) - As the other AKFED's African hotel subsidiaries/associates merge into TPSEA, it will become one of Africa's premier hotel groups.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kenya's winners after the tough times

Just a quick overview

Equity Bank - Acquisitions + Organic growth will propel it to the #2 Kenyan bank by 2012. Plenty of cash for NBK and/or HFCK acquisitions.

KCB Bank - Organic regional growth but need to raise cash in 2010. Huge bet on housing in E. Africa will propel lending.

EABL - The classic tortoise expansion strategy into regional markets. Dominates Kenya but strong challenger (SABMiller) elsewhere but Tanzania is no-go for EABL. Ethiopia is the Holy Grail for EABL.
Cash is a-plenty plus Diageo is always there if needed.

KQ - Huge hedging 'paper' loss in 2008-9 which will translate 'cash' loss of cash by Dec 2010 but KQ generates plenty cash from operations. Cash-flow + cash hoard ($100 million)allows for route & fleet expansion. Dominates many African markets but Ethiopian Airlines is tough African rival. Other competitors expanding but Africa is littered with dead airlines.

KenolKobil - Expansion is afoot & the cash is available. Borrowings mostly short-term to finance inventory. Kenya is the largest & toughest market but KK hints acquisitions in Central & Southern Africa. Smart, lean, responsive & voracious management.

AccessKenya - Huge capex in laying cable in Nairobi. Other metros will follow. Push for SoHo customers. Remains a juicy acquisition target. I expect Access to enter Tanzania & Uganda after SEACOM goes live in 4Q 2009.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fertiliser Scams - Follow the blogger

Well... it turns out that weeks after my warning... The Standard has finally figured out that scams are a-happening...

And that too in the editorial...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Subsidised Fertiliser Scams - I told you

As predicted by yours truly...

Fertiliser Scams Coming Soon

Subsidies do NOT work in Kenya... they are just a way for the politically-connected to scam taxpayers....

Anglo-Leasing & amos wako

I believe that many of the senior politicians in the kibaki & moi governments benefitted from anglo-fleecing contracts.

Let us start with amos wako who approved these contracts. And now refuses to follow up on the cases filed against the anglo-fleecing folks. Why? Coz (IMHO) he is a beneficiary.

Then kibz... who refused to stop the scam... kibz refusal to halt anglo-fleecing scam in its tracks is the primary cause of his unpopularity today. 

Had kibz (did he benefit from anglo-fleecing?) kept his deal about zero tolerance to corruption, he would have beaten raila fair & square during the 2007 polls...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Somali pirates killed - Good riddance!

As I thought... the Americans would launch a Special Ops to rescue the American captain captured by the somali pirates...

Well... the GOOD NEWS... the SOFs (Special Ops Forces) killed 3 somali pirates & captured 1 (why not kill him as well?) AND rescued Captain Richard Phillips.

Good riddance!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kill the Somali Pirates

The French mounted a rescue attempt on the "The Tanit" but lost a French hostage. The French in good form killed two pirates. The Indian Navy also destroyed a somali pirate boat killing a few somali pirates.

The rest of the world needs to get in line. The Germans capture pirates. What a waste of time. The USA has not mounted any attacks on the somalis. The Germans are constrained by some silly notion of not being the aggressor. The USA is haunted by the "Blackhawk Down" incident as well as Obama's obsession/need to improve relations with the muslim world. Obama was filmed bowing down to the saudi king!

My opinion?

Well, Kenya is affected in many ways by somali piracy. We lose tourists (cruise ships), higher import costs for oil, etc. These pirates also provide bases for al-qaeda as well as drug smuggling into Kenya.

I think the Amercians, Brits, Indians, Chinese, etc should BOMB the somalis back to the ice age. A co-ordinated attack on all major ports/bases should cripple the somali pirates. A second attack should be on any somali boat or mothership.

Yes, yes, yes... some civilians will be hurt but let's face it... these civilians are the support staff for the pirates. I would rather have a safer Kenya then worry about some dead somalis.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama bows before king abdullah

Obama bows down before king abdullah of saudi arabia...

Ouch! This is going to hurt Obama's reputation as the leader of the free world when you consider that saudi arabians are well not 'free'.

So what do you think?,w-obama-saudi-king-bow040809.article,CST-EDT-hunt10.article

Possible Explanations:
  • “I wasn’t bowing . . . I was ducking in case someone threw a shoe.”
  • "Oops, I dropped my contact lens."
  • "Keep buying our T-Bills or my goose is cooked!"
What a nightmare for the protocol officers esp if a king/chief of some rinky-dink kingdom expects the same treatment/reverence!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Safaricom enters the Gambling business

SafCon in its own sneaky fashion introduced the "Lipua Mamilioni" compaign which claims you can win Kes 1 million a day.

In very small print... to enter... you send an sms that costs 3.50 to SafCon. 1 sms per entry.

So shouldn't this 'promotion' be labelled as gambling?
Where is the CCK?
Where is the Betting & Gambling Licensing Board?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kenol Share Price Shenanigans


On 6 April 2009, there was a block trade of 1.4 million Kenol shares done 'across the books' by Dyer & Blair at 30/- on the prompt board. I believe the seller got a raw deal. This was an outlier trade yet it was used to calculate the Volume Weighted Average Price which was 30/- at the end of trading.

The prior closing price was 45/-. And the results for the year ended 31 Dec 2008 were decent (EPS of 6.66) & included a dividend of Kes 3.50. On the normal board there were bids at 49/- with few sellers.

On 7 April 2009, there is demand for 392,000 shares at 33/- (10% above the VWAP of 6 April 2009) but no sellers.

The problem is that liquidity in this counter has been 'killed'. Sellers (unless desperate) will not sell at prices below 45 (IMHO). The rules on the NSE only allow for a price increase if there is a trade. So until someone sells shares at the lower price thus short-changing themselves... the price will remain at below the market-price until the shares go ex-dividend.


- NSE needs to exclude 'outlier' trades when calculating VWAP. Or at least the opening trading prices.
- In the event of slow/dead trading due to bid/offer mis-matches, allow for an auction that brings the price to a level that allows for normal trading.

In Kenol's case, I am sure there are buyers willing to pay higher prices (than the bid of 33/- allowed) but they are stuck at 33/-. There were buyers willing to pay 49.25 on Monday (6 Apr 2009) after the results were disseminated.

My Opinion - I may be wrong: I think the buyer may have been D&B or an affiliate. The CDSC takes 2 days or so to credit the account of the Buyer. The Buyer will then push up the price to the 'realistic' level & then start selling the shares... Sigh... to be a broker in the know...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Price-fixing & manipulation at the NSE - Idiots

What idiocy by the NSE.

The NSE wants the stockbroker licenses valued at a minimum of Kes 251mn. This is silly at best & perhaps criminal.

The NSE (or any stock exchange) is founded on the basis of PRICE DISCOVERY. Willing buyer, willing seller. So doesn't this go against their own credo... So why not just 'fix' prices on the stock exchange as well? After all... who cares about the 'willing buyer, willing seller' concept?

The Kes 251mn is based on what Renaissance paid for the 'clean' thuo license. Well... this was in 2007, when NSE was booming. Not in 2009 when brokers are collapsing. Nyaga & Discount collapsed in 2008 & 2009. Bob Mathews survived coz of Co-op Bank.

(If I had Kes 251mn, I would rather put it in the Infrastructure Bond at 13.5% Nett (Kes 30mn or so). No management hassles, no fraud, no employees, no need for capex, no working capital.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

JKIA reminds you of _________?

BusinessWeek has an interesting article how (major) airports reflect the country at large.

So what does JKIA remind you of?

I think JKIA is a little like River Road... bustling but seedy. Folks sleeping on the sidewalks. Dirty. Multiple dukas on either side of the 'walkway/road'. Il-mannered staff. Unattended desks. Matatu stand.

Friday, April 03, 2009

muhoho-ho-ho (corrupt? inept? Or both?)back at KAA

Well, I guess it helps to be uhuru kenyatta's (Finance Minister & Deputy PM) uncle as well as a buddy who speaks the same language as kibz (Kenya's prez).

Yes, the reviled, corrupt & inept george muhoho is back at KAA in spite of all the accusations of incompetence. It seems he might have firm instructions to wrap up - and collect the cash on - all the funny deals within the next 12 months. Before others get wise to the 'deals' especially the long-dated land leases. Yep, sell out Kenya. Quicker the better. After all 2012 is not that far away!!!

muhoho & friends forget - or do not care - that JKIA could be the real hub of Africa. That Nairobi could be a thriving 'shopping' destination for transit passengers. That this can create thousands of well-paying jobs for Kenyans. Diversify our economy. Enrich all Kenyans.

