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Today's Headlines Singapore

  • Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Rose 12.4% in Q1-2018

    Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Rose 12.4% in Q1-2018

    Total direct investment (foreign plus domestic investment) in Indonesia rose 11.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) to IDR 185.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, showing robust investor appetite and giving rise to optimism that Indonesia's full-year direct investment target of IDR 765 trillion can be achieved. Traditionally direct investment realization is lowest in the first quarter of the year (although the upcoming elections in 2018 and 2019 may make some investors prefer to wait and see).

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  • Tourism Industry: Where Do Indonesians Go for Their Holiday?

    Tourism Industry: Where Do Indonesians Go for Holiday?

    Last year Indonesians went on holiday, abroad, more than ever before. According to the latest data, a total of 9.1 million Indonesians visited some time abroad for their holiday in 2017, up from 8.4 million Indonesian tourists in 2016, or 8.1 million tourists in the preceding two years. What explains this rising trend?

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  • Indonesia Investigates Standard Chartered's "Guernsey Transfer"

    Indonesia Investigates Standard Chartered's "Guernsey Transfer"

    Indonesian authorities are currently investigating a suspicious transfer, involving USD $1.4 billion, by Standard Chartered Plc made in late-2015. British multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered held these funds - the majority on behalf of Indonesian clients - at Guernsey, a Channel Islands in the English Channel near the French coast.

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  • Indonesia's Lippo Group Acquires Singapore's Healthway Medical Corp

    Indonesia's Lippo Group Acquires Singapore's Healthway Medical Corp

    The Lippo Group, one of Indonesia's largest and most diversified conglomerates, is set to acquire a big stake in Singapore-listed Healthway Medical Corporation (HMC) through Gentle Care (a Lippo Group-linked unit). HMC is a private healthcare provider operating through two segments, including primary healthcare, and specialist & wellness healthcare. It owns and manages more than 100 medical centers and clinics, mainly in Singapore and China.

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  • Tax Amnesty Indonesia: Regulations for Asset Repatriations Eased

    Tax Amnesty Indonesia: Regulations Asset Repatriation Eased

    Indonesia's tax amnesty program, which was launched in July 2016 and will run until 31 March 2017, can be labeled a success. Up to 16 October 2016, a total of IDR 3,842.9 trillion (approx. USD $296 billion) worth of assets (either at home or abroad) have been declared to Indonesia's tax authorities nearly achieving the government's target of IDR 4,000 trillion. However, asset repatriations (from the so-called tax havens) are not a success, being far from the government's initial projection and therefore Indonesian authorities are now easing regulations.

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  • Update Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program, Singapore Banks to Police

    Update Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program: Singapore Banks to Police

    The first period of Indonesia’s tax amnesty program is almost completed. This first period, which runs from July to 31 September 2016, offers the most attractive tax rates to those taxpayers who have not fulfilled their tax obligations in recent years. Through the government’s tax amnesty program they can declare previously undeclared assets and – if they have assets abroad (for example in the so-called tax havens) – they are encouraged to repatriate these funds into Indonesia through attractive tax incentives and immunity from prosecution, a move that met resistance in Singapore.

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  • Indonesia Issues Travel Warning to Singapore due to Zika Virus

    Indonesia Issues Travel Warning to Singapore due to Zika Virus

    Indonesia's Ministry of Health - in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - issued a 'travel advisory' for Singapore as the small Southeast Asian nation has been plagued by an outbreak of the Zika virus. By Wednesday (31/08), 82 people were reported to have been infected by the virus in Singapore. By issuing the travel advisory Indonesian authorities discourage citizens from traveling to Singapore, particularly pregnant women are warned. Indonesia is no stranger to mosquito-borne illnesses. The country has to cope with frequent outbreaks of dengue fever and malaria.

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  • Forest Fires in Indonesia Bring Traditional Haze Season

    Forest Fires in Indonesia Bring Traditional Haze Season

    The "haze season" is back in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia. Forest fires in Riau (Sumatra) are the main cause of smoke that has been carried to Singapore and Malaysia over the weekend. But also fires in West and Central Kalimantan have caused local haze. Hundreds of firefighters and military personnel were deployed to combat forest fires in Riau where 162 hotspots were counted over the past couple of days. Indonesian farmers' (illegal) slash-and-burn practices (aimed at clearing land) are the cause, while dry and hot weather exacerbate the situation.

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  • Growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Indonesia Slows in Q2-2016

    Growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Indonesia Slowing in Q2-2016

    Direct investment in Indonesia (both domestic and foreign) totaled IDR 298.1 trillion in the first half of 2016, up 14.8 percent from investment realization in the same period one year earlier. Foreign direct investment (FDI) was recorded at IDR 195.5 trillion¹, up 12.3 percent (y/y) - and accounting for 65.6 percent of total investment realization in the first six months of 2016 - while domestic direct investment (DDI) rose 20.0 percent (y/y) over the same period. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, FDI into Indonesia rose 7.9 percent, considerably lower than the 17.1 percent (q/q) growth pace in the preceding quarter.

