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

  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Up on US and China Economic Data

    Asia's stock indices were up after various US economic data (including non-farm payrolls and consumer confidence) were better than expected, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (also known as the Jakarta Composite index or IHSG). The index climbed 0.80 percent to 4,214.34 points on Monday (09/12). Supported by foreign net buying, almost all sectoral indices of the IHSG were up. The economic policy package that was released by the Ministry of Economy this afternoon also provided support for the index and the rupiah.

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  • Market Insecure about Future of QE3; IHSG Extends Losing Streak on Friday

    On the last day of the trading week (22/11), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell 0.19 percent to 4,317.96 points thereby extending its losing streak to three days as investors remain concerned about the looming end - or at least winding down - of the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion bond buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). Foreign investors recorded a net sell of IDR 38 billion (USD $3.3 million). The other indices in Asia were mixed. The Hang Seng and Nikkei were up but the Shanghai Composite was down.

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  • FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    The Federal Reserve, central banking system of the United States, expects that the current economic recovery of the USA is set to continue. In the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held at end-October 2013, it is mentioned that within the next few months the Federal Reserve can start winding down its monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (known as quantitative easing). The next FOMC meeting, which will shed more light on the future of the bond-buying program, is scheduled for December 2013.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Advance on Thursday

    Contrary to most Asian indices, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) managed to post a gain on Thursday (07/11). The IHSG seemed to follow the upward movement of Wall Street on the previous day (06/11) after a number of Federal Reserve officials stated to support the continuation of the Fed's monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program (quantitative easing). Despite continued foreign net selling, the IHSG index rose 0.82 percent to 4,486.11 points as domestic purchases offset foreign selling.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Decline on Monday

    Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Decline on Monday

    On Monday (04/11), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell 0.21 percent to 4,423.29 points. Besides the negative influence of falling indices across Asia and foreign net selling of Indonesian stocks, the IHSG was also dragged down by the continued depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate (against the US dollar). When US manufacturing data showed that manufacturing activity grew faster than expected in October, the US dollar gained and thus the rupiah became pressured.

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  • Amid Political Turmoil in the USA, Indonesia's Rupiah and IHSG Rise

    Although part of the market players on Indonesia's Stock Exchange (IDX) engaged in profit taking after Indonesia's benchmark index (IHSG) climbed for two consecutive days, the index still posted growth of 0.71 percent to 4,418.64 points on Thursday (03/10). Factors that contributed to today's gain were the depreciating US dollar as no solution has been found yet concerning the shutdown, generally rising Asian stock indices and the positive message that is conveyed in the APEC meeting in Bali.

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  • Indonesia Economic Update & Analysis: Opportunities Arise?

    It seems clear now how market conditions will be until the end of the year. Two important foreign issues - the US Federal Reserve's tapering of quantitative easing (QE3) as well as the US debt ceiling issue which resulted in a shutdown as the Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on the country's federal budget - and various economic data from Indonesia (inflation and the trade balance) have provided some more insight into the matter. I will discuss each topic one by one below.

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  • Concerns about US Debt Ceiling Talks Impacts on Indonesia's IHSG

    Concerns about the US debt ceiling issue have a negative impact on stock indices around the world, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG). Market players fear a possible deadlock during the state budget discussions, which - if not resolved - will have a serious negative impact on the economy. Factors that contributed to negative market sentiments were the continued depreciating value of rupiah and weak openings of European stock indices. The IHSG fell 2.43 percent to 4,316.18 on Monday (30/09).

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  • No Tapering is Bullish? The Federal Reserve Playing with the Global Market

    Starting from May 2013, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) has been on a weakening (bearish) trend inflicted by various reasons. First, in early May, Standard & Poor's downgraded Indonesia's credit rating due to the government's hesitancy to slash fuel subsidies. Then, the Federal Reserve started to speculate about ending its quantitative easing program. Capital outflows that followed indicated the vulnerable state of the Indonesian economy. Moreover, the controversial hike in fuel prices in late-June resulted in high inflation.

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  • The Impact of the Fed's Quantitative Easing Program on Emerging Indonesia

    Investors all around the world are in anticipation of the Federal Reserve's decision to scale back the monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). If indeed scaled back, then another important question remains: how much will the bond-buying program be toned down? Today (18/09), is the last day of the Fed's FOMC meeting in which these decisions are made. The market expects no drastic end to the program, instead a gradual toning down (between USD $10 to $20 billion) is anticipated.

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