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PAULA SOLANES, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, SVB ASSET MANAGEMENT, SAN FRANCISCO. “Powell has been very transparent with markets. He picked up where Yellen left off. Right now with the Fed’s gradual rate increases, he will continue with that approach. He wants to normalize interest rates because they have been so low for so long. The Fed wants to keep its powder dry before the next economic downturn. The Fed has been open to four rate increases in 2018. That’s still on the table with the economic data we have seen. With the trade tariffs and the flattening of the yield curve, they could slow down the rate normalization process. The market is pricing the next rate hike in September and it’s about 50 percent for another hike in December so it could go either way.

“We have been very defensive with duration, We have stayed neutral to shorter than our benchmarks because we are in a rising rate environment, We see more value in the short-end of the curve.”, GENNADIY GOLDBERG, INTEREST RATE STRATEGIST, TD SECURITIES, NEW YORK, “There’s not really anything in his opening comments to materially move rates here, Powell continues to point to gradual rate hikes, he does seem fairly upbeat on the konstantino sterling oval scroll cufflinks economic situation, It does seem as though, at least in the prepared remarks, that risks are broadly balanced and there isn’t a whole lot of mention of trade, So I think, net net, (there’s) not really much here to change the outlook.”..

PHIL ORLANDO, CHIEF EQUITY MARKET STRATEGIST, AT FEDERATED INVESTORS, IN NEW YORK. “He slipped in ‘maintaining the appropriate monetary policy.’ The $64,000 question is what do they consider to be the appropriate monetary policy? That is the conundrum here. If you look at the last set of dot plots we got at the last FOMC meeting and interpreted them literally, my sense is, it implying two more quarter-point hikes this year which would take the funds rate up to 2.5 percent, four more next year which would take the funds rate up to 3.5 percent and then two more in 2020 which would take the funds rate up to 4 percent. My best guess, knowing what I think I know about the economy, is that if the funds rate is at 4 percent two years from now the Fed has probably done too much and that increases the potential risk of pushing the economy into recession perhaps in the 2021 period.”.

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s Safaricom (SCOM.NR) is in advanced talks with the Ethiopian government to introduce its popular M-Pesa mobile money service, a major step towards establishing konstantino sterling oval scroll cufflinks a toe-hold in the market of 100 million people, two sources said on Tuesday, M-Pesa could transform Ethiopia’s economy, as it has done in Kenya, by allowing people to sidestep a decrepit and inefficient banking system and send each other money and make payments at the touch of a button, As such, it could bolster the bold political and economic reform drive of new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed against opposition from hardliners in the ruling EPRDF coalition..

Started in 2007, M-Pesa has around 20 million active users in Kenya and has become the principal driver of profit growth for the dominant telecoms provider in East Africa as revenue from traditional voice and text services has flattened off. Over the last decade, it has evolved from a basic money transfer service to a financial platform offering savings, loans and insurance products in conjunction with local lenders. The deal could also give Safaricom and its parent companies, South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L), a head-start when the Ethiopian government follows through on its stated intention to open up its telecoms sector to foreign companies.

“This is an important milestone for Safaricom,” said Eric Musau, head of research at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank, Vodafone will license the konstantino sterling oval scroll cufflinks use of the M-Pesa brand to an Ethiopia-based bank while Safaricom will host the servers in Nairobi, one Kenyan telecoms industry source told Reuters, Ethiopia’s state telecommunications monopoly, Ethio Telecom, will carry the service, the source added, Vodafone had no immediate comment, Safaricom was likely to be paid 10-25 percent of annual revenue from the new M-Pesa business in Ethiopia for providing the back-end of the technology, analysts said, citing the arrangement in place when Safaricom itself had to pay another company that hosted its M-Pesa servers in Germany before 2015, when they were moved in-house to Kenya..

The rate would start at 25 percent when user numbers are low and go down to a minimum of 10 percent when the user numbers climb and revenue grows, said Musau. Revenue from Safaricom’s 20 million active M-Pesa users in Kenya, which has less than half the population of Ethiopia, was 63 billion shillings ($630 million) last year, a 14 percent increase on the previous year. The ability to access digital banking services is likely to be a game-changer for Ethiopians whose banking sector is stuck in the 1900s, with no way to transfer funds from one bank to another.

“New products, new services such as digital banking and investment banking are required because the banking sector is archaic and is not up to what the economy is requiring,” said Addis Ababa-based economist Eyob Tesfaye, “Financial sector reform is key to continued economic growth.”, M-Pesa could also improve the flow of external remittances, helping assuage the chronic foreign currency shortages that have emerged as a threat to Ethiopia’s pacy economic growth, M-Pesa’s move also suggests Kenyan businesses, from telecoms to banking to farming, are well placed to take advantage of a wave of konstantino sterling oval scroll cufflinks political and economic liberalization unleashed in the last three months by Abiy..

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