No... All that is NOT relevant because quick cash for 'personal' use can be made by entering into opaque deals with 'unknown' or connected firms. Allocate land to unknown foreign airlines (OneJetOne) & developers (the so-called Qatari based Afro-Asian Investment Company) while starving locally-grown Kenyan airlines of growth opportunities.

Anyone out there who thinks all is above board here?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I&M Bank has a very profitable 2008 - but 2009?

This is for MainaT (

For those who wonder about I&M Bank & the NSE... well, it turns out that City Trust Ltd (AIMS on the NSE) owns 8.93% of I&M Bank. Talk of a diamond in the rough.

Anyway, a lot of this has been filched (erm, borrowed) from the I&M Bank Press Release on 31st March 2009.

On a personal note... I think the bank is a great bank for those who want real customer service. Not the cheapest (but reasonable vis-a-vis other Kenyan banks) bank but great staff who work with their customers. I doubt they will grow to be a 'big bank' but that does not seem to be their aim. Niche banking.

"Following the acquisition of 50% of Bank One Ltd., Mauritius, I&M Bank Consolidated Group Accounts have been published for the first time, reflecting group asset size of Kshs 42.8 billion which depicts a 46% increase in the Group’s assets.

The Bank has increased its customer advances portfolio by Kshs 6.67 billion reflecting a growth of 35% over the year. On customer deposits, the Bank’s portfolio has grown by Kshs 4.73 billion (20% growth).

Profit Before Taxes are at Kshs 1.62 billion, which surpasses its 2007 bottom-line performance by 25%.

Significantly contributing to this profitability is the efficiency ratio (operating expenses /total income) of the Bank which, at 44.4%, is impressive by international standards. The Bank won the ‘Most Efficient Bank’ award in the Banking Survey Awards 2008 for the second year running.

During the year 2008, I&M Bank successfully issued Kshs 600 million floating rate notes, thus bolstering the Tier II capital of the Bank. The Bank also received a Kshs 537 million long term foreign currency line of credit from PROPARCO, the French Development Financial Institution. PROPARCO is a shareholder of the Bank.

I&M Bank continued its strategy of technology driven product innovation with the introduction of two new Visa pre-paid card products and expansion of its ATM network. It increased its footprint in Kenya by opening two new branches in Nairobi’s Wilson Airport and Ongata Rongai. During the year, the Bank also upgraded its core banking software to the state-of-art Finacle system.

I&M Bank has also recently expanded its Board of Directors with the induction of three new eminent independent directors, Mr Evans Kidero, Mr. Mugo Kibati and Mr. M. Soundrarajan."


1) All 3 new directors are/were MDs/CEOs of publicly listed firms. Kidero - current MD of Mumias Sugar. Kibati - former CEO of EA Cables. Soundarajan - former MD of CFC Bank
2) So is I&M Bank thinking of a listing?
3) PROPARCO has given a huge loan to Mumias for the co-generation plant. Could Kidero be a representative of PROPARCO?
4) They took a huge NPL charge in 4Q 2008 (vs 3Q 2008 or 4Q 2007). Conservative or a ticking bomb?
(My understanding of NPLs is that the loans are downgraded i.e. not 'bad loans' but potentially bad. With time the loans can be restructured or recovered through sales of assets/collateral).
5) Dividend payout of 398mn (36% - payout ratio). Wow, quite an increase on FY 2007's dividend but doesn't make sense coz they raised Kes 600mn about 5 months ago in a Rights Issue. Why go through all the hassle of raising Kes 600mn then pay out 400mn a few months later?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Headlines We Would Love To See - April Fool's Day

***I am cleaning up the post but enjoy... .

kibaki shows leadership mettle

Capital Markets Authority to put in effective measures to combat fraud on the NSE

Artur Brothers Consulting appointed to train JKIA's security personnel. (jke is a mean, mean man)

NSE Stockbrokers swear they will NEVER scam investors of their hard-earned money

prof ndungu (CBK) claims Kenya's economy is solid as a rock - (Not) April Fool's Day coz he actually means it!
bonny khalwale vows not to act for the cameras while in parliament

ka-loser (kalonzo) admits he is not God's gift to Kenya

kibaki fires corrupt & inept ministers  

mutua tells the truth

Kenya Police Force Will PROTECT innocent people

lucy accepts wambui as part of the family - (well... when Hell freezes over)

. Attorney General (wako) will prosecute a corruption case CONCLUSIVELY

lucy accepts wambui as part of the family

Kenya's parliament bans tribal/racial politics - April Fool's Day21 minutes ago from web 


Kenya to have zero deaths in the 2012 elections - April Fool's Day (yeah, I am a pessimist)

. Kenyatta University students take a vow they will NOT stone innocent motorists

Kenyatta University students take a vow they will stone innocent motorists - (Not) April Fool's Day


Conclusive Land Reform in place in Kenya

kenyatta family to return land jomo 'inadvertently' stole

MPs agree to take salary cut in sympathy with Kenyans' suffering

george muhoho signs up as a kamikaze pilot 

. moi admits his presidency was a failure

. Kenya Pipeline Company guarantees there will be no more fuel shortages

Kenya's cabinet to commit hara-kiri (Oh, please say this is so... but April Fool's Day)

lucy kibaki to take vow of silence

kibaki shows leadership by paying taxes

murungi to resign over oil scandal

Coldtusker to stop being a thorn in KAA's + KPC's + GoK's side (Well... Definitely an April Fool's Day joke)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raila - The New Government Spokesperson

alfie 'goebbels' mutua used to be the purveyor of idiotic statements. Of course, his derision the then "mere junior senator from Illinois" aka Barack Obama... the now "President of the USA".

Anyway, raila has started defending every scam in town. Or so it seems. Why is he being the whipping boy?

KAA + OneJetOne + muhoho + Afro-Asian Investments (some fake Qatari firm): I have no faith in georgie muhoho whose only claim to fame is his familial connections with uhuru kenyatta. Of course, KQ is upset at the KAA giving away Embakasi airport while KQ has no space to park its planes!

KPC + Triton: I am not sure but a good source told me that raila implied that no money was lost to Triton. And there seems to be pressure on KCB to give KPC-Triton a pass... And then there is this article making the rounds.

Mau Forest: What happened? RAO has backed off calls for kicking the squatters out. Kenya needs to rain & water that the Mau complex provides.

"Lesser Corruption" defence: What is RAO smoking? Grand corruption is alive & kicking... and all he could say was that the current corruption is 'less' than prior years? Whereas I can forgive him for 'forgiving' small time corruption but NOT the mega-scams in the billions e.g. KPC-Triton...

alfie 'goebbels' mutua must be smirking at RAO's gaffes!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kenya's Public University Students - Idiots?

I have never understood the need for violence & destruction. I never damaged university property (well... not knowingly) even when I felt the administration was wrong. And in dan 'illiterate' moi's heydays, the administration was often wrong...

How does burning university buildings - and looting computers - help the kenyatta (or any other) university students? They only hurt themselves & not the administration or lecturers...

When raila allowed University of Nairobi students to 'protest' in the streets... they messed up by destroying the goods & premises of various businesses...

And university 'graduates' wonder why many businessfolk refuse to hire the Univ grads... Coz the 'grads' are plain Idiots!

(I am all for PEACEFUL demonstrations or those that do not destroy what is 'mine')

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kenyan Restaurants are (sometimes) their worst enemies

Kenya is hurting. Kenyan consumers are hurting. Kenyan exporters are hurting. Kenyan businesses are hurting.

I do not understand Kenyan businesses... they refuse to cater to the consumer.

Whereas inflation (higher wages, higher fuel costs, higher taxes) is a problem for businesses, Kenyan consumers' discretionary spending power is down - substantially - but the businesses keep on raising prices... and that will continue reducing consumption OR drives consumers to substitutes.

I have been a regular at various mid-priced restaurants & food courts around Nairobi... and everything I usually order was up in price since late 2008.

