Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Global Economy

  • PP London Sumatra Indonesia: Feeling the Impact of Weak Global Demand

    Perusahaan Perkebunan London Sumatra Indonesia (PP London Sumatra Indonesia or Lonsum), controlled by the powerful Salim Group, is an Indonesian plantation company focused on the production of palm oil, rubber, tea and cocoa. Its estates are located on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Amid weak global demand for commodities, the company posted a 72.1 percent fall in net profit over the first six months of 2013. Its shares have fallen 48.0 percent since the first trading day of 2013.

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  • Commodities in Indonesia's Mining and Agricultural Sectors still Weak

    Commodities in Indonesia's Mining and Agricultural Sectors still Weak

    That global demand for Indonesian commodities in both the mining and agriculture sectors is still far from recovered is reflected by several financial reports, covering financial results over the first half of 2013, that were published today (15/08). Three Indonesian companies engaged in Indonesia's mining and agriculture sectors posted significantly reduced net profits compared to the same period in 2012. These companies are Indo Tambangraya Megah, Salim Ivomas Pratama, and Perusahaan Perkebunan London Sumatra Indonesia.

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  • China's Financial Figures Impact Positive on Most Asian Indices

    Both China's imports and exports in July 2013 showed a rebound as they increased above expectation. Exports of the world's second-largest economy rose 5.1 percent (YoY), while imports surged 10.9 percent (which suggest improving domestic consumption). These results led to most Asian markets being up on Thursday (08/08). China's economy has been slowing down amid weak global demand and efforts to avert a credit boom. In 2012, the country's economy expanded 7.8 percent, the slowest pace in 23 years.

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth Slows Down to 5.81% in Q2-2013

    Today (02/08), Indonesia's bureau for statistics announced that economic growth of Indonesia in the second quarter of 2013 reached 5.81 percent (YoY), which is the lowest growth rate since Q3-2010 and also lower than most analysts as well as the Indonesian government expected. The GDP figure reflects Indonesia's cooling economy. For the fourth consecutive quarter, the rate has weakened as the country has been under pressure: high inflation, a widening trade deficit and a weakening rupiah.

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth Expected at 6.1% in Semester I-2013

    According to Finance minister Chatib Basri, the Indonesian government expects the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown by 6.1 percent in the first six months of 2013. This forecast falls short of the government's 6.3 percent GDP growth assumption in the state budget (APBN). Basri stated that the lower outcome is due to global factors, such as slowing economic growth in China and India. But the government's assumption is more optimistic than the forecast of the central bank, which expects growth between 5.1 and 5.9 percent.

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  • Indonesian Banks Post Good Financial Results in Semester I-2013

    Despite a higher benchmark interest rate, higher inflation, a weakening rupiah, and global economic turmoil, four out of seven Indonesian banks that released their financial results over the first half of 2013, have posted double-digit growth. The seven banks show a combined growth of 16.2 percent. Although it is an impressive figure, it is a couple of percentage points lower than last year's performance. Indonesia's economy has slowed down to an annual economic growth of six percent and this has impacted on domestic demand for credit loans.

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  • Weakening of Indonesian Rupiah Against US Dollar is Part of Global Trend

    According to various analysts and the central bank of Indonesia, the weakening of the IDR rupiah should not be too alarming as there currently is a global trend in which currencies, worldwide, weaken against the US Dollar. This situation is triggered by the economic recovery that has been experienced by the world's largest economy recently. Compared to other ASEAN members, the rupiah's decline is normal. The central bank adds that foreign capital inflows will return and will strengthen the country's currency.

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  • Standard Chartered Bank Positive about Indonesia's Economic Potential

    Standard Chartered Bank expects economic growth in Indonesia in 2013 to remain robust at 6.2%. The bank believes this is a realistic assumption amid global economic uncertainty and higher subsidized fuel prices which limits people's purchasing power. The greatest pillar of support for Indonesia's GDP growth is domestic consumption, and which is supported by Indonesia's demographic composition as the country not only has a large population (over 240 million people), but also a young one (half of the population is below thirty years of age).

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  • Indonesia Economic Quarterly World Bank Report: Adjusting to Pressures

    On 2 July 2013, the World Bank released its July edition of the Indonesia Economic Quarterly. The report, titled Adjusting to Pressures, touches on the key developments over the past three months in Indonesia’s economy and places these in a longer term and global context. It regularly updates the outlook for the country’s economy and social welfare, and provides a more in-depth examination of selected economic and policy topics, as well as analyses of medium term development challenges.

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  • Economy of Indonesia Projected to Grow 6% in Quarter II 2013

    According to Bambang Brodjonegoro, current head of the Fiscal Agency (a department under the wings of Indonesia's Finance Ministry), Indonesia's economy will grow 6.0 percent in the second quarter of 2013. This growth rate is lower than originally forecast due to the impact of a global unstable environment. Economic growth in Q2-2013 is also likely to be below the Q1-2013 result of 6.02 percent. A few weeks ago, the government of Indonesia had already revised down its GDP forecast for 2013 from 6.8 percent to 6.3 percent.

