Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • Bali Package Important Step for the WTO's Doha Development Round

    Bali Package Important Step for the WTO's Doha Development Round

    After two long days of intense negotiations, Director of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo announced that the discussions have resulted in the Bali declaration on Saturday morning (07/12). The agreement between the participants were put in 10 documents, known as the Bali Package, and cover trade facilitation (trade liberalizations), agriculture, cotton and development. Azevedo stressed the importance of the agreement when he said "[for the] first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered."

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2014: Growing or Slowing?

    Despite the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) having revised down their forecasts for Indonesia's economic growth in 2014, the Center for Economic and Public Policy Studies (Pusat Studi Ekonomi dan Kebijakan Publik) expects that the country's economy will grow stronger in 2014 than this year. In 2014, the World Bank and IMF expect Indonesia's gross domestic product to grow 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. Both estimates are 0.2 percent down from their GDP growth forecasts for the year 2013.

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  • Indonesia Continues Quest to Put Palm Oil and Rubber on APEC EG List

    The government of Indonesia will be firm to convince the international community at the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to place crude palm oil (CPO) - including its derivative products - and rubber on the APEC Environmental Goods List (EG List). In the APEC ministerial meeting in Surabaya (East Java), last April, Indonesia failed to include these products on the list. However, the government will continue its lobby during the current APEC meeting by stressing that these products are environmentally friendly.

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  • Indonesia Will Be the World's Fifth most Populous Country by 2050

    Indonesia Will Be the World's Fifth most Populous Country by 2050

    The Institute of Demographic Studies released a report which claims that by the year 2050, the world population will increase to 9.7 billion from the current number of 7.1 billion. India is expected to become the most populous country, surpassing China. At the end of this century the number of people on earth will amount to around 10 or 11 billion. A report of the United Nations, released in June, suggests that by 2050 the total number of people that is 60 years of age or older will amount to two billion (from 841 million currently).

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  • Federal Reserve Continues Quantitative Easing at US $85 Billion a Month

    Despite widespread speculation that the Federal Reserve would tone down its quantitative easing program (QE3) by approximately USD $10 to $20 billion after the FOMC meeting on Wednesday (18/09), the central bank of the USA decided to continue its monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program as it downgraded its outlook for US economic growth to between 2.0 and 2.3 percent. Chairman Bernanke said that the economic context of the USA is still far from conducive to alter its strategy.

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  • Indonesia Expects Influx of 100 Foreign Franchises in 2013

    Attracted by the promising prospects of Indonesia's domestic consumption (with per capita GDP rising strongly), a total of about 100 foreign franchises will enter the Indonesian market in 2013. The most popular investment destination of these franchises is Indonesia's culinary sector. The majority of franchises originate from the United States. Others include those from South Korea, Japan, Australia and Europe. In 2013 so far, more than 170 foreign franchises received approval from the government.

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  • G20 Summit Russia: Indonesia within the G20 Group of Major Economies

    The G-20 summit in St Petersburg (Russia), which is held on Thursday (05/09) and Friday (06/09), is not expected to result in unanimous support for a military action against Syria as China and Russia are opposing strongly to such an action. Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that Indonesia takes the middle road regarding the Syria-case. Apart from Syria, other topics that are discussed include the possible ending to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, global economic growth and financial stability.

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  • IMF: Change in Global Dynamics, Emerging versus Developed Economies

    On Wednesday (04/09), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report that describes a change in the current global economic dynamic as developed economies are showing signs of recovery, while growth in emerging markets is slowing down. These two developments are interrelated because stagnating developed economies from the late 2000s meant that investors started to look for lucrative assets in rapidly-growing emerging markets, including Indonesia.

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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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  • Indonesia's Consumer Confidence Falls in July because of Rising Inflation

    According to a Bank Indonesia report that was released on Monday (19/08), consumer confidence in Indonesia has weakened after the government decided to raise prices of subsidized fuels in June 2013. The country's consumer confidence index fell 8.7 points to 108¹ in July from 117 points in June. Higher fuel prices led to higher transportation costs that subsequently made many retailers increase prices of products, thus impacting on Indonesian households' purchasing power. In July, the annual inflation rate accelerated to 8.61 percent.

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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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