Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines China

  • Federal Reserve Maintains US Interest Rates at Near Zero Levels

    Despite some concern about inflation, the US Federal Reserve stated that it will keep interest rates close to zero. The central bank announced this after the two-day policy meeting (Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC). Ahead of the meeting, market participants had increasingly speculated about the chance of sooner-than-expected US interest rate hikes as US economic data has generally been positive (including 4.2 percent GDP growth in the second quarter and weekly jobless claims that declined to near record lows).

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Down Ahead of FOMC Meeting

    Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 1.26 percent to IDR 11,971 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Monday (15/09). Indonesia’s currency depreciated sharply ahead of the FOMC’s two-day meeting as investors are awaiting for the results on Thursday. As August US retail sales rose at the fastest pace in four months, a winding down of the US bond-buying program and looming US interest rates have resulted in a strong US dollar.

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  • Largest IPO Ever? Alibaba Lists on the New York Stock Exchange

    The world is about to see the largest initial public offering (IPO) ever as China’s e-commerce company Alibaba may raise over USD $24 billion through its listing on the New York Stock Exchange on 18 September 2014, thus exceeding the value of IPOs of the Agriculture Bank of China (USD $22.1 billion), and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (USD $21.9 billion). Alibaba’s market capitalization, valued at about USD $162.7 billion, is the third-largest after Google (USD $400 billion) and Facebook (USD $201 billion).

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  • Pulp & Paper Industry in Indonesia: Expand on Rising Demand from China

    The pulp and paper industry in Indonesia is expected to expand five percent in 2015 on rising paper consumption in Asia and particularly in China, the world’s second-largest economy. Rising consumption will lead to an intensifying of global competition in the pulp and paper industry. Global pulp demand is forecast to rise 2.6 percent per year to 38.9 million tons by 2025 from 24.5 million tons in 2010. Over the same period, pulp demand in China is estimated to grow 6.4 percent per year to 14.3 million tons by 2025.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah and Stocks Gain on Election Court Case and China Data

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.86 percent to IDR 11,678 per US dollar on Monday (11/08) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The rupiah was supported by internal and external factors. On the internal side, the rupiah strengthened as the Constitutional Court is expected to dismiss defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s appeal. Former army general Subianto challenged the official election result, claiming that massive violations occurred at polling stations and during the counting process.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate: Volatile on Iraq and China Trade Surplus

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate strengthened slightly on the last trading day of the week. On Friday (08/08), Indonesia’s currency appreciated 0.15 percent to IDR 11,779 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Most Asian currencies and stocks fell, while prices of gold and oil jumped, after US President Barack Obama agreed to air strikes in northern Iraq (aimed at Sunni extremist militants). In combination with continued tensions in Ukraine as well as Gaza, investors opt for risk aversion (and profit taking).

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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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  • Chatib Basri: Indonesian Economy May Grow 5.3% in Second Quarter of 2014

    Chatib Basri: Indonesian Economy May Grow 5.3% in Second Quarter of 2014

    Finance Minister of Indonesia, Chatib Basri, expects the Indonesian economy to grow 5.3 percent (year-on-year, yoy) in the second quarter of 2014 because of improved household consumption supported by the legislative and presidential elections in 2014. Meanwhile, Indonesian exports are also expected to have improved slightly from its performance in the first quarter of the year due to improved economic conditions in Europe. However, demand from China and Japan remained sluggish. In Q1-2014, GDP growth slowed to 5.21 percent (yoy).

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Government Targets GDP Growth of 5.8% in 2015

    The Indonesian government is optimistic that the country’s economic growth will accelerate to 5.8 percent (year-on-year) in 2015 from an expected growth pace of 5.5 percent in 2014. The key to next year’s improved gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Indonesia is the higher forecast for global economic growth. In 2015, the world economy is estimated to grow 3.9% (yoy), higher than the outlook for this year’s growth at 3.6 percent. As such, the government’s outlook is in line the central bank’s GDP growth forecast in the range of 5.4 to 5.8 percent.

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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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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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