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Today's Headlines Malaysia

  • Foreign Direct Investment Indonesia: up in Rupiah, down in USD Terms

    Foreign Direct Investment Indonesia: up in Rupiah, down in USD Terms

    The Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) announced today (27/07) that - in rupiah terms - foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia rose 18.2 percent (y/y) to IDR 92.2 trillion rupiah in the second quarter of 2015, the fastest growth pace recorded since 2013. However, in US dollar terms, FDI fell to USD $7.38 billion in Q2-2015 from USD $7.43 billion in the same quarter one year earlier. The BKPM uses an IDR 12,500 per US dollar exchange rate in 2015 and an IDR 10,500 per US dollar exchange rate in 2014.

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  • Rohingya Refugees Rescued at Seas near Indonesia’s Aceh Province

    Rohingya Refugees Rescued at Seas near Indonesia’s Aceh Province

    Over the past two days more than 900 migrants (believed to be Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladesh) have been rescued from overcrowded wooden boats near the coastal area of Indonesia’s Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra. After being spotted by local fishermen, these boats were towed to Acehnese shore. Meanwhile, in Malaysia more than 1,000 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh were found in shallow waters near Langkawi after being abandoned by human traffickers.

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  • Banking Industry Indonesia: Bank Mandiri Can Open Branches in Malaysia

    Banking Industry Indonesia: Bank Mandiri Can Open Branches in Malaysia

    State-controlled Bank Mandiri, the leading bank in Indonesia in terms of asset size, will be allowed to open 20 branches in Malaysia after financial authorities in Indonesia and Malaysia signed an agreement. Although Muliaman D Hadad, Chief Commissioner at Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), said that the government of Malaysia still needs to ratify the agreement, it is expected that Bank Mandiri will be able to open its Malaysian branches before the end of the year.

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  • Palm Oil Indonesia: Government to Change CPO Export Policy

    Palm Oil Indonesia: Government to Change CPO Export Policy

    The government of Indonesia plans to adjust its crude palm oil (CPO) export tax policy. Chief Economics Minister Sofyan Djalil said that the government is about to impose a fixed levy of USD $50 per metric ton on CPO exports when CPO prices decline below the government’s threshold of USD $750 per ton, implying that it will become impossible for Indonesian palm oil exporters to ship output without charge. Currently, palm oil exporters can export CPO output duty-free as prices have been below the USD $750 threshold since September 2014.

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  • Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Pessimistic Outlook CPO Price

    It is estimated that Indonesia’s export of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives have fallen in February 2015 due to sluggish demand from India and China, the world’s two largest palm oil importers, while the globe’s soybean output increased (soybean oil is a close substitute to palm oil for food and biodiesel uses). Based on a median of six palm oil growers, analysts and official estimates, Indonesian shipments of palm oil (including palm kernel) fell six percent month-to-month (m/m) to 1.7 million metric tons in February.

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  • Banking Sector of Indonesia to Become Less Open to Foreign Investment

    Banking Sector of Indonesia to Become Less Open to Foreign Investment

    Commission XI of Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR), which oversees the country’s banking sector, will soon propose a new draft of a bill that sets to limit foreign ownership in Indonesian banks at 40 percent (from 99 percent currently). Established banks that are majority-owned by foreigners will be given a 10-year period to divest their shares after the bill has been passed into law (reportedly an earlier draft only provided a five-year transition period for this mandatory divestment).

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  • Crude Palm Oil Indonesia Update: Limited Production Growth in 2015

    Crude Palm Oil Indonesia Update: Limited Production Growth in 2015

    Indonesia’s production of crude palm oil (CPO) is estimated to reach 31 million tons this year, up from an expected 29.5 million tons in 2014, according to the Indonesian Palm Oil Board (DMSI). Similar to last year, CPO production growth is limited due to unconducive weather conditions in the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil. Moreover, old trees have become less productive, while the younger generation of planted trees have not yet reached an optimal production age.

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  • Malaysia & Indonesia Expected to Maintain Duty-Free Palm Oil Exports

    The world’s two largest crude palm oil (CPO) producers and exporters, Indonesia and Malaysia, are expected to maintain their zero percent export tariffs for CPO in January 2015 according to Dorab Mistry, Executive at Godrej Industries Ltd (India's leading manufacturer of oleochemicals), in an interview to international news agency Reuters. Authorities in Malaysia (since September 2014) and Indonesia (since October 2014) have implemented duty-free CPO shipments in an effort to boost global CPO demand and prices.

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  • Palm Oil Industry in Indonesia: Update on CPO Production & Export

    Exports of Indonesian crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives may increase to 21.6 million tons (collecting about USD $16.0 - 17.3 billion in foreign exchange) in 2015. Meanwhile, Indonesian CPO production is estimated to reach 32.5 million tons next year while the CPO price is estimated to range between USD $740 - 800 per ton. However, provided that the Indonesian government will extend its current zero export tariff scheme for CPO exports, then the country’s CPO exports are expected to accelerate.

