columnBy Aly Khan Satchu
On September 10th 2012, I wrote about Super Mario Draghi and his 'Parcours' and said then that 'The triple bottom line is that this is not a fellow to bet against.' The Euro rallied to a 14 month Friday and has posted a 6 Month Winning Streak.
The Question for us here in Kenya is whether we too have a Parcours. A Parkour [which is a c21st Made Up word and a derivative of Parcours] means 'a quasi commando system of leaps, vaults, rolls, and landings designed to help a person avoid or surmount whatever lies in his path--a vocabulary, that is, to be employed in finding one's way among obstacles.
Parkour goes over walls, not around them; it takes the stair rail, not the stairs.' [Parkour Description via ALEC WILKINSON Navigating the world by leaps and bounds The New Yorker]. Parkour is all about the Fluidity and the Elegant Shape of the Journey. A Person who practices Parkour is called a Traceur. Interestingly My Friend who tweets via the Jubilee Insurance Twitter Handle told me that Parkour was invented by the Pygmies in the DR Congo, who sped through the Rain Forests.
Now As we approach The potentially High Impact Election in March, I am left wondering; Who is designing Kenya's Parcours? I, for one, would far prefer to be navigating The World by Leaps and Bounds because There are plenty of Obstacles and charging into Obstacles like Lord Cardigan did with his Light Brigade is just not cool. The Nairobi All Share has been on a Roll and was +9.73% in January but the Point to note is that it is still below Levels seen in Q4 2007 so There is Plenty of Head Room.
Those hoping [and There are Plenty] for a Sell-Off in order to get into the Stock Market are just not going to get it. I meet so many Folks who tell me but the Stock Market always falls before the Election. When Everyone is thinking one thing in the Markets, I have found, the very opposite happens. And the Risk is for these Folks, That the Election goes well, and They will be chasing a Rocketship on its way to Mars [Don't Stop Me Now Queen 44,326,111 Views on YouTube].
The Shilling has been taking some Punches and traded 88.00 a 1 Year Low last week before bouncing a little. Anecdotal Chatter is of Good Sized Buying of 90.00 Strike Put Options [i.e The Buyer makes money if the Shilling trades over 90.00]. On a Risk Reward Basis, I would prefer to be on the Other Side of the Trade and raking in the Premium.
Credit Growth remains real soft and nudged higher but was only 9.1% year on year in Nov 12, which is anaemic. I appreciate that Inflation ticked higher in January but it remains very well behaved and within the Central Bank's Target Corridor Rate. Peering out of my 8th Floor Window, I appreciate a Flood of Liquidity might well hit the Economy, going by the number of Souped up Electioneering Buses making their Noisy way around the City.
What happened to NEMA, by the Way? This Deafening Cacophony surely defines Noise Pollution? Here's to finding a Traceur who has the wherewithal to design a Parcours to lead Kenya to that 10% GDP Expansion Rate about which every Manifesto speaks.