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Today's Headlines Malaysia

  • Motorcycle Sales in Indonesia: Growth Expected to Increase in Second Quarter

    Indonesian motorcycle sales are forecast to rise in 2014 according to Sigit Kumala, Chairman of the Indonesian Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (AISI). Although sales in the first four months of 2014 (January-April), only grew 3.8 percent (year-on-year), sales are expected to grow more markedly in the second quarter of the year. However, sales may be curbed in May due to the presence of four public holidays. In May, consumers are expected to spend money on recreational activities instead of a new motorcycle.

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  • Commodity Update: Anticipating Higher Prices of Coffee, Palm Oil and Cacao

    Commodities Update: Anticipating Higher Prices of Coffee, Palm Oil and Cacao

    So far, the year 2014 is marked by adjustments in forecasts for commodities demand and prices on the global market. The primary example is coffee. Due to severe drought in Brazil, weak coffee production is expected to result in a shortage of coffee on the international market. Uncertainty about the extent of the shortage has pushed coffee prices up by about 65 percent since the end of 2013. Meanwhile, Brazil's reduced arabica output cannot be replaced by Indonesia's robusta coffee due to high rainfall in the archipelago.

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  • Indonesia's Preparations Start ASEAN Economic Community 78% Completed

    Indonesia's Preparations for Start ASEAN Economic Community 78% Completed

    Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said that Indonesia's preparations for the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in late 2015 are currently for 78 percent completed. The AEC aims to enhance regional economic integration among the ASEAN member states. It will transform the ASEAN region into one with free movement of goods, services, investment, and skilled labour, as well as a freer flow of capital. Most important is to develop Indonesia's infrastructure in order to foster connectivity, thus reducing logistics costs.

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  • Indonesia Tops Motorcycle Sales in ASEAN Region in 2013

    Indonesia Tops Motorcycle Sales in ASEAN Region in 2013

    The Asean Automotive Federation (AAF) stated that motorcycle sales growth in the ASEAN region was recorded at 5 percent (year on year) in 2013. Motorcycle sales rose from 10.52 million units in 2012 to 11.09 million in 2013. It is interesting to note that motorcycle sales in Indonesia accounted for 70 percent of total motorcycle sales in the ASEAN region last year. Indonesian sales ammounted to 7.7 million units, followed by Thailand (2 million), Philippines (752,835), Malaysia (546,719) and Singapore (11,650).

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  • Expatriates in Indonesia: Number of Foreign Workers is Declining

    Expatriates in Indonesia: Number of Foreign Workers is Declining

    The number of expatriates working in Indonesia has declined in the last three years. Based on data from the Ministry of Manpower & Transmigration there were 68,957 expatriates working in Indonesia in 2013, a 4.8 percent decline from 2012. The main reason for this falling number is tighter government policy. Minister Muhaimin Iskandar stated that curtailing the influx of expats is one way of developing the country's human resources. Only when a foreigner has such exceptional qualities - not easily found in Indonesia - should he/she work in Indonesia.

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  • Steady Growth in Tourist Arrivals to Indonesia Continues in October 2013

    The number of foreign tourists that visited Indonesia in the first ten months of 2013 (January to October) reached 7.13 million people, a 8.36 percent increase from the same period last year (6.58 million tourists). Traditionally, most foreign visitor arrivals (2.65 million) entered Indonesia through the newly renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport on Bali, Indonesia's most popular tourist destination. Second is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, located close to Jakarta, which welcomed 1.85 million foreign arrivals in the January-October 2013 period.

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  • Indonesia's Crude Palm Oil Export Duty Lowered to 9% in September 2013

    The government of Indonesia will lower the export duties on crude palm oil (CPO) from 10.5 percent in August to 9 percent in September if the CPO price continues to stay between USD $800-850 per ton. This lower tax policy is done in order to stimulate export revenues amid persistent weak global commodity prices. The international palm oil market is expected to remain stagnant in August and September. Stockpiles of CPO in Malaysia and Indonesia are projected to rise between September and December 2013.

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  • Increasing Cases of Piracy in Indonesian Ports and Waters

    Despite a global drop in piracy incidents in the first half of 2013, Indonesia has experienced a 50 percent surge in pirate attacks to 43 incidents in the same period. Total worldwide pirate attacks in Semester I-2013 fell to 138 cases (from 177). The location where most incidents take place in Indonesia are the waters around the Riau province, particularly around the ports in Dumai and Belawan. "Within Southeast Asia, most of the attacks occur on Indonesian anchorages [not when ships are sailing]" according to the International Maritime Bureau.

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  • Indonesia's Most Populous Island Java Continues to Dominate the Economy

    The economy of Indonesia continues to be dominated by the island of Java, Indonesia's most populous island with around 130 million people or 60 percent of Indonesia's total population. In the second quarter of 2013, Java contributed 58.15 percent to the nation's total economic growth. Far behind Java are Sumatra (23.90 percent) and Kalimantan (8.73 percent). Within Java, the Greater Jakarta area accounts for 16.50 percent of the country's total economic growth, followed by East Java (15.21 percent) and West Java (14.05 percent).

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  • Market Capitalization of Indonesia's Stock Exchange Grows Strong

    Market capitalization of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) has surpassed its psychological boundary of IDR 5,000 trillion (USD $512.82 billion) last week, supported by the new record high level position of the Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) on Friday at 5,145.68 points. Up to 17 May 2013, the IHSG gained 18.41 percent this year, thus outperforming all other major stock indices in Asia except for the Philippines and Japan's Nikkei, which gained 41.64 percent this year amid an aggressive stimulus plan of the central bank of Japan.

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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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