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Today's Headlines Capital Outflow

  • Economic Growth of Indonesia in 2014: Opportunities and Challenges

    Indonesia's Finance Minister Chatib Basri is optimistic that Indonesia's economic growth can reach 5.8 to 6.0 percent in 2014. According to Basri, three factors support this expectation: strong household consumption, an improving global economy, and the impact of Indonesia's legislative and presidential elections (scheduled for April and July 2014). However, one of the biggest challenges for the Indonesian government will be to offset the impact of further US Federal Reserve tapering and US interest rate hikes in 2015 and 2016.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Another Trade Surplus in December 2013

    Bank Indonesia Expects Another Trade Surplus in December 2013

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country will record another monthly trade surplus in December 2013. Perry Warjiyo, Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, said that the December trade balance is estimated to record a USD $785 million surplus, thus slightly improving from the USD $776.8 million surplus in November 2013. If Bank Indonesia's forecast is realized then it would be the third consecutive month in which Indonesia posts a trade surplus. This is important  to improve the country's financial stability.

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  • Amid Improving Global Economy, Indonesia Optimistic about GDP Growth

    Forecasts for economic growth in Indonesia in 2014 are still optimistic. The government of Indonesia targets a 6 percent growth rate, while the country's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects GDP growth in the range of 5.8 to 6.2 percent. Although these forecasts clearly fall short of the target set in the country's National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) - which mentions annual GDP growth of between 6.3 and 6.8 percent - the forecasts are still rather positive given the global uncertain and volatile economic context in recent years.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Continues Downslide on Wednesday

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate maintained its downward trend on Wednesday (27/11). Bank Indonesia's mid rate depreciated 0.41 percent to IDR 11,813 per US dollar. Investors remain concerned about Indonesia's wide current account deficit. Today, Finance Minister Chatib Basri said that the current account deficit will be around USD $30 billion by the end of 2013, significantly up from USD $24 billion at the end of 2012. In the third quarter of 2013, the current account deficit was USD $8.4 billion (3.8 percent of Indonesia's GDP).

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  • Indonesia's Depreciating Rupiah Rate Continues its Downward Spiral

    The Indonesian rupiah continued its downward spiral on Monday morning (25/11). The central bank's mid rate fell 0.14 percent to IDR 11,722 per US dollar. Last week, the rupiah fell amid negative market sentiments brought on by the result of the Federal Reserve's FOMC meeting. The result seems to indicate that it will not take long before the quantitative easing program will be wound down. Contrary to the Australian dollar as well as the Indian rupee, news about the forthcoming financial reformation in China is unable to the support the rupiah.

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  • In Anticipation of Tapering, Bank Indonesia May Raise its BI Rate Again

    In Anticipation of Tapering, Bank Indonesia May Raise its BI Rate Again

    Several analysts expect that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will raise its key interest rate (BI rate) again in the first Semester of 2014 in order to anticipate the winding down of the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (quantitative easing). Currently, the BI rate is set at 7.50 percent but analysts say that the market should be prepared for a hike to 8.0 percent in the first half of 2014. Between June and November 2013, Bank Indonesia has already raised its benchmark interest rate from 5.75 to 7.50 percent.

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  • New Economic Policy Package Will Be Released at the End of October

    The government of Indonesia will release a second economic policy package at the end of October. This new package, which aims to provide attractive tax incentives to investors, is in addition to the package that was released in August 2013 when sharp rupiah depreciation and a rapidly falling stock index occurred as panic emerged after the Federal Reserve hinted at an end to its quantitative easing program. In combination with a widening current account deficit and high inflation, it resulted in large capital outflows from Indonesia.

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  • Indonesian Government Preparing Additional Policy Approach Package

    The government of Indonesia is busy preparing an extra package of policy responses aimed at stabilizing Indonesia's financial markets. Previously, the government had released a sort of 'rescue package' in late August after the rupiah depreciated sharply and the country's stock indices plunged. Panic had emerged due to the looming end of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. Coupled with internal issues, it resulted in robust capital outflows from Indonesia. The new package will be released in October.

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  • Federal Reserve Continues Quantitative Easing at US $85 Billion a Month

    Despite widespread speculation that the Federal Reserve would tone down its quantitative easing program (QE3) by approximately USD $10 to $20 billion after the FOMC meeting on Wednesday (18/09), the central bank of the USA decided to continue its monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program as it downgraded its outlook for US economic growth to between 2.0 and 2.3 percent. Chairman Bernanke said that the economic context of the USA is still far from conducive to alter its strategy.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Grow Slightly in August 2013

    For the first time since April 2013, Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves have shown a small growth. Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) stated that in late August, the foreign exchange reserves rose to USD $92.99 billion from USD $92.67 billion a month earlier. The growth was a surprise as continued capital outflows from Indonesia's financial markets was expected to translate into lower reserves. Last week, Indonesia's benchmark stock index fell 2.97 percent, while the rupiah fell 2.55 percent against the US dollar.