Fresh Juices: From 120 to 150 (25%) - I substitute juices for sodas but...
Sugarcane Juice: 60 to 70 (17%)
Chips: 120 to 150 (25%) - since I am cutting down on greasy foods this doesn't hurt me much
Bhajias: 120 to 150 (25%) - since I am cutting down on greasy foods this doesn't hurt me much
Sodas: 40 to 50 (25%) - On the way out for me
Ice-cream: 90 to 110 (22%)
Beer: 100/120 to 120/150 (20-25%) - At this rate I will be a teetotaler
Smallish samosas: 6 for 100/- (a plate) to 3 for 100/- (50%)

Perhaps... it is time for Kenyans (Nairobians) to stop frequenting these restaurants!

I would rather meet up with friends at an outdoor spot OR at someone's house (with a nice garden), buy beer & sodas from Nakumatt (or have a keg delivered), cook/bbq at home!!! Buy juices in bulk or packs from a supermarket. Even hire a cook or self-cook and since cleaning up is a chore... so hire a maid/servant for a day or evening... and the overall cost is 50% of the restaurant bill. If not less.

I know a group/chama that has built a banda at one of the member's 'backyard' and they meet every so often. They share the cost (& can each invite one other family) by 'charging' an annual fee as well as costs per get-together. Granted the banda is free but it is not fancy... a few chairs, tables & sofas... they even hire extra security on the day. And the cooking is self-cooking though they hire a few folks to clean, cut & dice the 'raw' food...

They have all the fun at 1/2 the cost...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coldtusker = MP = 2012

MPs want to be paid Kes 1,500,000 a month. That is 18,000,000/- per year!!!

And they do jackshit. Some of the constituencies have a GDP less than Kes 100,000,000/-...

Bastards... but not if I get elected as an MP in 2012... and make Kes 1,500,000/- per month...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

KQ protests allocation of Embakasi airport

KQ protests the corruption & ineptness of KAA (& muhoho-ho-ho) in the matter of the allocation of the Embakasi airport to OnejetOne.

I highlighted the corruption & ineptness of the KAA earlier.

Naikuni of KQ told NTV that the 'expansion' at the airport is 4 years behind schedule. KQ's aircraft are parked all over since JKIA's parking aprons are not ready for use.

Poor KQ. They have been trying to get KAA to expand JKIA since 2002 when they expected a huge jump in passenger numbers!

According to NTV, KQ spends almost KShs 100,000,000 a month at the Panari Hotel - the only hotel that by-passes the traffic prone Uhuru Highway - to accommodate passengers whose flights have been cancelled or delayed.

BTW... I have a gut feeling that muhoho-ho-ho (& family/cronies) either took a cash bribe or an ownership/profit stake from the developers of the hotel-retail complex being developed at JKIA.

Sameer Africa goofs!

I was flipping thru the 2008 Annual Report for Sameer Africa...

The notice on pg 6 says the AGM will be held on Friday 3rd April 2009 at 11am.

The proxy form says the AGM will be held on 2nd April 2009 at 11am.

They produce one Annual Report a year... they have one AGM... can't they get the date right?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Investing in Property in Kenya is foolish

Another reason why I do NOT believe investing in property in Kenya. I also blogged on why I don't invest in property in Kenya... Here is the link to that.

AFTER planning approvals, AFTER construction permits, AFTER construction, AFTER occupancy permits, AFTER... AFTER... the government wakes up and condemns the Westgate and Ukay malls.

I do not have the full details on the matter... nor who is right or wrong...

The concept of property rights simply does not exist in Kenya.


- Land-grabbing by the political elite (jomo 'crooked wa ngengi' kenyatta & cronies) in the 60s & 70s.
- Land purchased from the 'White Farmers' redistributed to the politically connected. Real landless lose to the already landed in the 60s.
- Expropriation of property & businesses of Kenyan-Asians in the 1960s & 1970s.
- Forcible removal/eviction of 'up-country' folk during the Likoni clashes in the 1990s.
- dan moi would sign away government land as a reward for his cronies.
- Forcible removal (through violence) of Kikuyus from many sections of the Rift Valley in 2008. 
Fake Title Deeds and 'missing' files at the Lands Office.
- Adverts in the newspaper on a regular basis about caveats on land for sale (or not for sale).
- Signboards all over Nairobi proclaiming "This Land Is Not For Sale".

I believe in investing in Africa (incl Kenya) but not in land or property. For residents/citizens,I recommend at most a modest (or affordable within their portfolio) house but not much more than that!

Now... I am thinking how much exposure Kenyan banks have to 'condemned' land or buildings. I am worried...

Of course, while pretending to care about the environment... the government is on a tear condemning fragile eco-systems like the Tana Delta & Masai Mara.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taxes to go up - Kenya

Whereas uhuru kenyatta claims that the government will not increase local or foreign debt to bridge the deficit. Also he claims no increase in taxes.

Yeah, right.

Taxes were raised on alcoholic drinks in late 2008. Add extra fees that the municipalities keep on dreaming up. Add interest payments on the sale of government bills & bonds...

And all this adds up as a tax. Indirect but a tax!

How can uhuru keep a straight face when MPs & ministers pay (almost) zero taxes on their income?

uhuru defended the grand coalition government as something 'we' chose. Who is we? I am NOT included in that 'we'. A bunch of thieving & greedy bastards chose to create 42 member cabinet is NOT 'we'.

And GoK ministers get at least 2 high-end gas guzzler (including uhuru) as well as 'chase cars'. And they drive at high speeds which is fuel inefficient!!!

I wonder what the Finance Minister of India ( 1.1bn people & MUCH larger economy) get as his official car... I betcha it is not even close to uhuru's gas-guzzling cars!

Singapore's prez has a 2001 Lexus LS430 & 1999 Mercedes Benz s320L. Dare I even compare Singapore's Per Capita Income with Kenya's?

And the PM of Singapore usually travels in a MB S280. No gas-guzzling Hummer!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

African Banks - Internationalisation?

African banks are rather small (assets or capitalisation) compared to their international peers. 

The only countries with banks of 'decent' size are either S.African (S.Africa proper), N.African (Egypt, Morocco) or W.African (Ecobank & Nigerian banks).

But as we have seen... size does not matter. After all Bank of America & Citibank are among the largest banks in the USA. And we have Lloyds & HBOS in the UK. All are in trouble.

I expect the large 'international' US banks e.g. Citigroup & BofA will shrink or sell their foreign operations over the next few years to raise cash to pay off debts.

West European 'international' banks are also feeling the hurt including Barclays & UBS.  Many French, German & Swiss banks are also hurting.

HSBC & Standard Chartered may survive the current problems but in my view they are really Asian (Chinese & Hong Kong) banks.

Now... I think that most African banks will weather the storm. And grow from strength to strength.
Whereas all do not (& cannot) have ambitions to become '' international" banks... I think a few will do so over the next 5 years. And become much stronger. Standard Bank of S. Africa (Stanbic) is moving into other markets by buying out small to mid-sized banks.

I remain a sceptic of Nigerian banks. They have tried to expand but I do NOT trust their balance sheets.

A major factor that will push internationalization of African banks is the return of diasporans with the relevant expertise.

All said and done... I do hope that African banks can reach all parts of Africa. And provide a product to all Africans - whatever their socio-economic status.

Mobile Payment Systems & Mobile Funds Transfer systems have already penetrated huge swathes of the cash transfer market.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Kenya Airports Authority - Another Scam! - Again!

It seems the nincompoops (or merely the corrupt) at KAA are at it again.

KAA's CEO is a george muhoho-ho-ho (whose nephew, uhuru kenyatta,  is Kenya's Finance Minister & a Deputy Prime Minister) who has extensive political connections. Of course, GM got the job not on merit but thanks to his golfing buddy mwai kibaki (Kenya's current president).

For those unfamilar with uhuru's background... His father was Kenya's first president & an internationally infamous land-grabber. jomo kenyatta (real name kamau aka 'crooked' wa ngengi) never saw a piece of land he didn't like. For free or at a huge discount to market value!

Anyway, so GM heads KAA which runs jomo kenyatta int'l airport (crooked loved naming public projects after himself) in Nairobi. JKIA was built in the 1970s & has seen little improvement since. It is a small, stuffy, congested & lousy airport for a city the size/status of Nairobi.

It is amazing that Kenya Airways has managed to grow despite JKIA being its hub. I find using JKIA to be torture.

So... it seems that a 'politically connected' airline (OneJetOne) will be allocated the old Embakasi Airport in exchange for (fill in the blank). 
As an FYI, OneJetOne's parent (AirSouthAsia) does not have permission to fly out of it's home base in Sri Lanka.

Whereas JKIA faces immense challenges especially as regards congestion, there have been half-hearted attempts to increase the size of the airport. Nothing major has been done so far. A prior plan was rife with problems & rejected by the airlines. It seems that some officials in KAA had more than a passing fiduciary interest.

