Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • Rally of Rupiah and Jakarta Composite Index Paused by Profit Taking

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.14 percent to IDR 11,665 per US dollar on Tuesday (25/02) based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The currency's depreciation was due to US dollar demand from Indonesian importers while offshore funds engaged in profit taking as the rupiah is the best performer in February 2014 among 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg (against both the euro and US dollar). The rupiah is also the best-performing Asian currency this year so far.

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  • Conclusion G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

    Conclusion G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sydney

    On Sunday (23/02), the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was concluded. In a statement, the finance ministers and central bank governors committed to implement policies to grow collective GDP by over 2 percent above the current trajectory over the next five years. Realistically, these policies could mean an extra USD $2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs. Each country will deliver a comprehensive growth strategy as part of the Brisbane Leaders Summit in November.

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  • Unexpected December 2013 Surplus Helps to Ease Indonesia's Trade Deficit

    Market participants were pleased to see the trade balance of Indonesia posting an unexpected USD $1.52 billion surplus in December 2013, almost twice as high than previous forecasts. This December surplus is the highest monthly surplus since December 2011. Exports rose 6.56 percent from November 2013 and 10.33 percent from December 2012, while imports rose 2.04 percent from November 2013 but declined 0.79 percent from December 2012. Although showing an easing trend, Indonesia posted a trade deficit of USD $4.06 billion in full 2013.

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  • IMF Raises Its Forecast for US and Global Economic Growth in 2014

    On Tuesday (21/01), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent a positive message to the world as it slightly raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2014. The main reason for this upward revision is the improving economy of the USA. According to the IMF, the US economy will grow 2.8 percent in 2014 (0.2 percentage points higher than the IMF's previous outlook released in October 2013). Due to stronger US growth, the global economy is now expected to expand by 3.7 percent (0.1 percent up from its previous forecast).

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  • Amid Improving Global Economy, Indonesia Optimistic about GDP Growth

    Forecasts for economic growth in Indonesia in 2014 are still optimistic. The government of Indonesia targets a 6 percent growth rate, while the country's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects GDP growth in the range of 5.8 to 6.2 percent. Although these forecasts clearly fall short of the target set in the country's National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) - which mentions annual GDP growth of between 6.3 and 6.8 percent - the forecasts are still rather positive given the global uncertain and volatile economic context in recent years.

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  • International Monetary Fund: Commodity Market Monthly January

    Last Friday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its January 2014 Commodity Market Monthly. This report provides an update on global commodity prices. According to the report, global commodity prices rose 2.4 percent in December 2013, with increases in most main indices. During 2013, commodity prices increased 0.8 percent, with gains concentrated in the energy sector, up 3 percent from December 2012. Metals prices declined 7 percent due to continued increases in new capacity.

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  • Indonesia's Strategy to Avert the Impact of Federal Reserve Tapering

    Indonesia's Strategy to Avert the Impact of Federal Reserve Tapering

    Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said that the Indonesian government is preparing two strategic steps to anticipate the negative impact of the winding down of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. In January 2014, the Fed's bond-buying program will be reduced from USD $85 billion to USD $75 billion per month. The two strategic steps, which will enhance financial stability in Southeast Asia's largest economy, involve the curtailing of Indonesia's current account deficit and high inflation.

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  • Indonesia & Asian Stock Indices Jump on Federal Reserve Tapering Decision

    The central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve (FED), announced that it will start winding down its quantitative easing program in January 2014. Currently, the Fed purchases USD $85 billion worth of bonds per month but this amount will be reduced to USD $75 billion next month. The Fed came to this decision as prospects of the US labor market have shown a marked improvement, while economic growth is expected to accelerate to between 2.8 and 3.2 percent in 2014 and between 3.0 to 3.4 percent in 2015.

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  • Realized Investment in Indonesia in 2013 Will Exceed Target of the BKPM

    Head of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Mahendra Siregar, is optimistic that total realized investments in Indonesia will exceed the target that is set for this year. The BKPM, a government institution, aims for investments worth of IDR 390 trillion (USD $32.5 billion) in 2013 and IDR 470 trillion (USD $39.2 billion) in 2014. Siregar is optimistic because many investors, particularly from Japan and the USA, are committed to engage in business expansion at the end of this year as well as next year.

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  • Developing Asia Growth Outlook Steady as Industrial Economies Firm

    An improving economic growth outlook in both Japan and the USA paired with stronger-than- expected growth in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) support a steady growth outlook for developing Asia, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. The Asian Development Outlook Supplement, released on Wednesday (11/12), forecasts growth of 6.0 percent in 2013 for ADB’s 45 developing member countries, improving to 6.2 percent in 2014. The forecasts are unchanged from the Asian Development Outlook Update issued in October.

