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Today's Headlines China

  • Crude Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Outlook CPO Export Not too Great

    Crude Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Outlook CPO Export Not too Great

    The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) believes that it is difficult for Indonesia to achieve the government’s target of collecting USD $36 billion by 2019 through crude palm oil (CPO) exports as several government policies disturb the performance of CPO exports. Moreover, global commodity prices (including palm oil) are still showing a downward trend - hence limiting foreign exchange earnings - as global economic growth remains sluggish. Economic growth of China, a major CPO importer, is expected to slow further this year.

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  • Weak Growth & Indonesia’s Export Ban Curb China’s Nickel Ore Imports

    Weak Growth & Indonesia’s Export Ban Curb China’s Nickel Ore Imports

    Official data show that in 2014 China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, imported the lowest amount of nickel ore since 2010. Apart from slowing economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy (China’s economic expansion having eased to 7.4 percent year-on-year in 2014), falling nickel ore imports are also caused by Indonesia’s ban on exports of unprocessed minerals (implemented in January 2014) and monsoon rains in the Philippines (limiting production and seaborne trade).

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  • Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) Agus Martowardojo said that there are two main global challenges that are being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy and which can impact negatively on the nation’s economy. These challenges are the low global oil prices (which have fallen below USD $50 per barrel) and the monetary policy normalization of the US Federal Reserve amid the structural economic recovery of the USA. This policy involves higher US interest rates (expected in the second half of 2015) and a bullish US dollar.

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  • Chinese Love to Eat Chocolate: Global Cocoa Demand Growing

    Chinese Love to Eat Chocolate: Global Cocoa Demand Growing

    Major chocolate producers recently warned that worldwide economic growth in combination with global population growth will result in a cocoa deficit in a few years hence prices of chocolate are estimated to rise. Especially chocolate consumption in China has risen robustly in recent years. In 2010, the population of China consumed 40,000 tons of chocolate. However, this has now risen by 75 percent to 70,000 tons. Moreover, consumption of dark chocolate, which contains a higher degree of cocoa, has grown in the USA.

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  • World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    Despite slowing economic growth in China (the world’s second-largest economy), the World Bank forecasts higher economic growth for emerging markets in 2015 driven by a decline in global oil prices, a stronger US economy, and continued low global interest rates. The World Bank expects to see a 4.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) GDP growth rate in emerging markets this year, up from an estimated 4.4 percent (y/y) in 2014. Meanwhile, the global economy is expected to grow 3 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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  • Analysis: Impact US Monetary Tightening on the Indonesian Economy

    The Standard Chartered Bank expects the economy of Indonesia to accelerate slightly in 2015 compared to this year’s estimated performance. The bank forecasts a growth pace of 5.2 percent year-on-year (y/y) next year, up from 5.1 percent (y/y) in 2014. Standard Chartered Bank economist Eric Sugandi recently said that the Indonesian economy will be affected by two factors: the great rotation (capital outflows from emerging markets ahead of US interest rate hikes) and growth disparity (slowing growth or recession in China and Japan).

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  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) Report: Growth Forecasts Asia Revised

    In its latest report entitled ‘Growth Hesitates in Developing Asia’ (which is a supplement to the ‘Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update’), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) slightly downgraded economic growth in developing Asia to 6.1 percent (y/y) in 2014 from its September estimate of 6.2 percent (y/y). Despite slowing momentum the ADB believes that current low oil prices constitute a great opportunity for Asian countries to conduct structural reforms as many of these countries are net oil importers.

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  • Indonesia & the Global Economy; Rupiah Hit by China & Japan Data

    On Monday morning (08/12), the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate quickly plunged after the release of weak macroeconomic data from Japan and China, two important trading partners of Indonesia. Economic growth in Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, contracted 0.5 percent (quarter-to-quarter) in Q3-2014, while Chinese imports fell 6.7 percent (year-on-year) in November 2014. As a result the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.54 percent to IDR 12,365 per US dollar by 11:30 am local Jakarta time, the weakest level in six years.

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  • Indonesia Signs MoU to Join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Indonesia’s Finance Minister has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the context of Indonesia’s participation within the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The AIIB is a new multilateral international financial institution (initiated by China) that is to provide funds for infrastructure projects in the Asia Pacific region. This new institution is seen as a challenge to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Asian Development Bank (ADB) which are all regarded as being dominated by developed countries.

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  • Indonesia’s Steel Industry Affected by Oversupply in China

    Indonesia’s Steel Industry Affected by Oversupply in China

    Irvan Kamal Hakim, Director at Krakatau Steel (Indonesia’s largest steel manufacturer), said that the domestic steel industry is still affected by prolonged concerns about excess steel supply in China, the world's largest steel producer. Amid slowing economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy, domestic steel demand in China has declined resulting in a global oversupply of 525 million tons. Each 1 percent decline in GDP growth in China results in an additional oversupply of 24 million tons of steel.

