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Today's Headlines Malaysia

  • Palm Oil Price at One-Month Low on Rising Malaysian Supplies

    Palm Oil Price at One-Month Low on Rising Malaysian Supplies

    The crude palm oil (CPO) price touched its lowest level since 4 May 2017 due to expectations of rising CPO production in Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer. At the end of trading on Tuesday (06/06) the palm oil price had fallen 0.08 percent to 2,497 ringgit (approx. USD $585.07) per ton on the Malaysian bourse (August 2017 contracts).

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  • Indonesia & Malaysia Set Criteria for the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries

    Indonesia & Malaysia Set Criteria for the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries

    Nine or ten crude palm oil (CPO) producers want to join the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries (CPOPC), the intergovernmental palm oil council set up by the world's two largest CPO producers and exporters: Indonesia and Malaysia. These two initiators signed an agreement in November 2015 for the establishment of the CPOPC - headquartered in Jakarta - that aims to control the global CPO supply, stabilize palm oil prices, promote sustainable practices in the palm oil industry, and enhance the welfare of oil palm smallholders; more or less the role that OPEC has in the crude oil industry.

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  • Palm Oil Industry Indonesia: CPO Prices Rise on El Nino Drought

    Palm Oil Industry Indonesia: CPO Prices Rise on El Nino Drought

    The crude palm oil (CPO) price continues to rise supported by the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon. El Nino causes a dry spell in Southeast Asia, home to the world's largest palm oil plantations. As a result, CPO inventories in Malaysia may have declined to 2.11 million tons, an 11-month low in February 2016. Meanwhile, Singapore-based agribusiness trader Olam International Ltd said CPO stocks will decline to the range of 1.5 - 2.0 million tons in the second quarter of 2016. Obstacles to higher CPO prices are Malaysia's strengthening ringgit (which curtails demand for Malaysian palm oil) and attractive prices of soybean oil.

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  • Indonesia Financial Market Update: Rupiah Gains most in 7 Years, Stocks Climb

    Indonesia Financial Market Update: Rupiah Gains most in 7 Years, Stocks Climb

    Indonesia's rupiah and Malaysia's ringgit led gains among emerging market currencies in Asia on Wednesday (07/10) on the back of capital inflows (triggered by an expected delay in higher US interest rates), better-than-expected Malaysian export data and higher oil prices. The Indonesian rupiah appreciated 2.95 percent to IDR 13,821 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index), the strongest gain in seven years. Meanwhile, yields on ten- and 15-year Indonesian government bonds fell to 8.710 percent and 8.870 percent, respectively.

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  • Haze Update: Malaysia Closes Schools, Urges Indonesia to Act

    Haze Update: Malaysia Closes Schools, Urges Indonesia to Act

    Again schools were ordered to shut (for at least two days) in Malaysia in order to protect children from inhaling smog as the air quality remains at very unhealthy levels (nearly hazardous in some regions). The air pollutant index still shows readings of between 201 to 300 in six districts around Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The haze, which - reportedly - may become the worst haze ever, is caused by companies' and people's illegal slash-and-burn practices to clear land for planting on parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan. The situation is exacerbated by the (El Nino-related) prolonged dry season.

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  • Haze Southeast Asia: Singapore Names Indonesian Companies, Malaysia Closes Schools

    Haze Southeast Asia: Singapore Names Indonesian Companies, Malaysia Closes Schools

    While Malaysian authorities ordered more schools to close on Monday, schools in Singapore reopened on the first day of the week as the air quality improved. However, although having improved, the air quality in Singapore remains unhealthy. The pollutant standards index in Singapore was 161 (meaning unhealthy) around 11 am local Singapore time on Monday (improving from a ‘hazardous’ reading of 341 last Friday). Meanwhile, Singapore mentioned five companies as having contributed to the forest fires that are causing the severe haze in Southeast Asia.

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  • Morgan Stanley: Indonesia’s Rupiah & Malaysia’s Ringgit Most Attractive Now

    Morgan Stanley: Indonesia’s Rupiah & Malaysia’s Ringgit Most Attractive Now

    Morgan Stanley Investment Management, a leading global investment firm, said it now considers Indonesia’s rupiah and Malaysia ringgit as the most attractive emerging-market currencies. Both currencies have been the worst-performing Asian currencies against the US dollar this year amid looming tighter monetary policy in the USA, low commodity prices and China’s economic slowdown (as well as a political scandal in Malaysia). The ringgit has depreciated 21 percent, while the rupiah has weakened 16.2 percent against the US dollar since the start of the year. Both currencies are touching 17-year lows.

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  • Indonesia’s Forest Fires & Haze Plague Singapore and Malaysia

    Indonesia’s Forest Fires & Haze Plague Singapore and Malaysia

    The haze, caused by dozens of forest fires on Sumatra and Kalimantan, and which have spread to Singapore and Malaysia, is expected to plague the three countries in the next couple of days. Indonesian authorities, which are currently investigating forest fires in Central Kalimantan, South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan and Jambi, mentioned that there are 107 people who have been named suspects, involved in 68 acts of slash-and-burn practices (according to Indonesian media).