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Latest Columns USA

  • New Week Starts with Strong Indonesian Rupiah and Climbing IHSG

    At the start of the new week, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) was able to continue to climb, supported by positive Asian indices. Today, investors took advantage of discounted stocks in Asia as markets had fallen after the Federal Reserve's announcement last week that the quantitative easing program would be wound down further as well as a possible US interest rate hike in 2015 and 2016. However, the IHSG was also vulnerable to profit taking. Therefore, today's gain was limited.

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  • Further US Tapering and Looming Interest Rate Hike Impact on Indonesia

    The US Federal Reserve's plan to increase interest rates is a serious threat to the stock and bonds markets of emerging markets, including Indonesia, in 2014. The higher Fed Fund rate will result in a high cost bonds-climate in Indonesia. The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday (19/03) that it continues to cut its quantitative easing program (QE3) by USD $10 billion in March 2014 as well as aims for an interest rate hike six months after the 'tapering' has ended. With the current pace, QE3 is expected to end in December 2014.

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  • Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index Climbs 0.33% on Wednesday

    We expected that Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (the country's benchmark stock index also known as IHSG) would continue to weaken on Wednesday's trading day (19/03) but net buying by foreign investors managed to push the index back into green territory. During the first two days of this week, the IHSG fell as euphoria over Joko Widodo's announcement to run for president in the 2014 elections faded. Last week, the market showed that they approve of Widodo as the IHSG climbed 3.23 percent on Friday (14/03).

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index down on Profit Taking as Jokowi Effect has Worn off

    Jakarta Composite Index down on Profit Taking as Jokowi Effect has Worn off

    Previously we were hoping that if global stock indices would turn positive, it could limit the fall of Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) as the 'Jokowi effect' has definately worn off. On Tuesday (18/03), investors continued to engage in profit taking causing the IHSG to plunge 1.45 percent to 4,805.61 points. While most Asian indices were up, influenced by rising indices on Wall Street and in Europe on the previous trading day (17/03), the IHSG deviated sharply from the Asian trend today.

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  • Most Asian Currencies Down against USD but Indonesian Rupiah Appreciates

    Although immediately plunging 0.33 percent to IDR 11,478 per US dollar after its opening on Monday (10/03), the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.57 percent to IDR 11,375 per US dollar by 14:00 local Jakarta time (Bloomberg Dollar Index). The rupiah's performance today is in sharp contrast with other Asian currencies. As US nonfarm payrolls increased more than expected and Chinese exports fell sharply (18.1 percent year-on-year) in February 2014, the US dollar appreciated against most Asian currencies.

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  • Reduced Capital Injections Can Hurt Financial Stability Emerging Economies

    Reduced Capital Injections Can Hurt Financial Stability Emerging Economies

    According to the World Bank, a sharp dismantling of capital injections by the central banks can lead to a 80 percent reduction of capital inflows into the emerging economies, including Indonesia. This can cause serious damage or even a crisis situation in an emerging market because capital flows to these countries are more triggered by global factors than domestic ones. The winding down of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program (quantitative easing) has been gradual for now but if interest rates rise quickly it can hurt emerging economies.

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  • January 2014 Tapering Has Euphoric Effect on Global Stock Markets

    Fed's January 2014 Tapering Has Euphoric Effect on Global Stock Markets

    On Wednesday (18/12), the Federal Reserve announced to slightly scale back its quantitative easing program starting from January 2014. The reduction of the bond-buying program involves USD $5 billion of mortgage-backed securities and USD $5 billion of US treasury securities. Thus, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of USD $75 billion worth of bonds per month instead of the current pace of USD $85 billion. For the moment, this policy change has an euphoric effect on global stock markets.

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  • Indonesia’s Stock Index (IHSG) Up on US Economic Data on Tuesday

    Wall Street, which was up on Monday (16/12) supported by various economic data, managed to support Asian stock indices on Tuesday (17/12), including Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (IHSG). Investors were back and ready to trade on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. As usual, the big cap stocks were highly popular. The rupiah’s Bank Indonesia mid-rate, which improved slightly, also contributed to the good performance of the IHSG today. The index rose 1.37 percent to 4,182.35 points.

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  • Indonesia Rupiah Exchange Rate Today: Volatile Movement on Tuesday

    Throughout the morning, the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate showed volatile movement on Tuesday (10/12). In the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency was up 0.45 percent to IDR 11,920 per US dollar at 16:20:51 local Jakarta time. The rupiah's performance is volatile because negative sentiments are brought on by improving economic data from the USA, causing a strengthening US dollar, while positive market sentiments are brought on by the new fiscal policies that were announced by the Indonesian government.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index Up but Rupiah Exchange Rate Down on Tuesday

    Indonesia's benchmark stock index (the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) continued yesterday's rise on today's trading day (10/12), supported by indices on Wall Street that climbed due to the lower VIX index (Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index) although Asia's stock indices were mixed, while the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate continued its decline. Indonesia's manufacturing stocks were up along with consumer, automotive and processed foods stocks.

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