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  • Singapore Denies Allegations Regarding Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program

    Singaporean authorities deny that the nation's banks offer incentives to Indonesian clients to keep their assets stashed in Singapore. Last week, reports started to circulate in local Indonesian media claiming that Singaporean banks offer to finance the difference between interest paid on the declaration of assets kept in Singapore and the interest paid on the assets repatriated to Indonesia. Indonesia is eager to see the repatriation of offshore funds (stashed in so-called tax havens) through the tax amnesty program. It is estimated that some USD $200 billion worth of Indonesian funds are kept in Singapore.

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Latest Columns Singapore

  • Studying Abroad More Expensive for Indonesians as Rupiah Weakens

    Studying Abroad More Expensive for Indonesians as Rupiah Weakens

    Indonesia's heavily depreciated rupiah makes it more difficult for Indonesians to study abroad or to send their children to universities abroad without having the financial aid in the form of a scholarship. For those that are thinking of making such a decision, they need to take into account the performance of the Indonesian rupiah as well as the inflation outlook in the country of destination. So far in 2015, the Indonesian rupiah has depreciated 18 percent against the US dollar, 9 percent against the euro, 14 percent against China's yuan, and 2.4 percent against the Australian dollar.

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  • Tourism in Indonesia: Record High Number of Foreign Visitor Arrivals

    The total number of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia in 2014 was 9.44 million, up 7.19 percent from the preceding year, meaning that the government target of welcoming 9.3 million foreign tourists last year was achieved. As usual, most foreign tourists entered Indonesia through the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, the most famous tourist destination in the world’s largest archipelago. During the whole year of 2014 a total of 3.71 million foreigners spent some time on Bali.

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  • Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Hit Record High in 2014

    Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Hit Record High in 2014

    The Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) announced that foreign and domestic direct investment realization in Indonesia totalled IDR 463.1 trillion (USD $37 billion) in 2014, a 16.2 percent increase from the previous year and exceeding the target that was set previously. This is a positive result as 2014 was expected to be a rather bleak year in terms of direct investment amid political uncertainties triggered by the (fragmented results) of the country’s legislative and presidential elections.

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  • Contrary to Global Trend Indonesian Stocks and Rupiah Strengthen

    Despite the fact that foreign investors continued to record net selling (IDR 216.9 billion) and despite mostly declining stock indices in Southeast Asia, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) rose 0.19 percent to 4,922.59 points on Tuesday’s trading day (14/10). The IHSG was particularly supported by rising consumer and manufacturing stocks. Indonesian stocks were also supported by the appreciating rupiah exchange rate.

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  • Press Release: Indosat-Novosol Partnership: A Treat for Football Fans

    Indosat, one of Indonesia's largest telecommunication networks and services provider, has partnered with Novosol, a Singapore headquartered mobile media and advertising company. Indosat will offer Novosol's MoFutbol multimedia mobile magazine to its fifty million plus subscribers at no charge. MoFutbol is a 24x7 magazine videos, photo-stories and real time scrollers. MoFutbol is the first multimedia mobile football service in the Indonesian language. The Mandarin and Malay editions will follow soon.

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  • Corruption Scandal: Head of SKK Migas Arrested on Alleged Bribery Charges

    Corruption Scandal: Head of SKK Migas Arrested on Alleged Bribery Charges

    Late on Tuesday evening (13/08), the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Rudi Rubiandini, head of the Upstream Oil and Gas regulatory special task force (SKK Migas) for allegedly accepting bribes amounting to USD $400,000 from Kernel Oil Pte Ltd, which is headquartered in Singapore. Four other people were also arrested in connection with this case. Rubiandini is currently being questioned by the KPK. The institution has one day to determine Rubiandini's legal status.

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  • Investment Realization in Indonesia USD $19.8 billion in Semester I-2013

    Foreign and Domestic Investment Realization in Indonesia 2013

    Investment realization in Indonesia grew 30.2 percent to IDR 192.8 trillion (USD $19.8 billion) in the first six months of 2013 (compared to the same period last year). This result implies that 49.4 percent of the investment target for full 2013 has been achieved. The Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) aims to collect IDR 390.3 trillion in investments this year. This target is divided in domestic direct investment (DDI) of IDR 117.7 trillion and foreign direct investment (FDI) of IDR 272.6 trillion.

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  • Tourism in Indonesia: One of Indonesia's Untapped Potentials? (Part I)

    Tourism in Indonesia Untapped Potential - Richard van der Schaar

    Whenever the topic of tourism in Indonesia is touched upon, most people will instantly think of Bali. This small but famous island harbors all sorts of entertainment that will appeal to various segments of international tourism: beautiful landscapes, Balinese Hinduism, lively nightclubs, beaches and more. But apart from Bali - and despite the fact that Indonesia has much to offer on other islands - the country has disappointed in attracting a large amount of foreign tourists so far.

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