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Latest Columns China

  • Despite High July Inflation and Trade Deficit, Indonesia's IHSG Slightly up

    As I stated before, mixed sentiments continue to influence the performance of Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG). During Thursday's trading day (01/08), the index moved sideways. News that the Federal Reserve intends to continue its bond-buying program made a good impact. However, this positive sentiment was offset by the release of Indonesia's high July inflation rate as well as the country's continued trade deficit. At the end of the day, the IHSG managed to post a gain as it received support from rising stock indices in Asia.

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  • Facing Higher Inflation: Indonesia's Stock Market under Pressure

    Last week (22-26 July 2013), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) ended 1.39 percent down at 4,658.87. The daily value of transactions on the regular market narrowed to an average of IDR 3 trillion (USD $300 million) from IDR 3.84 trillion in the previous week. Foreigners still recorded net sales amounting to IDR 92.9 billion (USD $9.3 million). Lack of positive sentiments, financial results of companies that were below expectation and the continued weakening of the rupiah against the US dollar resulted in the decline of the index.

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  • Indonesia Down, Europe Up and Wall Street Sideways on Wednesday

    Indonesia's Composite Index (IHSG), the main stock index of Indonesia, went back into negative territory on Wednesday (24/07) with all sectors closing in the red. Worst performing sectoral indices were construction, agriculture and the miscellaneous industry. This development was in line with the Asian region that showed mixed performances after HSBC's Chinese manufacturing PMI contracted. Stock indices in Europe and the United states, that both close hours after the IHSG ends its daily session, were more positive on Wednesday.

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index Falls amid Mixed Markets and Rupiah Concerns

    IHSG - Indonesia Stock Exchange - 24 July 2013 - Indonesian Index - Indonesia Investments

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was not able to continue yesterday's rise as investors, particularly domestic investors, engaged in profit taking. Foreign investors, who were net buyers of Indonesian assets, were not able to guide the IHSG to positive territory. Mixed Asian stock indices, responding to weak Chinese data, did not support Indonesia's index. Moreover, market participants expect that the rupiah will continue its weakening trend and have begun speculating whether the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) will be raised again.

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  • Indonesia's Benchmark Index (IHSG) Rises 1.88% on Tuesday

    Yesterday's rising indices on Wall Street, high expectations of companies' financial reports and positive statements regarding economic growth in China resulted in a good day at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). Indonesia's main stock index, the IHSG, rose 1.88 percent to 4,767.16 on Tuesday (23/07), even though technical indicators seemed to predict a weakening of the index. Also the continued fall of the Indonesian rupiah did not turn investors away from the market. In fact, foreign investors were net buyers of Indonesian stocks.

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  • Profit Taking Turns Indonesia's Stock Index Back into Negative Territory

    As I wrote before, profit taking in combination with mixed movements of global stock indices resulted in the limited movement of Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) on Monday (22/07). The IHSG was corrected 0.96 percent to 4,678.98. All of the sectoral indices weakened, except for the plantation and mining sectors. As there were no positive news publications that would make investors buy assets, they decided to engage in profit taking after the IHSG had risen for five consecutive days.

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  • Weakening Rupiah due to Indonesia's Fundamentals and Profit Taking

    Weakening Indonesian Rupiah IDR Indonesia Investments

    The Indonesian rupiah (IDR) is experiencing one of its worst losing streaks in a decade. On Friday (19/07), the currency weakened to IDR 10,070 against the US dollar, which implies a devaluation of 4.14% in 2013 so far. The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, does all it can to support the currency: the country's lender of last resort supplies dollars to the market triggering the reduction of foreign reserves from USD $105 million at end-May to $98 million at end-June, and raised its benchmark interest rate (BI Rate) by 50 bps to 6.50%.

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  • Asian Stock Indices Mixed but Indonesia's IHSG Continues to Rise

    IHSG - Indonesia Stock Exchange - 18 July 2013 - Indonesian Index - Indonesia Investments

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) went up 0.89 percent to 4,720.44 on Thursday (18/07). The index was supported by developments in the United States. On Wednesday (17/07), Ben Bernanke spoke to the US Congress and said that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its bond-buying program in 2013 and may gradually withdraw the quantitative easing program in 2014. But only if economic recovery of the US provides the good context. This message supported the IHSG although foreign investors continued to record a net sale.

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  • No Recovery in Palm Oil Price: Demand Weakens while Production Grows

    The recovery in global palm oil prices that seemed to have started last spring, has ended. A few months ago, optimism had colored expectations of many analysts as palm oil prices went up about 10 percent between early May and mid-June, after tumbling 30 percent in 2012 (causing that palm oil was one of the worst performing commodities in terms of price growth last year). However, the palm oil price increase earlier this year was merely the result of falling production rates in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's largest palm oil producers.

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  • Indonesia's Main Stock Index up 1.70%, Europe and Wall Street Mixed

    IHSG - Indonesia Stock Exchange - 10 July 2013 - Indonesian Index - Indonesia Investments

    After most European and American stock indices had been positive for a couple of days in a row, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) finally found its way up again. On Wednesday (10/07), the index rose 1.70 percent to 4,478.64 points. Moreover, on the previous day, Asian stock indices had shown a good performance and this convinced investors to buy Indonesian assets (which have fallen considerably recently) the next day. Despite foreigners still being net sellers of Indonesian stocks, a number of big cap stocks rose sharply.

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