• Indonesia's Current Account Deficit Improves in the First Quarter of 2013

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia or BI) announced on Wednesday (15/05/13) that the country's external balance has improved during Q1-2013 as non-oil and gas trade were up. Indonesia's current account deficit stood at USD $5.3 billion (2.4 percent of GDP) in Q1-2013, compared to the previous quarter's deficit of USD $7.6 billion (3.5 percent of GDP). Indonesia has experienced a widening trade deficit, although it recorded a trade surplus of USD $304.90 in March, the first trade surplus since September 2012.

    Read column ›

  • Records of Indonesia's and America's Indices Indicate Global Optimism

    Stock indices experienced a solid performance last week. In particular Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was up. Although Standards & Poor's downgrade of Indonesia's debt outlook has made many foreign investors decide to sell part of their Indonesian stock portfolios (last week about IDR 960 billion of foreign funds left the IHSG), the index did not fall. On the contrary, it reached a new record high level. So why did the index not fall? There are a number of reasons that explain this situation.

    Read column ›

  • The Influence of S&P's Outlook Downgrade on the Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG)

    The Jakarta composite index (IHSG), Indonesia's main stock index, was mixed last week. During the week it lost 53 points or 1.04 percent to finish at the level of 4,925.48. A number of blue chips, such as Bank Mandiri and Astra International, were hit by large sell-offs as the downgrade of S&P's debt outlook for Indonesia's BB+ rating kicked in and triggered serious negative market sentiments. Last week, I already discussed the 'Bloody May' phenomenon, the month that usually results in a correction.

    Read column ›

  • Bloody May; the Month that Brings Traditional Pressures on Indonesia's IHSG

    Last week Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was mixed with a weakening trend. The index lost 19.9 points, equivalent to 0.40 percent of its value. During the last month, the index consolidated within the range of 4,800 and 5,030 points. Foreign funds continued to pour in and trade volume remained high although below average trade in the last three weeks. In fact, our technical indicators are showing signs that Indonesia's main stock index has become saturated.

    Read column ›