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  • Indonesia’s ‘Traditional’ Forest Fires & Haze Disrupt Commercial Flights

    Indonesia’s ‘Traditional’ Forest Fires & Haze Disrupt Commercial Flights

    Indonesia and Malaysia are again plagued by a traditional haze caused by forest fires in Palangkaraya (Central Kalimantan). The thick haze resulted in the cancellation of various commercial flights at the local airports in Jambi (Sumatra) and Surabaya (Java). Furthermore, it was reported that in parts of Malaysia an unhealthy air quality was recorded.

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  • Indonesia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall as Central Bank Defends Rupiah

    Indonesia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall as Central Bank Defends Rupiah

    Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves fell to USD $105.3 billion in late August 2015 (from USD $107.6 billion in the preceding month) as the government used foreign exchange (forex) for external debt payments while the central bank (Bank Indonesia) used part of the forex to intervene in the currency market in an effort to support the ailing rupiah rate which has been under severe pressure amid looming further monetary tightening in the USA and concern about the hard landing of China’s economy.

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Latest Columns Malaysia

  • Rubber Update: Indonesia, Thailand & Malaysia Make New Policies

    Rubber Update: Indonesia, Thailand & Malaysia Make New Policies

    Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s three largest rubber producing countries (accounting for about 70 percent of total global natural rubber output), have agreed to avoid excessive natural rubber supply on the international market by limiting their rubber exports. The countries also agree to curb new rubber plantation development as well as to spur domestic rubber consumption in each country. This statement was read out by Douglas Uggah Embas, Plantation Industries Minister of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur today (20/11).

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  • Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Indonesian CPO Reserves and Biodiesel

    Reserves of crude palm oil (CPO) in Indonesia may have declined for a second straight month in October on the back of drought and an increase in exports from Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The delayed impact of drought (which even managed to dry up several rivers in West Kalimantan in October) limited production of CPO in recent weeks. Meanwhile, exports have increased after Indonesia and Malaysia - the world’s two top palm oil producers - scrapped export taxes to boost demand for this commodity.

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  • Effect of Banking Collapse; Southeast Asia Grows as Retirement Destination

    Effect of Banking Collapse; Southeast Asia Grows as Retirement Destination

    The western banking collapse of 2008 did more than cost investors large sums of money, it exposed markets to a renewed sense of vulnerability in that is typically thought of as the world’s most stable financial institutions. But one of the unintended (or unforeseen) results of these events has been the upsurge in alternative retirement destinations for those that are ending their working careers. Perhaps most surprising is the upsurge in the number of retirees moving to the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Will Japanese Growth Support the Asian-Pacific Economic Outlook?

    Will Japanese Growth Support the Asian-Pacific Outlook?

    In recent years, the Japanese economy has experienced significant hardships, generated largely by the aftermath of the hurricane and tsunami that hit the country in 2011. But newly adapted stimulus programs (the much-discussed programs of Abenomics) have boosted economic growth rates since that period. As a result, annual GDP is expected to rise to 1.8% for 2014, and these improvements are expected to have a supportive on the performances seen in surrounding economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Indonesian Government Develops Palm Oil Based Biodiesel to Curb Oil Import

    In order to curb imports of oil, the government of Indonesia intends to stimulate the production of crude palm oil-based biofuel by increasing the mandatory content of fatty acid methyl ester (which is made from palm oil) in biodiesel products from 7.5 percent to 10 percent. Through this policy, the government claims to be able to save up to USD $3 billion as it needs less fuel imports. Fuel imports totaled USD $5.8 billion in the first six months of 2013 and form a major cause for the USD $9.8 billion current account deficit in Q2-2013.

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  • Most Stock Indices Are Waiting for Results of the Federal Reserve Meeting

    Despite being up at the start of the trading day, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was under pressure for the remainder of Wednesday (31/07) due to investors' appetite for profit taking. Indonesian company reports (Semester I-2013) were mixed and, in combination with other mixed Asian indices, it made many investors wait and see for the meeting of the Federal Reserve first. Asian indices suffered because of Malaysia's and India's downgrade by Fitch Ratings. This triggered speculation whether Indonesia's outlook will be cut as well.

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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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  • Indonesia's Crude Palm Oil Sector; CPO Price Expected to Rebound

    Palm Oil Price and Export Indonesia Investments

    The price of crude palm oil (CPO), which has been under downward pressure for a long time as global turmoil lingers on, started to rebound due to falling stockpiles in Indonesia and Malaysia. Reserves of the commodity fell because of weather conditions and because of an increase in demand ahead of the Islamic fasting month (Ramadhan). The price of crude palm oil is expected to hit the USD $900 per ton mark in late 2013, up from USD $828-865 per ton in May and June. This price recovery is expected to continue.

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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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  • Despite Mixed Asian Stock Markets, Indonesia's Index Posts New Record High

    Despite positive results of monthly US Factory Orders and Economic Optimism, it did not support Asian stock markets up to the end of Wednesday's trading day. The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG), on the other hand, maintained its upward movement to reach 4,981.47, a 0.49 percent gain. Matters that supported the IHSG's performance to yet another new record high level, were well-received 2012 company reports as well as expected dividend payouts.

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