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Today's Headlines USA

  • Singapore Largest Foreign Investor in Indonesia in the First Half of 2014

    According to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Singapore is the largest foreign investor in Indonesia. In the first half of 2014, Indonesia received USD $3.4 billion worth of investments from Singapore. In total, foreign companies invested IDR 150 trillion (USD $12.9 billion) in Indonesia during the first six months of 2014. This is the highest amount of foreign investment that Indonesia has ever managed to attract in a six-month period. It also diluted fears that the legislative and presidential elections would cause a temporary slowdown.

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  • Fed Minutes: QE3 Ends in October 2014 but No Immediate US Interest Rate Hike

    Fed Minutes: QE3 Ends in October 2014 but No Immediate US Interest Rate Hike

    The US dollar continues to depreciate against emerging currencies after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest FOMC meeting, released Wednesday (09/07), suggest that the US central bank will maintain historic low interest rates (0.0 - 0.25 percent) into 2015. The Fed informed that US interest rates hikes will only occur ”a considerable time” after the US asset-buying program (quantitative easing) has ended. Based on the latest minutes, this program is expected to end in October 2014.

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  • IMF: Despite Challenges, Global Economic Growth Expected to Improve

    IMF: Despite Challenges, Global Economic Growth Expected to Improve

    Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde stated on Sunday (06/07) that the institution expects improved global economic growth in the second half of 2014 as well as in 2015 supported by the assumption that China, the world’s second-largest economy, will expand between 7.0 and 7.5 percent in 2014, thus not showing a sharp slowdown. Later this month, the IMF will release its new global economic outlook. Lagarde said that forecasts will be slightly different from forecasts made in the April edition.

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  • World Bank Cuts its Global Economic Growth Forecast to 2.8% in 2014

    The World Bank cut its global economic growth forecast because of the weaker outlooks for the economies of the USA, Russia and China, as well as the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine which triggered worldwide concerns. The Washington-based institution expects to see 2.8 percent of global economic growth in 2014, far below its January 2014 estimate of 3.2 percent. However, it kept its global growth forecasts for the next two years at 3.4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Appreciating on Weak US Data

    Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.23 percent to IDR 11,603 per US dollar on Thursday (24/04). The currency's performance was particularly influenced by weak new US single-family homes sales. These sales fell more than expected and hit a five-month low in February 2014, implying that there is continued weakness in the US housing market. Meanwhile, US durable goods orders and US initial jobless claims, which will be released later today, are expected to be weak too.

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  • Bappenas Expects Indonesia to Record a Trade Surplus in 2014

    Indonesian exports are expected to rise 6.7 percent to IDR 1,399.7 trillion (USD $123.9 billion) in 2014 as a number of advanced markets (including the United States) have been showing signs of improving economies (the calculation of the figures was done by the Ministry of National Development Planning also known as Bappenas). Increased demand from these advanced markets will result in more exports of Indonesian manufactured products. Indonesian exports of natural resources, on the contrary, are expected to slow.

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  • Emerging Asian Currencies Rise on US Jobs; Market Waiting for FOMC Minutes

    Most emerging currencies in Asia appreciated against the US dollar on Monday (07/04) as the 192,000 jobs that were added by US employers in March 2014 are believed to be too low to trigger an early interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. The new jobs data did not meet expectation, particularly after the strong US private jobs report. Meanwhile, trading in Asia was subdued as China's financial markets were closed (due to the Qingming Festival also known as Tomb Sweeping Day).

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Moves Sideways on Friday

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate moved rather sideways on Friday (04/04). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency appreciated 0.06 percent to IDR 11,316 per US dollar. Most emerging Asian currencies tended to depreciate against the greenback as the market is waiting for US unemployment data, released later today. Overall, market participants remain confident in Indonesia's economic fundamentals as inflation eased to 7.32 percent (yoy) in March, while the country posted a trade surplus of USD $785 million in February.

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  • Market Waiting for Economic Data; Indonesian Rupiah Depreciates 0.25%

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.25 percent to IDR 11,323 per US dollar on Thursday (03/04) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Analysts Rangga Cipta (Samuel Sekuritas Indonesia) and Zulfirman Basir (Monex Investindo Futures) expect the rupiah to move sideways or weaken toward the end of the week as the market is waiting for various data, including the meeting of the European Central Bank regarding its interest rate (03/04), US unemployment, US nonfarm payrolls and US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI.

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  • Indonesia Rupiah Rate Up 0.15%; Market Participants Waiting for US Data

    Indonesia Rupiah Rate Up 0.15%; Market Participants Waiting for US Data

    Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.15 percent to IDR 11,647 per US dollar on Wednesday (26/02). All through the day, the currency traded within a fairly narrow trading range, possibly due to market participants' wait and see attitude ahead of the release of important US economic indicators. As the US economy is improving and the US unemployment rate is declining, the Federal Reserve may wind down its quantitative easing program in a more aggressive manner soon.