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Latest Columns Capital Outflow

  • JP Morgan Upgrades Investment Recommendation for Indonesia

    JP Morgan Upgrades Investment Recommendation for Indonesia

    Whether it was caused by pressure from the Indonesian government, or, whether US multinational banking and financial services firm JP Morgan Chase itself came to the conclusion that its decision to double downgrade Indonesia from overweight to underweight (in November 2016) was excessive remains unknown. What is known is that JP Morgan upgraded its investment recommendation on Indonesian stocks to neutral from underweight on Monday (16/01). Main reason for this upgrade is that redemption and bond volatility risks have now played out, in the view of JP Morgan.

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  • Is Foreign Confidence in Indonesia’s Capital Market Restored in 2014?

    In 2013, Indonesia experienced a rough year in terms of stock trading. The world was shocked by Ben Bernanke’s speech in late May 2013 in which he hinted at an end to the Federal Reserve’s large monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing. Through this program, cheap US dollars found their way to lucrative yet riskier assets in emerging economies, including Indonesia. But when the end of the program was in sight, the market reacted by pulling billions of US dollars from emerging market bonds and equities.

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  • Indonesia's Trade and Inflation Data Cause Positive Start of the Year

    Again positive news for Indonesia's trade balance. Last week, Statistics Indonesia announced that the largest economy of Southeast Asia posted a USD $776.8 million trade surplus in November 2013 (the largest monthly trade surplus since March 2012). After the (revised) USD $24 million trade surplus in October 2013, November was the second straight month in which the country posted a surplus. This development is important to gain investors' confidence as Indonesia's current account deficit has been a major cause for concern.

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  • Investors Concerned Ahead of Bank Indonesia Board of Governor's Meeting

    Both the Jakarta Composite Index (Indonesia's benchmark stock index) and the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate are under pressure this morning as market participants are waiting for results of the central bank's Board of Governor's meeting that is held today (12/12) in Jakarta. Speculation has emerged that Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) will raise its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) one more time in 2013 in order to combat the country's current account deficit as well as mitigate the impact of a possible winding down of QE3.

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  • Indonesia Financial Market Update: Indonesia's Current Account Deficit

    Currently, one of Indonesia's main financial issues (and one which puts serious pressures on the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate) is the country's wide current account deficit. According to data from Statistics Indonesia, Indonesia's current account deficit totaled USD $8.4 billion in the third quarter of 2013. This figure is equivalent to a whopping 3.8 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP). Generally, a current account deficit that exceeds 2.5 percent of GDP is considered unsustainable.

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  • ADB Report: Asia Should Strengthen Economies and Financial Systems

    Emerging East Asian countries should use the window of opportunity opened by the delay in US monetary policy normalization to strengthen their economies and financial systems, the latest quarterly Asia Bond Monitor from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) urges. “A delay in US bond tapering gives the region a bit of extra time to make sure its economy and financial systems are resilient enough to face the likely market volatility ahead,” said Iwan J. Azis, Head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration which produced the report.

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  • Time for Indonesia to Be Sovereign on the Indonesian Stock Market

    In the last three months, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) experienced continued selling pressures causing the index to plunge from a high of 5,215 to a low of 4,026. The country's economic slowdown and net selling by foreign investors triggered the rapid decline. Up to the third week of November, net selling of Indonesian stocks amounted to IDR 14.9 trillion (USD $1.3 billion). The looming winding down of the Federal Reserve's USD $85 billion per month bond buying program has brought significant negative market sentiments.

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  • Indonesia's New Fiscal Policy Packages for Financial Stability Expected Soon

    Indonesia's New Fiscal Policy Packages for Financial Stability Expected Soon

    The government of Indonesia will release two additional fiscal policy packages at the end of November or start of December that both aim to heal Indonesia's current account deficit. The two packages constitute follow ups of the policy package that was released in August 2013. Previously, deputy minister of Finance, Bambang Brodjonegoro, announced that an additional package would be released in October. However, it turned out that the government needed some more time to prepare the two additional packages.

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  • IMF: Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Update by Anoop Singh

    Anoop Singh, Director of the Asia and Pacific Department within the International Monetary Fund (IMF), conducted a media roundtable in Tokyo today (30/10) in which he outlined the IMF's view on the economy of Asia. Asia will remain the global growth leader, although the IMF has lowered growth forecasts. Both tighter global liquidity and homegrown structural impediments will weigh on growth, but for most economies a gradual pickup in exports to advanced economies and resilient domestic demand should help support growth.

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  • IMF Direct Forum: How Emerging Markets Can Get Their Groove Back

    IMF Direct Forum: How Emerging Markets Can Get Their Groove Back

    After a decade of high growth and a swift rebound after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, emerging markets are seeing slowing growth. Their average growth is now 1½ percentage points lower than in 2010 and 2011. This is a widespread phenomenon: growth has been slowing in roughly three out of four emerging markets. This share is remarkably high; in the past, such synchronized and persistent slowdowns typically have only occurred during acute crises.

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