It seems OneJetOne was given preferential treatment in this deal. Instead of advertising to all & sundry about the possibilities of using the old airport, there was a hush-hush element to the newspaper advert & subsequent lease deal.

Using the past as history, I would not be surprised to learn that georgie muhohohoho & cronies were getting a slice of the action!

And to make matters even worse, one of the directors of OneJetOne is a former PS (gerrishon ikiara) in charge of airlines & airports. And by dint of his government position, he was on Kenya Airways' board of directors & privy to KQ's future plans!

And on a smaller scale, there is the endemic corruption regarding parking at JKIA.  KAA does not properly maintain parking markings at JKIA which means police officers wait to pounce on innocent motorists!

The Short-Term Parking at JKIA is inadequate & Long-Term Parking is woefully inadequate. The LTP is dark & deserted... you could be killed & no-one would find your body for day!

Friday, March 06, 2009

KQ - An Update

I spoke too soon...

My blogpost on 24 Feb 2009

KQ's share price has tumbled further since I posted the above. At 12.38 pm on 6 Mar 2009 KQ is trading at Kes 17.25 (though the trading is very thin)...

Did I miss anything on my blog post that accounts for the additional decline?

At this point I think KQ should close up shop... to protect the shareholders!

- Sell the planes while there is a market. Emirates & Ethiopian are still buying planes. Perhaps they would be interested in immediate delivery of the newer planes?

- Cancel or transfer leases of the leased planes.

- Sell the older planes to myriad African 'matatu' airlines.

- Sell the routes (if there is value to be gained) &/or landing slots to Emirates, BA, Virgin, KLM or Air Uganda.

- Cancel (or sell/transfer) all plane orders to get back the cash from down-payments/deposits.

- Use the above proceeds to pay off all debtors.

- Close offices & but sell the 'marketing machine' to another airline.

- Take the remaining cash & distribute to shareholders.

I think the above will yield enough cash to pay each shareholder more than 45/- which is far better than the current price realisation!

OR just sell the entire airline to Emirates or Qatar or AF-KLM who will get the enviable & profitable routes as well trained staff & ready to fly planes in one fell swoop at a far lower cost than a de novo set-up.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kenya Pipeline Company - Bankrupt?

KPC has (or will) have lawsuits amounting to a minimum of Kes 7,000,000,000 filed against them in the next 3 months and all related to the triton case. And this does not include Kenol-Kobil's Kes 3,000,000,000 claim against KPC. Indications are that Kenol (very smart folks) will probably win at least Kes 1,000,000,000 against KPC as KPC's inefficiencies & goofs are revealed in the first group of cases.

All said and done, the Government of Kenya will have to either bail out KPC by:
  • Providing payment guarantees to the banks & other financiers (taxpayers' cost if funds not recovered from Triton/Devani/Cronies).
  • Special bonds to KCB (& other firms) similar to bonds given to NBK.
  • Sale of KPC & proceeds used to pay-off the financiers.
  • Sale of shares in KPC to the Libyans or Chinese or Iranians.


Mine is simple & elegant (IMHO) based Information as I understand it.

1) Negotiate an out-of-court settlement as to who owes who what. KPC - under the Collateral Management Agreement - is liable to the financiers & Oil Marketers to store, safeguard & deliver the fuel products. A negotiated settlement is cheaper & faster than a protracted court case. It is also less distracting for KCB & KPC so they can concentrate on the business not lawsuits. This settlement shows good faith to foreign financiers as to the will to sort out the problem.

IMMEDIATE ACTION: Sack all 'decision-makers' at KPC & Ministry of Energy (yes, including kiraitu murungi). Then arrest them, assemble evidence & take them to court. (This is under the ideal situation but corruption runs rife in the Kenyan government & unlikely to happen).

IMMEDIATE ACTION: KCB (& GoK) should go after yagnesh devani & his cohorts. All of triton's (& devani's) assets in Kenya should be sold asap (TRANSPARENTLY) to recover as much as possible. Of course, if GoK pays KCB as shown above then the stations/properties belong to GoK.

2a) KPC should be fairly valued without the Triton liabilities.

2b) KCB's Kes 2bn loan should be converted into a long-term loan to KPC secured by KPC's assets.

2c) KCB should undertake to pay off the other financiers but get KPC shares in exchange for the undertaking. A Repurchase Agreement (repo agreement) would allow GoK to buy the shares back. This would be an asset (unlisted shares) for KCB. GoK may remain a shareholder depending on the extent of the assets/liabilities & intrinsic value of KPC.

2d) CBK might be involved since the above actions will require a few 'exception' for KCB considering asset ownership & lending to a single entity. These are trying times & require out of the box solutions.

2e) KCB can either pay off the other financiers - of course, this would be negotiated - or negotiate the payables as a 'loan from other finance institutions'. It is a liability for KCB but 'safer' for the financiers.

2f) KCB & the other financers would drop the lawsuits against KPC.

3) KCB should be allowed to package & sell the income+assets from KPC to other banks or investors but under the repo agreement. Essentially, it is a syndicated loan.

4a) KCB would hire competent managers to run KPC as a private firm.

4b) In the meantime, GoK (in conjunction with KCB) should 'prep' KPC for eventual privatisation. This means clean out the rot. Fire inefficient or unqualified staff. Enact better policies, regulations & laws. Complete the expansion plans. Complete the pipeline capacity enhancement.

5) Once KPC is stabilised, GoK should arrange for the sale of shares KCB 'owns' in KPC (at least 75%) to the Kenyan public through the NSE, to enable KCB recover its cash. After KCB has been repaid all its dues (under the repo agreement) by GoK, the balance of shares, if any, would revert to GoK.

6a) I think Kenol has a good case against KPC. Therefore, KPC/GoK should settle with Kenol to prevent any disruption in the oil market as well as provide confidence to foreign financiers.

6b) Sell triton's assets (TRANSPARENTLY) to pay off Kenol. Any outstanding balance owned to Kenol above & beyond that should be provided as 'tax credits' i.e. Kenol can use the tax credit to offset duties/taxes owed to GoK.

6c) Other firms that will accept tax credits include KCB, Total Oil & Shell Kenya. Of course, this all means lower (net) tax receipts for the GoK in the short-run but creates certainty to drive more business activity.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ColdTusker applies for the Greatest Job in the World

Job opening - the Greatest Job in Kenya

Would you like to lead the beautiful country of Kenya, where your followers will all be tribal voters, your friends are sycophants, your team an army of highly effective corrupt and evil criminals (all trained at the school of Mwalimu Moi). You will preside over the collapse of an economy and oversee a transformation of a once proud people to a state of beggars.

We are a bankrupt country looking for a suitable candidate to rule the nation of some 39 million poor Africans. The ideal candidate should have no scruples, no guilt complexes, and a willingness to break the law (he or she will never be investigated). The candidate should be willing to protect corruption, impunity, illegal forces, and police brutality, willing to turn a blind eye to extrajudicial killings, famine, disease and extreme poverty. He or she should have a crazy spouse whose antics can be used as a diversion or smokescreen when necessary. He or she will accept and protect all wrong doers. He or she may need to devise crafty fund raising schemes to liquidate state assets for purposes of buying elections or lining ones own and friends or relatives, pockets. He or she is required to befriend and work with wanted criminals. He or she must be deaf, blind and mute in order to effectively ignore the rapid decline in state. He can use police force to quell any dissent from the population. He is not expected to know the people, indeed the less he knows the better.

Presidency – the job of the president is to amass personal wealth and to protect criminal politicians, family and friends. This job will be starting January 2012.

Job description –ignoring state policies and regulations in order to protect corrupt and criminal politicians and amass wealth.

Performance standards: This is a challenging position and a successful president will be measured by his ability to rig successive elections. He will also exceed the crimes of the previous president past five years within his first term.

Minimum Qualifications – a previous criminal record, ability to steal with impunity, ability to creatively protect corrupt friends. Excellent acting skills especially feigning sickness and ignorance. A network of the worlds most wanted criminals. Colourful wives and friends an advantage. Only blind, deaf mute candidates need apply, alcoholics or other drug dependency preferred.

Special duties – attend state parties, cutting ribbons, drinking at golf competitions, extensive travel to Dubai, China and other shopping havens.

Work schedule and station– one hour per year, timing flexible.