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Latest Columns Global Economy

  • Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG): the Ship that is Rocked by a Storm

    For several weeks now, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) has been experiencing a sharp correction. As I wrote in my previous columns, market participants have been waiting for several important macro economic data, to wit Indonesia's economic growth figure for the second quarter of 2013, the July 2013 inflation rate, and the country's trade balance statistics for the first six months of this year. Now all above results have been released, we can analyze further the impact of these macroeconomic results as well as investors' reaction to it.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall, Current Account Deficit Grows

    The foreign exchange reserves of Indonesia keep on falling from its historical peak of USD $124.64 billion in August 2011 to USD $92.67 billion at the end of July 2013. This development seems to highlight long-standing weaknesses in Indonesia's sovereign's external finances, as credit agency Fitch Ratings detected on several occasions before. The republic of Indonesia is currently characterized by four deficits, to wit a current account deficit, a balance of payments deficit, a trade balance deficit and a fiscal deficit.

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  • Despite Higher Idul Fitri Consumption, Indonesia May Not Reach GDP Target

    Although the holy fasting month of Ramadan and subsequent Idul Fitri celebrations always provide a boost for national economic growth in Indonesia as domestic consumption tends to peak, analysts believe that it will not contribute significantly to the government's 6.3 percent GDP growth target this year. During Ramadan and Idul Fitri (known as Lebaran), Indonesian consumers generally spend more on food products, clothes, shoes, tickets for transport and hotels than in other months, and thus lead to increased economic activity.

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  • Indonesia's Inflation Rate Accelerates to 3.29% in July 2013

    Indonesia’s inflation rate in July 2013 was significantly higher than analysts had previously estimated. The country’s July inflation figure accelerated to 3.29 percent. On year-on-year basis, it now stands at 8.61 percent, the highest inflation rate since many years. Particularly food commodity and transportation prices rose steeply. The main reason for Indonesia's high inflation is the reduction in fuel subsidies. In late June, the government increased the prices of subsidized fuels in order to relieve the ballooning budget deficit.

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  • Indonesian Crude Palm Oil Exports Surge 29% in June 2013

    Indonesian exports of crude palm oil (CPO) in June 2013 grew about 29 percent to 1.62 million ton compared to the same month last year. Although production of CPO in Indonesia slowed down in June, higher demand for Indonesia's CPO is met because there are still sufficient amounts of stockpiles. A high official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) said that stockpiles in 2012 grew to 5 million tons as global demand for the commodity weakened sharply amid international economic turmoil.

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  • No Recovery in Palm Oil Price: Demand Weakens while Production Grows

    The recovery in global palm oil prices that seemed to have started last spring, has ended. A few months ago, optimism had colored expectations of many analysts as palm oil prices went up about 10 percent between early May and mid-June, after tumbling 30 percent in 2012 (causing that palm oil was one of the worst performing commodities in terms of price growth last year). However, the palm oil price increase earlier this year was merely the result of falling production rates in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's largest palm oil producers.

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  • Bank Indonesia Raises Interest Rate to fight Inflation and Support the Rupiah

    Today, Bank Indonesia surprised many analysts and investors by raising its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps to 6.50 percent. Indonesia's central bank assessed that this measure is the correct one with regard to supporting the IDR rupiah (which is one of the worst Asian currencies against the US dollar this year) and to fight higher inflation after the government decided to cut fuel subsidies in June. It expects inflation to peak in July at about 2.3 percent (month to month) but to moderate soon afterwards.

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  • Indonesia Stock Exchange Falls Amid Domestic and International Concerns

    Indonesia Stock Market Analysis IHSG 13 June 2013 RMA van der Schaar - Richard van der Schaar

    On Thursday (13/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) could not continue the recovery it had shown on the previous day. The index fell 1.92% to 4,607.66 points amid international and domestic concerns. Investors are worried about central banks' policies and the World Bank's downgrade of global economic growth in 2013. On the domestic side, negative sentiments were brought on by the fuel subsidy issue (and its inflationary impact), the weakening rupiah, the BI rate hike, falling foreign exchange reserves, and the trade deficit.

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  • 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.

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  • Increased Foreign Investment in Indonesia's Stock Market in Quarter 1 - 2013

    Foreign investment in Indonesia has maintained its steady pace in the first quarter of 2013. Ahead of next year's presidential and legislative elections, which trigger uncertainties about the future course of the country, foreigners have bought more Indonesian stocks in Q1-2013 than in the four quarters of 2012 combined. Moreover, foreign direct investments (FDIs) have increased by 27 percent (YoY) in Q1-2013 and show an interesting shift towards Indonesia's manufacturing sector.

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