Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Down on US Economic Data

    Although the Indonesia stock exchange as well as most businesses are still closed on Friday (01/08) amid Idul Fitri celebrations, trading in the Indonesian rupiah resumed after a four-day holiday. Impacted by developments in the USA, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had depreciated 1.82 percent to IDR 11,791 per US dollar by 12:25 pm local Jakarta time (based on Bloomberg Index). Asian currencies are heading for the largest weekly decline since June 2014 after US economic data indicate improved economic recovery of the USA.

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  • US Economy Grows 4% in Q2-2014 amid Improved Consumer Spending

    US gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of 2014 expanded 4 percent year-on-year (yoy), thus having nearly doubled from the GDP growth pace in the first quarter (2.1 percent yoy) when the USA was hit by severe winter weather. The US economic growth pace in Q2-2014 also exceeded analysts' forecasts who expected US GDP growth to range between 2 and 2.5 percent. Strong growth was caused by improved US consumer spending (expanding 2.5 percent and contributing over two-thirds to total economic activity in the USA).

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  • US Economy Improves; Federal Reserve Expected to Continue Tapering

    While some investors hope that the European Central Bank will enhance monetary easing by pumping more funds in the economy, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue monetary tightening. On 29-30 July, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets and probably reduce the bond-buying program (quantitative easing) by another chunk of USD $10 billion to USD $25 billion in August. Since the start of 2014 when the Fed bought USD $85 billion worth of bonds per month, the program has been wound down amid an improving US economy.

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  • 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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Latest Columns USA

  • 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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  • 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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