Budget - none, the country is bankrupt

Remuneration – the president can take whatever he desires for himself, family and friends, including cash and properties which can be grabbed as required

Perks – astronomical allowances, access to any land or assets required, Great family benefits, contracts for children. You will never be investigated,

Accountability – none.

Contract terms renewable every 4 years (you can change this and declare presidency for life).

Your team

Prime Minister – Your closest asset. Responsible for for maintaining a state of fear, coordinating mass killings, rape and looting. In charge of overseeing a parallel corruption system, ensures protection of criminals, and undermining your government. Responsible for keeping quiet.

Vice president – protects your back and helps orchestrate the illegal acquisition of funds for your next election. The Vice president is responsible for maintaining silence on national scandals.

Cabinet Ministers – People you select for their contribution to your election kitty. Responsible for vomiting on the shoes of donors. These people will serve you faithfully in degazetting forests, stealing grain, stealing pensions etc etc.

Official Spokesperson – Responsible for ensuring you don’t have to appear in person to respond to any uncomfortable scandals like raids on media houses, missing grain, Armenian brothers, police brutality, extrajudicial killings, or arms to Sudan. Responsible for carrying your cross.

First Lady – Your court jester. Fashion oblivious, extreme temper, slap happy. Responsible for national entertainment and creating a diversion when journalists get too close to scandals.

Other wives, mistresses and sycophants – Your silent loyal army from the mountains that does most of your work. Responsible for setting fashion standards, organizing deals, being proxies on fishy contracts, representing you incognito, and are the real center of power in the country.

Members of parliament – a bunch of bickering elected folk who need to pay off their votes. Responsible for setting their own salaries and perks.

Apply now to Applications@ThegreatestjobinKenya.con

Full credit to

Kenya Airways - Oversold?

I was reviewing share prices vs reported book values & my own 'projections' of profits. So what follows are my own views/opinions.

I will discuss the prospects of various listed firms as businesses with a discussion of the share prices as well. As many of you know I am a huge Warren Buffet fan so I hope I do him justice.

Pick # 1 (BTW, WB does not believe in investing in airlines... I know, I know...)

Kenya Airways (KQ) - Price on 24-02-2009 is 20/-

KQ has faced a tough 3 years with the plane crash in May 2007 - this was at the peak for KQ - and then the hits started;
- elections in late 2007
- post-election violence in 2008
- record high oil/fuel prices
- global financial turmoil in late 2008 & continuing

So the question is whither KQ as a business?

Let's do a SWOT Analysis (I will update it as I get comments)

  1. KQ is among Africa's largest & strongest airlines. Dominant in E & C Africa.
  2. Strong Balance Sheet (Sep 30 2008) shows Kes 10bn in cash/liquid assets. Approx 20/- per share.
  3. National airline thus an advantage in getting airport slots in bilateral agreements.
  4. Privatized for over a decade. GoK owns 23%. KLM 26%. Better management vs government controlled firms.
  5. KQ can survive 2 years of losses while smaller airlines will collapse.
  6. Majority of the revenue is in US$, GBP & Euros.
  7. Aircraft have high fixed costs but deployment is flexible.
  1. Single hub (JKIA) thus exposure to local politics - see effect on KQ during Nov 08-Mar 09 election period.
  2. Inefficient hub (JKIA is controlled by the GoK) leading to inefficiencies.
  3. Reliance on government controlled entities for Jet A1 fuel. KQ faces problems sourcing fuel in various countries including Kenya, Ghana, DRC, Zambia, etc.
  4. Over-reliance on Europe for tourists. Credit crunch in Europe will hurt KQ.
  5. Inflexible (high fixed-cost) aircraft. Only 3 Embraers (E-190). The rest are Boeing jets.
  6. Higher cost airline with large(r), unionized & inflexible contingent of staff.

  1. Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has the lowest airline penetration.
  2. Ineffecient government owned/controlled carriers (e.g. Air Tanzania, Air Zimbabwe, SAA) benefits KQ.
  3. Increasing African trade with the Mid-East, Far East, China & India will increase passenger & cargo numbers.
  4. Huge potential in tourism from the increasingly wealthier Chinese, Indians & Middle Easterners.
  5. KQ has become the 'local' or 'regional' airline for many SSA countries e.g. Lusaka-Lilongwe, Lagos-Abidjan-Monrovia, Accra-Freetown, etc.
  6. Global Financial Crisis will enable 787 deliveries to be made sooner than expected.
  1. Ethiopian Airlines has a stronger pan-African presence & better global reach vs KQ. And it keeps growing.
  2. Airlines privatizing - or recently privatized - all over Africa including Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Air Malawi, etc.
  3. New & expanding Low-Cost Airlines (Jetlink, Fly540)
  4. Low purchasing power in SSA means air travel is a luxury for 99% of the population thus limited growth in the next 5 years.
  5. High & volatile oil (fuel) prices.
  6. Low barriers to entry. Anyone can buy a plane (see Fly540, Air Uganda). Both in Kenya & in SSA.

Financial Discussion

  • KQ has almost 20/- (per Sep 30 2008 balance sheet) in cash or near-cash. The 1H 2008-9 period was barely profitable BUT most other airlines made losses.
  • Oil prices were at their peak in 1H 2008-9 but they have dropped by 65% though KQ entered into unfavourable hedges which will continue into 2009. KQ will see benefits of lower prices in 2009-10.
  • KQ has been aggressively expanding in 2008. KQ will continue expanding into Africa & globally in 2009:
  1. Dhaka (Bangladesh)
  2. Kisangani (DRC)
  3. Libreville
  4. Blantyre (Malawi)
  5. Malabo (Equatorial Guinea)
The good news for KQ is that they can easily discontinue loss-making routes while open new routes rapidly provided they have agreements in place.

So the business is OK. Sustainable. And growing 50% over the next 3-5 years.

Earnings: KQ barely managed 1.59 for 1H 2008-9. I expect a better 2H thus at least 3.50 for FY 2008-9 which leads me to say BUY.

PE = 6x which is great. Cash flow will be lower as KQ spends to expand.
PB = 0.5 (Kes depreciation has boosted value of aircraft/assets but note an offset for US$ loans/liabilities)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Buy Kenyan, Build Kenya

Kenyans need to make good choices. Now. To save themselves.

Buy Kenyan

It is as simple as that.

Let me state from the outset. Kenyan manufacturers need to be price & quality competitive. This is not a choice for them. They need to give Kenyans value.

For those who cry 'protectionism', I am NOT advocating tariff barriers or quotas or subsidies. I do encourage additional (non-monetary i.e. subsidies) incentives for Kenyan firms like better roads/infrastructure, staff training, lower tax rates, etc.

Your local Nakumatt (or Tusky or Uchumi or grocer) stocks too many foreign goods esp foods. Kenya is an agricultural country. We need to become a major agro-processor as well.

Baked Beans (I like Baked Beans on Toast)

Kenylon (Kabazi Canners of Kenya) manufactures baked beans but it seems Heinz (imported from the UK via Dubai) seems to has a larger display. There are other local brands BUT the imported brands dominate.

So why does Kenya need to import baked beans?

If Nakumatt sells 100,000 cans of Heinz beans (89/-) per month, that would 'save' Kenya $1,200,000 (Kes 100,000,000) annually. 'Save' above means reduce the need for forex to fund imports. I am assuming retail margins of 10%

KShs 100 mn paid to Kabazi means a good portion goes to local farmers, factory workers, other local manufacturers & transporters. And this gets recycled into the local economy as these 'beneficiaries' buy other local goods.

Butter & Cheese

Why does Kenya import butter from New Zealand via Dubai?

KCC, Brookside, Daima, etc has great milk products. We export to the middle east, so why do we import these? We used to import milk products from China. Why?

Kenyan farmers will increase production IF we reduce imports thus boosting local demand.

Snacks/Chocolates/Prepared Foods

I am amazed that Kenya imports crisps, chocolates, biscuits, cereals, chevda (among other Indian snacks), etc

Kenyans produce great products so why the need to import???

Crisps - Krackles, Tropical Heat, etc
Chocolates - Cadburys, Out of Africa (though most ingredients are imported)
Biscuits - House of Manji (the best Digestives), Brittania
Cereals - Weetabix (local), Procter & Allan, etc
Indian snacks - Tropical Heat, Deeps, etc

Kenyan products in this category are generally cheaper than the imports yet we blow away forex & the creation of local jobs.

Why do Kenyans buy 'prepared foods' when we can hire or buy freshly prepared foods locally. As for convenience, there are local firms & SMEs in the market.