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  • Tourism in Indonesia: Foreign Visitor Number Rises 8.7% in Jan-Oct 2014

    Indonesia welcomed a total of 808,767 foreign tourists in October 2014, up 12.3 percent from the same month last year, according to official data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Meanwhile, on a month-to-month basis, foreign tourist arrivals rose 2.2 percent from September 2014. Suryamin, Chief at BPS, said that the highest percentage increases on a month-to-month basis occurred in Adi Sucipto International Airport (Yogyakarta), followed by the Port of Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), and Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (Riau).

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Latest Columns Malaysia

  • Local Currency Settlement Framework Indonesia, Malaysia & Thailand

    Local Currency Settlement Framework Indonesia, Malaysia & Thailand

    Earlier this week, the central banks of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia), Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia), Thailand (Bank of Thailand) jointly announced the launch of the local currency settlement framework. This framework aims at boosting the use of local currencies in transactions (specifically related to trade and investment) conducted between Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in an effort to reduce these countries' dependence on the US dollar.

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  • Palm Oil Industry Indonesia: New Industrial Estate in Berau

    Palm Oil Industry Indonesia: New Industrial Estate in Berau

    Indonesia's Industry Ministry selected the industrial estate in Berau (East Kalimantan) as the center for the downstream palm oil industry in Kalimantan. Furthermore, Panggah Susanto, the Industry Ministry's Director General for Agriculture industry, said the government proposes to select Berau as one of the palm oil centers within the Palm Oil Green Economic Zone (POGEZ) scheme. Berau is chosen to replace Bontang because the former has 3,400 hectares of (clear and clean) industrial land available, while land in Bontang still falls under "protected forest" status.

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  • Palm Oil Price Touches Highest Position So Far in 2016

    Palm Oil Price Touches Highest Position So Far in 2016

    The crude palm oil (CPO) price touched its highest level so far this year. On Tuesday (20/09) palm oil futures (December delivery) - traded on the Kuala Lumpur exchange - ended the day at 2,690 ringgit (approx. USD $651 per metric ton). Palm oil prices are rising as CPO production in Indonesia and Malaysia will remain subdued this year due to droughts that were brought by the El Nino weather phenomenon earlier in 2016, while there is expectation of a rather wet season later this year due to the La Nina weather phenomenon.

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  • Indonesia & Malaysia to Develop Global Center for Islamic Capital Markets

    Indonesia & Malaysia to Develop Global Center for Islamic Capital Markets

    The stock exchanges of Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to join hands to develop a World Sharia Stock Market Center. Both sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday (02/08) at the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Jakarta. Both exchanges - the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) and the Bursa Malaysia - are eager to establish a global benchmark for Islamic capital markets. This is part of an effort to broaden the usage and availability of Islamic liquidity and products worldwide.

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  • Palm Oil Update: CPO Output Indonesia & Malaysia Down, Price Up

    Palm Oil Update: CPO Output Indonesia & Malaysia Down, Price Up

    Crude palm oil (CPO) production in Indonesia and Malaysia is expected to decline due to the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon (that brought a prolonged dry season to Southeast Asia). CPO production in Malaysia could fall between 1.5 and 2 million tons this year according to Dorab Mistry, Director at Godrej International. Declining output in the world's two leading palm oil producers and exporters implies that palm oil prices should be able to rise further. At the start of this week palm oil futures traded in Kuala Lumpur (June delivery) rose to 2,779 ringgit (approx. USD $695) per ton, the highest level since March 2014.

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  • Palm Oil Industry Update: Indonesia & Malaysia Cooperate in Council and Special Zone

    Palm Oil Industry Update: Indonesia & Malaysia Cooperate in Council and Special Zone

    Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's leading crude palm oil (CPO) producers and exporters, will cooperate for the development of a special economic zone on Indonesian territory to boost the palm oil industry's downstream industry. Private companies will be given incentives to invest in this zone and develop industries to process CPO into olein, a key ingredient for the production of cosmetics and margarine. Furthermore, both countries plan to establish the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries.

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  • Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Update Indonesia: El Nino to Impact on Production?

    Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Update Indonesia: El Nino to Impact on Production?

    Crude palm oil (CPO) output in Indonesia, the world’s largest CPO producer and exporter, may decline by 20 percent to 27.5 million tons in 2016 due to the negative impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon. On a positive note, declining CPO output in Indonesia could provide some support for benchmark Malaysian palm prices that fell to a 6.5-year low of 1,836 ringgit last week.

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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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  • Indonesia & Malaysia Support Banking Integration in ASEAN Region

    Bank Indonesia (the central bank of Indonesia) and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) signed an agreement (the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework, abbreviated ABIF) with Malaysia’s central bank to support banking integration in the ASEAN region. The website of Bank Indonesia states that ABIF “provides an operating framework for ASEAN member states to implement principles and the integration process in the banking sector to support the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) [which is to be implemented later this year]”.

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  • Malaysia Confirms Duty Free Palm Oil Exports in Jan; Indonesia to Follow?

    Malaysia, the world’s second-largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer and exporter, will continue its duty-free export tariff for CPO in January 2015 according to information from the Malaysian customs department. Starting from September 2014 Malaysian authorities have implemented a duty-free CPO export policy in an effort to boost global demand and support international CPO prices (which have fallen nearly 20 percent this year). Indonesia, which has seen duty-free CPO shipments since October 2014, is expected to follow suit.

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