Good morning

It’s going to be a short one. I’m in Cape Town today, which always makes it feel like I’m on holiday. The headlines:
  1. After the Spanish Debt auction success of two days ago, I am happy to report that Asian Stocks have once again fallen in anticipation of today’s Spanish and French debt auctions. Today, Spain hopes to raise 2.5 billion euros in 2-year and 10-year long term bonds. Clearly, after the over-subsbscription to the short-term stuff, the market is happy with Spain for the next 18 months. But 2 to 10 years? That’ll be interesting. At the same time, France is hoping to raise a maximum of 11 billion euros. According to Bloomberg, their yields are up 10 basis points because investors are concerned that a socialist (Hollande) will win the French election, which frankly sounds like the financial equivalent of a split hair. Until I realised that someone failed to give a frame of reference, because French 10-year bond yields have gone up by 240 basis points in the last month or so. Which sounds like more of a <bad word> haircut. Spain and France Sell Bonds.
  2. Blackberry owner RIM is about to pick JP Morgan as its financial advisor. RIM has had five straight quarters of sales shortfalls. Now I’m not sure whether that means that they’ve sold less than budgeted each quarter, or if they’ve sold less each quarter than the one before it. But either way, I see more iPhones and Samsungs every day. Link: Blackberry said to be near choosing financial advisor.
  3. And the African Business News in brief. Link: ABN Briefs. The highlights:
    • Standard Chartered is said to be planning on entering the markets of Senegal, Mozambique, Ethiopia and South Sudan. I’d like to see things happen in Ethiopia. It’s one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but it has to have one of the most-closed financial systems. No foreign banks. At all. Legislation will have to change first.
    • South Africa’s CPI slowed to 6% year-on-year in March – so we’re back within the SARB’s ban.
    • Kenya has cut its domestic borrowing target for the 2011/12 year by more than half. This is due to a $600 million syndicated loan that is due to be finalised before the end of the month.
    • Engen has replaced Iran with Saudi Arabia on the crude import source front.
That’s all for now.
Have a good day.