Juices/Squashes (fruit drink mixes)

Why don't Kenyans buy more locally produced juice or juice blends or even fruit drink mixes.

There are many local players in this market including:

Del Monte (locally grown pineapples)
Quencher (mainly fruit drink mixes)

And even when we import juices, why not just concentrates that can be re-constituted & packed in Kenya.

And why not drink FRESHLY SQUEEZED juices. Creates jobs for maids, hotel/restaurant workers, etc. Kenyan 'fruit juice' businesses need to lower prices for freshly squeezed juices. I miss the fresh fruit carts in Nairobi's CBD. I could get a juicy slice of pineapple for a mere 10/-.


I know Kenyan spirts leave little to the imagination but there is hope. Let's by more EABL, Keroche & London Distiller products.

There are few local wines (Mara is imported from S.Africa). Locally produced wines should attract lower taxes. There are other fruit wines that can be produced from locally grown fruits including:

- Passion fruits (I recall passiflora but too dry for my tastes)
- Oranges
- Mango (Has anyone tried?)
- Pineapples (I used to brew a weak version)
- Sugarcane (Rum)

I buy the local Kenya Gold (instead of the imported Baileys) & the local Smirnoff (vs imported vodkas).

And the above is a small sample of the imports. We could 'save' at least $100,000,000 in forex annually if we looked inwards. Add the jobs Kenya could create & the Global Financial Crisis would look less daunting.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Family firms out-perform 'public' firms

Very interesting article from the ECONOMIST.

Also brings to mind Chandaria Industries (Comcraft Group) of Kenya. The 3rd generation is at work. And it remains private.

NSSF (Kenya) vs Temasek (Singapore)

I admire Lee Kuan Yew (the former PM of Singapore) for the discipline he installed in Singapore.

As has been many times before, economically Kenya & Singapore were at 'similar' levels in 1963 except Kenya has much more 'potential'.

Singapore had LKY. Kenya had crooked wa ngengi (aka jomo 'land grabbing' kenyatta) & then dan 'uber-thief' moi.

Singapore has a Sovereign Wealth Fund called Temasek. Acknowledging deficiencies in managing the SWF, Singapore has hired heavy hitters who happen to be expats.

Kenya has NSSF. The same corrupt board is 're-hired' even after losing billions in scandals.


Fertilizer Imports have started - Scams come next

The Fertilizer scam to start soon as government imports trickle in...

kibaki said - I paraphrase - 'Do not look for others to blame for the scams'. Shouldn't he have said 'The buck stops with me'?

Anyway, as I predicted in my earlier blogpost, it is a matter of time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sameer Africa posts better results - Not really

Year End 31 Dec.

Sales down 13% yoy.
Gross Profit down 6% yoy.

Other Operating Profit up 197% yoy. Ahhh... no details on what this is. Sale of assets?

PAT up by 26% yoy BUT see "Other Operating Profit".

Sameer Africa was affected by the PEV in 2008 & the subsequent knock-on effect on sales later in the year. Anyway, that is history.

How will 2009 be?

IMHO, it will be much tougher. Why?

- Costs of production in Kenya remains high including interest costs, electricity & transport costs.
- The depreciation of the KShs vs US$ will hurt import input costs. Imported might be pricier if imported from non-US$ countries e.g. India
- Competition from multiple brands e.g. Pirelli, Michelin, Apollo, etc

Firestone used to be the first choice for Kenyans but I think there has been a major shift since it became Yana. Nakumatt sells 5+ brands & this shows a change in preferences. Yana tyres are NOT the cheapest in the market. Yana needs to sell the 'quality' of their brand to succeed.

2010 - The business park should be reaady but I do not trust naushad merali. I wonder how much SA will benefit from the business park vs merali. I think merali will suck the majority of the profits/gains from the business park.

Anyway, let's wait for the Annual Report.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coming soon to Kenya - The Grand Fertilizer Scam

I, Coldtusker, GUARANTEE that the decision by the government of Kenya to import, subsidise & distribute fertilizer will be beset by multiple scams involving one or more of the following:

A - The 'wrong' (type, grades, mixes, combinations) fertilizer will be imported/distributed to the areas.

B - Politically connected firms & individuals (e.g. jackson kibor & maize) will buy the subsidised fertilizer & sell it at higher prices.

C - In many cases the fertilizer will reach the farmers AFTER the planting season is over. Or reach them when it is not as effective/ideal.

D - Gov't will ultimately deliver fertilizer at prices higher than what private firms can. If not for subsidies, the price of government fertilizer will be higher than private firms!

E - In some cases, the fertilizer will be left to 'spoil' & will be disposed off as 'junk' or 'obsolete' or 'ineffective'.

PLEASE quote me if any if the above does not happen IF the government goes ahead with the foolhardy idea of importing & distributing fertilizer through the NCPB.

Tidbits - just for you!

Japan's Finance Minister resigns coz he appeared to be drunk at a conference. He claims it was a combination of jet lag & cold medicine.

Kenya's current FM, uhuru kenyatta, looks drunk. All the time. Just joking. I hope he does better than most of the jokers Kenya has had in the past especially the george 'goldenberg' saitoti.
We all know Kenya's former FM (guess who???) is a former drunk. Kudos to him on kicking the habit but not the lethargy.

Now for the serious part: Kenyan ministers NEVER resign for any sort of foible or corruption. Starting with paul ngei to william ruto. And so many in between!!!

African legislators are crooks. No matter where.

KPC in more trouble. Again!!! Kenol-Kobil plays tough with KPC.

BBK's group results PBT up 13% but PAT up 12.5% (EPS of 4.10), BBK is trading at a historic P/E of 10.

Rwanda - The New Hope of Africa Part 2

Unlike Kenya, Rwanda (under Paul Kagame) is taking a serious stand against corruption.

When I spoke to folks doing business in Rwanda, they say corruption tends to be low-level but structures are in place to deal with serious corruption.

Paul Kagame wants to make Rwanda the Singapore of Africa. Paul is a 'benevolent dictator' on a similar plane as Lee Kuan Yew & he is reportedly as clean as it gets.

Paul - unlike most African rulers (thieves) gave up his ancestral land since he did not need it!!!
In Kenya, jomo kenyatta & dan moi were unabashed kleptocrats!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kenya Airport Authority - Corrupt & Inept

The idiots at Kenya Airport Authority are it again!

The corrupt & inept (yep, both) could not 'control' the electricity outage situation at the Mombasa 'International' Airport.

Shouldn't MIA have an emergency electricity generator that powers basic functions so the airport can continue running albeit at a 'slower' pace?

What about a contingency plan to provide chairs, shade or water to passengers stuck at the airport?

I have railed against the corrupt & inept idiots running KAA & how they sabotage Kenya's tourism industry.

This a mere sample... there are dozens of horror stories of KAA's ineptness!
July 2007 - Landing lights out
Oct 2008 - No generators at the airport

I feel sorry for the passengers, tourists, KQ & other airlines operating in Kenya.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I want me a BarackBerry

It turns out that Obama does not use a BlackBerry but a BarackBerry...

The BlackBerry can't hold a candle to the Sectera Edge - not your father's Palm Treo - that BHO uses!

I wonder if one of the games on the Sectera is 'Nuke'em Iran?

Anyway, I want one... am I asking too much?

BTW, the Business Daily Africa claims BHO uses a BlackBerry but we know better!

Is South Africa really part of Sub-Saharan Africa?

Gautrain is a world-class train system being built in S.Africa. Amazing.

In the meantime, the Kenyan government is hosting a 'Kenya We Want' conference. What bullshit. A little common sense would be much cheaper!

My Solutions:

kibaki should fire ALL his corrupt & inept ministers (incl saitoti, kimunya, etc) & a huge chunk of our problems would be solved.

kibaki should reveal WHY the libyans (among other groups) are being favoured. And STOP the favouritism & nepotism.

Kenyans want to know if the libyans contributed funds towards kibaki's re-election campaign in exchange for sweetheart deals. No more sweetheart deals.

If the GoK privatised KPC among other government institutions, then we would not need silly conferences.

Raila should drop his opposition to PRIVATE investments. This is not the communist Soviet republic. We need COMPETITION.

All MPs & ministers should pay taxes on their entire salaries & perks! And their pay should be linked to performance!

Common sense is not so common. Or is the conference simply another way to siphon government funds & provide PR?

Monday, February 02, 2009

roocy kibaki blames saitoti for molo deaths

roocy kibaki blames george saitoti for the Molo deaths!