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Latest Columns USA

  • Recovery Continues: Indonesia's Stock Index (IHSG) Gains 1.92%

    Asian stock indices were up on Thursday (27/06) after economic growth of the United States in Q1-2013 was lower than expected. Paradoxically, this had a positive effect on global stock indices as speculation arose that the disappointing growth rate would convince the Federal Reserve to continue its quantitative easing program. It also had a good affect on Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG), which gained 1.92 percent and ended at 4,675.75. The index was well on its way to close a gap (at 4,743-4,801) but was blocked by mixed European openings.

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  • Recovery on the Indonesia Stock Exchange: IHSG Index up 3.82 Percent

    It has been a long time since we have reported a good day at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). But finally on Wednesday (26/06) Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) made a great jump upwards, supported by American and European stock indices that were up on Tuesday (25/06) due to positive economic data from the United States. Investors used this positive context to engage in stock trading. Moreover, Indonesia's stocks are currently - technically speaking - cheap and thus attractive.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) Extends its Losing Streak on Monday

    Apparently the stormy and dark clouds above the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) are still present. Most foreign investors continued to sell their Indonesian assets, resulting in another day of losses for the main stock index of Indonesia (IHSG). Not even clarity about the price hike of subsidized fuel could ease investors' minds (fuel prices were increased last Saturday after months of speculation). For the last two weeks negative sentiments have coloured the stock exchange and profit taking has been the result.

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  • Indonesia's main Stock Index (IHSG) after Ben Bernanke's Speech

    Similar to the Jakarta Great Sale event, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) trades its stocks at low prices as foreign investors have sold large parts of their Indonesian stock assets in recent weeks. Last week, foreign investors sold IDR 4.9 trillion (about USD $492.4 million), meaning that this year's accumulated foreign net buying has evaporated. Will these sales continue? Yes, I think so. Foreigners have invested about IDR 144 trillion in Indonesia's capital markets between 2007 and Q1-2013. As such, there is still plenty to sell.

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  • Another Day of Losses for Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG)

    On Friday's trading day (21/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was still under the spell of the unrest that emerged because of Ben Bernanke's announcement of a possible stop to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program in 2014. Moreover, weak manufacturing data from China also continued to cause negative market sentiments. The IHSG fell 2.48 percent to 4,515.37, its lowest closing since 11 February 2013. Foreign investors sold about USD $228 million more stocks than they bought.

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  • Impact of Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing on Indonesia's IHSG

    On Wednesday (19/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) posted a 0.70 percent fall to the level of 4,806.66 points as foreign investors continued to sell more Indonesian stocks than they bought. Moreover, the IHSG did not receive any support from the Asian region, where most stock indices weakened. Similar to Europe and the United States, Asian markets were eagerly waiting for results of the meeting of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday evening and thus mostly refrained from trading during the day.

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  • Small Gain for the IHSG Despite Uncertainty about Subsidized Fuel Price

    Despite weakening stock indices in the United States on Friday (14/06), most Asian indices were up on Monday (17/06) and impacted positively on the main index of Indonesia (IHSG). On the other hand, market participants are still waiting for the outcome of the plenary session of Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) regarding the approval of the increase in the price of subsidized fuel. The market is speculating that the price increase will be approved even though a number of political parties oppose the plan.

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  • Two Important Questions in Indonesia's Highly Volatile Market

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) moved wildly last week. During the first two days of the week, the index fell to 4,609.95 points, which is considerably below its record high level of 5,214 on 20 May 2013. However, on the last trading day of the week (14/06), a 3.32 percent recovery occurred. Generally, it were domestic market participants that supported the IHSG. Foreign market participants continued to sell parts of their Indonesian stock portfolios. Total foreign selling totaled IDR 9 trillion (USD $910.4 million) last week.

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  • Strong Rebound in Indonesia's IHSG, BI Rate Hike Well-Received

    On Friday (14/06), the main stock index of Indonesia (IHSG) jumped 3.32 percent to 4,760.74 points as financial market participants were optimistic about the effects of the higher central bank interest rate that was announced the day before. Moreover, Indonesia's IHSG was supported by a green wave across Asian stock markets, which was partly due to a strong rebound in markets in the United States on Thursday (13/06). Stocks in Indonesia's banking and property sectors were the top-gainers on Friday's trading day.

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  • Indonesia Stock Exchange Falls Amid Domestic and International Concerns

    Indonesia Stock Market Analysis IHSG 13 June 2013 RMA van der Schaar - Richard van der Schaar

    On Thursday (13/06), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) could not continue the recovery it had shown on the previous day. The index fell 1.92% to 4,607.66 points amid international and domestic concerns. Investors are worried about central banks' policies and the World Bank's downgrade of global economic growth in 2013. On the domestic side, negative sentiments were brought on by the fuel subsidy issue (and its inflationary impact), the weakening rupiah, the BI rate hike, falling foreign exchange reserves, and the trade deficit.

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