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 Main Stock Index (IHSG) Continues its Fall on Tuesday

    For three consecutive days, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) had to cope with significant losses. On Tuesday (11/06), the index fell 3.50 percent to 4,609.95 points, considerably below its record high level of 5,214 on 20 May 2013. Foreign investors recorded a net sell of IDR 3.98 trillion (USD $406.1 million) as domestic conditions in Indonesia are unstable. Moreover, investors are concerned about governments (USA and Japan) that want to slow down their stimulus programs as various economic data are showing positive outcomes.

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  • Last Week of May: Continued Upward Movement or a Correction?

    Throughout the month of May, the level of volatility of Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) has been remarkable and interesting. At the start of the month we were shocked by Standard & Poor's downgrade of Indonesia's credit rating outlook as well as Moody's warning to take similar measures as Indonesia had been slow to deal with its subsidized fuel policy. These issues were able to drag the index down. Moreover, the threat of higher inflation triggers concerns that the index would show its traditional fall in the month of May.

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  • High, Higher, Highest? An Overview of the Performance of Indonesia's IHSG

    Last week, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) moved remarkably well. The index managed to set a new record high at 5145.68 points on Friday (17/05/13) as it was pushed up by its strongest pillar of support, the consumer sector. Indonesia's consumer sector rose as much as 8.23 percent last week, while the largest obstacle to growth was the country's mining sector, which experienced a correction of 3.31 percent. What are the underlying reasons of last week's gain towards yet another record high? And is it sustainable?

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  • Import-Export Trade and Investment between USA and Indonesia

    Although the United States continues its traditional focus on direct investments in developed countries, primarily in Western Europe, there has been a significant rise in US investments in Indonesia in recent years. Whereas US investments in the developed economies of Western Europe is mostly found in the financial sector and through holding companies, in developing Asia, the US is more focused on the manufacturing sector due to lower production costs. In the last two years, the US emerged as the second-largest investor in Indonesia after Japan.

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  • The Influence of S&P's Outlook Downgrade on the Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG)

    The Jakarta composite index (IHSG), Indonesia's main stock index, was mixed last week. During the week it lost 53 points or 1.04 percent to finish at the level of 4,925.48. A number of blue chips, such as Bank Mandiri and Astra International, were hit by large sell-offs as the downgrade of S&P's debt outlook for Indonesia's BB+ rating kicked in and triggered serious negative market sentiments. Last week, I already discussed the 'Bloody May' phenomenon, the month that usually results in a correction.

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  • Amid Global Negative Sentiments Indonesia's Main Index (IHSG) Falls 0.32%

    On Friday's trading day, the Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) started in an upward direction. However, as it felt the impact of European stock indices, that mostly opened lower, the IHSG weakened 0.32 percent to 4,978.51 points. Moreover, most other Asian indices were down (except for Hong Kong's HSI) and thus contributed to the IHSG's fall. Market participants also seem to fear the annual 'May Cycle' of the IHSG, which involves the traditional large-scale selling of IHSG stocks.

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  • Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia Grows Strong in Q1-2013

    Foreign Direct investment in Indonesia Investments

    In Quarter I 2013 (January-March), total investment in Indonesia increased 30.6 percent to IDR 93.0 trillion (US $9.58 billion) compared to the same period in 2012 according to data from the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal, abbreviated BKPM), a government institution. Of this total amount, about seventy percent is accounted for by foreign direct investment, while the remaining thirty percent constitutes domestic direct investment.

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  • Amid Mixed Markets the Indonesia Stock Index Gains 1.04 Percent

    Most of us expected the Jakarta composite index (IHSG) to weaken on Tuesday 16 April 2013 amid mixed Asian stock indices and significantly weakened American and European indices on Monday (that responded to reports about both China's slowing economic growth and weak economic figures of America). Moreover, bomb explosions at the finish line of the marathon of Boston were expected to complicate the performance of the IHSG. But concerns turned out in vain.

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  • World Bank: Developing East Asia and Pacific is an Engine of Global Growth

    The latest World Bank report of East Asia and the Pacific states that "driven by strong domestic demand, economies of developing East Asia and Pacific continue to be an engine of global growth, growing at 7.5 percent in 2012 - higher than any other region in the world." Amid a recovering global economy the report projects that regional growth will rise to 7.8 percent in 2013 and ease to 7.6 percent in 2014.

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  • Why Will the Jakarta Composite Index Have Another Volatile Week?

    Last week, I discussed the composition of the ten largest Indonesian companies by market capitalization. For this week's column I have decided to zoom in on the performance of Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG), which has been highly volatile in the last week. It seems like its trend for the upcoming short-term has changed from an upward into a sideward trend. While the Dow Jones Index has been setting new records, the IHSG is showing some signs of fatigue.

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