If this was not tragic, this is a dark comedy.

roocy's hubby, the Kenyan prez (if you believe sam 'cant count' kivuitu) has been in the government since 1963 as Finance Minister, VP or Prez. And Kenyans have been raped by the politicians since 1963.

Land-grabbing by kenyatta's regime. All sorts of other scandals during moi's regime. Anglo-fleecing, KPC-Triton & maize scams during his regime.

She says that MPs should use their humongous salaries to pay for starving constituents. Well, what about her horrendous large salary & office expenses for doing jackshit? And her hubby who gets paid more than MOST presidents or prime ministers in DEVELOPED countries!

How does she blame saitoti (I hold no torch that thief & incompetent either) for not providing 'civic' education?
Don't schools teach - or common sense - that petrol is FLAMMABLE & dangerous?

So is Saitoti on the way out?

News Break: One day after the Molo Fuel Fire, a railcar derailed near Naivasha with 100,000 litres of UNPROCESSED COOKING OIL. And the thieves were at it again. Oblivious of the danger. Using this oil as 'food' can kill due to impurities. All I can say is expect a few more sick people. Or a few more dead.

KQ announces profit warning

I screwed up - in my defense, I tried my darnedest to find the ACTUAL announcement but was stymied by lack of information from KQ or the NSE.

Anyway, DN posted this article that claimed KQ's profits made a HUGE jump. I was unable to confirm the real story until much later... and it turned out that the story was not as rosy! In fact, it was not rosy at all!

KQ's 3Q 2008-9 ASKs were up 7% but DN claimed it was their PBT that was up 7% over 3Q 2007-8.

I have voiced my intense displeasure at the poor business reporting by Kenya's media houses BUT unless companies provide this information directly to us through posting it on their websites, how will we ever know or compare or verify?

To my readers, sorry for the faux pas. To KQ (among other listed firms), please post this information on your websites simulatneouly with the release to the media or NSE.

Friday, January 30, 2009

KQ has very profitable 3Q 2008-9

KQ's 9-month 2008-9 PBT was +7% vs PY... BUT the real story is that...

KQ made 2x in 3Q (Kes 3.035bn PBT) compared to entire 1H (Kes 1.05 PBT)...
Due to the post-election violence, KQ's pax numbers were very low in 1Q (Apr-Jun 2008). The 2Q (May-Sep 2008) was merely catch-up but the after-effects still lingered.

Then came 3Q with (much) lower oil prices as well as the strong US$... but since KQ prices most tix in US$, the overall effect has been a surge in Kes profits...

KQ faces challenges in 4Q coz of the GFC but the most profitable business remains the African business... they should continue expanding in Africa even if it the destinations make losses at first... KQ should start agrressively targetting S. African markets & beat up SAA while they are down!

Oil prices should be lower than 2008 though we have seen jet fuel shortages in Kenya coz of the thieves at KPC.

BOTTOMLINE: I expect EPS of 7.50 for 2008-9. By my estimates the NAV is over 62/- So its trading at P/B of 0.4 and forward PER of 3.5... this is a steal!

And there is the Obama business... perhaps time expedite the expansion of the Kisumu airport... Obama is a-coming at some point!

Prior posts on KQ or related subjects...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Uganda Banking Sector

I have been following the Ugandan banking sector & though there are structural challenges, it seems there are ripe pickings - even better than Kenya but beware currency movements.

Uganda will start 'producing' oil - primarily sour, heavy & waxy (the lowest quality!) - in 2010.
Ugandans should not expect 'cheap' petrol but it will definitely help reducing the cost of heavy diesel for Ugandan industry & energy production. There are plans to build a refinery as well. Maybe even export the products to S.Sudan, Rwanda & DRC.

Since oil production has been 'privatised' I expect production to start more or less on schedule. I do not know the break-even cost for this oil BUT Uganda will have an additional source of energy except hydro at Jinja.

The Bujangali Dam being built by/under AKFED will also boost Uganda's economy. I like AKFED. They do good work in African countries by building capacity. AKFED firms include Diamond Trust, Jubilee, Nation Media & TPSEA.

KES 1 = UGX 25
USD 1 = UGX 1990

Here's a look at listed banks

Bank of Baroda (Uganda) - Unlike BoB(Kenya), they are public (20% float). They even released unaudited 2008 numbers by 16 Jan 2009. Imagine that! Anyway, they last traded at UGX 405. The 2008 EPS estimated at 37. Very conservative bank thus low NPAs & great ratios for capital adequacy. Also owns prime property in the middle of Kampala's CBD. Low 2008 PE = 11. They have never had an unprofitable year since they listed.

DFCU - Controlled by Actis (former CDC). New CEO appointed in 2008. Major scandal & losses hit DFCU in 2007. Trying to be the Equity Bank of Uganda.

Equity Bank (parent listed in Kenya)- Purchased UML with 30 branches. Rebranding to EBL. It will shake up the sector. Competitors are already on edge!

KCB (cross-listed) - They came in the market with a bang but concentration seems on cross-border business.

Stanbic Uganda - Huge over-subscription during the IPO thanks to Kenyans. Seems priced well on a P/E basis but not as entrepreneurial as DFCU nor conservative as BoBU nor aggressive as DTB. Controls a huge chunk of the market thanks to its purchase of Uganda Commercial Bank - Uganda's then largest bank. Expect severe competition from DFCU & Equity Bank for the mass market. Corporate & SME business under threat from DTB & Crane Bank. Cross-border business under pressure from DTB & KCB. Standard Chartered & Barclays (bought out Nile Bank) are also in the market.

Diamond Trust Bank (parent listed in Kenya) - SME market & aggressive. AKFED investments in Uganda will boost DTB's profile. Also aims for the corporate market.

Conclusion: Get in before its too late!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Corruption at KPC continues unabated - Higher fuel prices

Kenyans will see higher fuel prices. Why?

1) Banks will not lend to many oil firms OR will do so at much higher costs.

2) Ullage allocation favoritism at KPC's KOSF.

3) Demurrage charges to add to fuel costs.

4) Government corruption unabated even after Triton collapsed. High-level corruption?

5) Inefficient government owned Oil Marketer to be favoured over others. More corruption?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Discredited ECK employees to get 500 million


kivuitu is slated to get KShs 25 million. The government claims there is no money for development or for teachers but wants to pay sam 'I cannot count' kivuitu KShs 25,000,000/-. People are dying of starvation & the govt refuses to pay farmers a fair price for their maize.

Is kibaki trying to pay off kivuitu for his silence on election irregularities?

If ECK thinks it is being shortchanged, then go to court. Do NOT pay them!

BUT what do you expect from Kenya's morally bereft politicians?

How can the Kenyan prez and/or PM make more than the prez/PM of countries far more prosperous?

kibz makes more than Obama. The USA has an economy at least 800x larger than Kenya’s!
raila makes more than Gordon Brown. The UK’s economy is at least 100x larger than Kenya’s!

And then they go to BEG for food aid!!! If I were a donor, I would say go to hell for more aid. You draw obscene salaries & are bloody corrupt. Let your people starve coz then they may see the need to change the government!

Mega-corruption at the Central Bank of Kenya

#1 - Zain refused Money Transfer License upon refusal to bribe CBK governor & cronies

Why does the (corrupt) government of Kenya allow M-Pesa to continue operating & grow in size but the CBK does not allow Zain to launch Zap?

1) Zain refused to pay-off ndungu & his ilk. They followed in the footsteps of YU (Econet) who fought it out in court for the 3rd mobile license.

2) SafCon has powerful politicians as part one of the major shareholders (Mobitelea) who know that delaying Zain's entry will make M-Pesa the entrenched first-mover.

3) This is a government of the corrupt. No pay, no play.

If the CBK is truly concerned about M-Pesa, then they should suspend the service BUT Safaricom's M-Pesa has been given a CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH & is signing up M-Pesa dealers with CBK's tacit approval to stymie Zap when it comes in.

Other links on the Grand Rip Off
The Grand Rip Off
ndungu's role in the GRH scam
The verdict on the Grand Regency scam
The 'secret sale' of GRH
CBK sold GRH in an opaque manner
GRH was under-valued
Lies told by abuga, kimunya & ndungu in the secret sale of GRH

#2 - CBK governor complicit in selling Grand Regency Hotel to protect kibaki's promises

kibaki &/or PNU - I am told - received funds from Libya to fund his 2007 election campaign. In turn he promised to sell them Kenyan assets at a discount & without competitive bidding.

Kudos to Justice Cockar & his team for bringing the truth to light. I bet kibaki is upset that he picked Justice Cockar instead of one the corrupt judges!

Summary of the Cockar Report (from the Sunday Nation)

These assets included the GRH, Kenya Petroleum Refinery & Kenya Pipeline Company.

Well, 2/3 have been completed. Watch this space for the KPC to be sold to the Libyans.

Africa - tough place to do business for those who are not corrupt.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rwanda - The New Hope of Africa


Ok, I think they meant driving permits with an electronic chip... anyway, Kenya has these UGLY red easily forged paper/cloth driving licenses...

Paul Kagame & Ian Khama (Botswana) are the type of leaders we want. They are young, educated, smart & clean... not corrupt.

BTW, I request we look into Paul Kagame's roots coz I think he is also a son of Kenya... therefore, eligible to run for presidential office in 2012 or sooner if you know what happens to you know who...

Am I a fool for not stealing?

I am depressed...

Since 1986, no thief/crook/politician/lawyer associated with any mega-scandal has been jailed... I do not mean those short stints put on for show for the gullible donors.

Goldenberg (50bn) - paul pattni, george saitoti, eric kotut, james kanyotu, gideon moi, daniel moi, amos wako

Anglo Leasing (13bn) - dipak kamani, rashmi kamani, murungaru, kiraitu murungi, amos wako

KPC-Triton (10bn) - yagnesh devani, kiraitu murungi, nyoike, george okungu, peter mecha

Maize Scandal (2009) (1bn) - Names?

Am I a fool to rail against corruption instead of being more constructive & building a corruption network?

(Have I missed any scandals or names above?)

Friday, January 23, 2009

He is back... Corruption in Kenya... Aluta Continua...

Amos Kimunya is back... as Minister of Trade...

Where is the report that exonerates him?
Bottomline: Amos was the fall guy for the deal kibz made with the Libyans regarding the Grand Regency Hotel. Amos got his pay while he relaxed - he simply 'stepped aside' & was not suspended. Ultimately, it was a deal made by kibz. All the players in the sale have gone scot-free including ndungu (governor of CBK) & kimunya.

Here is a flowchart of how scandals are solved in Kenya. Courtesy of thinkersroom.

Next on the block... the Libyans will get the Kenya Petroleum Refinery... watch this space. Essar who legitimately won the bid for 50% ownership will be locked out.

The Kenya Pipeline will also be sold to the Libyans for a song. In return the Libyans will grease kibz, his family & cronies among other politicians. Proceeds from the sale of KPC will be used to pay off the banks & Oil Marketers caught in the KPC-Triton web. Of course, the crooks including devani, murungi, okungu, mecha & their cronies will all go scot-free.

Yes, Kenya is cursed. Will there be anything left in the coffers by 2012?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is Africa cursed?

While Kenyans are aghast at the pay packages of Kenyan MPs, president, ministers & their ilk... Ghana passed a retirement package like no other for their ex-presidents... The parliament did this on the last day! 

(Hopefully, kibz does not get any ideas...)

(Maybe former prez Bush might have been better off as an African prez!)

And you wonder why most of Sub-Saharan Africa remains dirt poor?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Top 20 African Billionaires

I am just copying & pasting... I have no idea as to how this information was acquired or calculations made...

Mind Blowing how much wealth this lot have acquired !!!

The list is headed by Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo with an estimated $65 billion fortune.

For many years now it has been silently rumoured that daniel moi who ruled Kenya for 24 years marking an era that is associated with the worst forms of corruption, was along with his sons the richest man in the country.

Nigeria has six nationals in the top 20 rich-list including one immediate former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Zimbabwe’s hardline ruler and the man in the news currently, Robert Mugabe is placed at number 8 with an estimated $3billion despite the fact that his country is in the doghouse.
Libyan President Muamar Ghadafi is placed second.

1. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (est $65 Billion)
President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979

2. Muammar al-Gaddafi ($56 Billion)
Leader and Guide of the Revolution, The Libyan Leader

3. Dr. Mike Adenuga ($27 Billion)
Dr. Mike Adenuga, Chairman of Globacom, a Telecommunications company

4. Onsi Sawiris ($20 Billion)
Onsi Sawiris, Egptian Businessman who heads Orascom, Telecommunicatons company

5. Mohammed Al Amoudi ($ 9 Billion)
Mohammed Al Amoudi, Ethiopian Business man, Oil, Gas, Mining, Hotels, Agriculture and hospitals

6. Aliko Dangote ($ 4 Billion)
Aliko Dangote, Nigerian Businessman, Dankotes businesses include food processing, cement manufacturing and freight

7. Strive Masiyiwa ($ 3.5 Billion)
Strive Masiyiwa (aka "Bill Gates of Africa") is a Zimbabwean businessman and cellphone pioneer, founding Econet Wireless.

8. Robert Mugabe ($ 3 Billion)
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe

9. Mohamed Fayed ( $ 3 Billion)
Mohammed Fayed, Eqyptian Businessman
His Business interests include Harrods department store in london and Fulham, an English, Premiership football club

10. Ibru Family ( $ 2.5 Billion)
Hotels and Banking in Africa, Nigerian Businesses

11. Femi Otedola ( $ 2 Billion)
Nigerian Business man, Business interests include Zenon Oil and other Oil Products

12. Yoweri Museveni ($ 1.7 Billion)
Uganda's economy began to grow steadily and poverty levels have dropped by 45% since 1992.

13. Olusegun Obasanjo ( $ 1.3 Billion)
Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria

14. Anis haggar ( $ 1.3 Billion)
Sudanese industrialist,

15. Mo Ibrahim ($ 1.2 Billion)
A Sudanese, the founder of Celtel International

16. Arap Moi ( $ 1.2 Billion)
Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, President of Kenya 1978 - 2002. Corruption ran riot during his reign culminating with the massive Goldenberg scandal.

17. Musa Danjuma (est $ 1.2 Billion)
Musa Danjuma, A Nigerian Businessman, Business Interests include real estate and shipping

18. Patrice Motsepe (est $ 1.2 Billion)
South African entrepreneur, has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum

19. Madhvani Family (est $ 800 Million)
Roni Madvani, A Ugandan Business man Business interests include Uganda Tourism Board and Hotels

20. Cyril Ramaphosa (est $ 600 Million)
Cyril Ramaphosa South African business man and politician Business interests include Shaduka Holdings, Bidvest Group, MTN Group and SASRIA Limited

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congrats to Obama & what Africa can learn...

So... a president (& party) comes into power but what a difference from what we see in most of Africa...

A peaceful election period... peaceful election day... a clear-cut victory i.e. negligible fraud... a phone call conceding the election... a peaceful & organised transition... the retiring president retires gracefully...

In Kenya, violence during & after the election...

In Guinea, a coup after the prez dies...

In Uganda, museveni wants more terms as president...

I do hope that Obama nixes any funny moves by African despots... Obama has the moral advantage if he criticises these despots!

So who are these despots?

- kibaki coming up in 2012
- museveni coming up in 2011
- swazi king who needs to be deposed (& castrated)
- bongo of gabon
- many others

An inauguration that attracts not only the democrats but the old, young, all races, etc...

In Kenya, there was a hurried inauguration after a disputed election count...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why would anyone take Kenyans seriously?

#1 - According to Daily Nation: "Economic secretary Geoffrey Mwau said although Kenya has not felt the effects of the global financial crisis, lack of corporate governance in shares dealings poses a great risk."

Wow... I would have never guessed! So the drop in tourists, lower prices for tea, flowers, depreciation of the KSh vs US$... wow... not a result of the GFC?

And CBK governor was claiming 7% growth for Kenya in 2008. I have not heard from him in a while. Perhaps indigestion after gorging on humble pie?

#2 - Back to donors with a begging bowl... while scams 'exposed' in the past 4 weeks account for KShs 15bn.
- 8bn for the KPC-Triton scam coz govt (aka taxpayers) will bail out KPC.
- 1bn for the NCPB maize theft/scandals.
- 6bn for 'over-billing' for the pipeline extensions/expansion/enhancement - chinese firm implicated.
- Great cartoon in the DN
- Trips to USA for Obama's inauguration
- Other junkets by politicians while in the USA

#3 - Corruption - The next frontier - Chinese & Libyan connections
I am worried about corruption in Kenya but it seems to be going a notch higher with the chinese & libyan firms. Since these firms are state controlled, you might as well give up hope on getting information from the chinese or libyans to fight the scams!