Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines China

  • 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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  • Asian Development Bank Outlook 2014 'Fiscal Policy for Inclusive Growth'

    According to the Asian Development Bank's latest annual Asian Development Outlook (which provides an analysis of economic performance for the past year and near future), developing Asia is expected to extend its steady growth. The region’s growth is projected to edge up from 6.1 percent in 2013 to 6.2 percent in 2014 and 6.4 percent in 2015. Moderating growth in China (PRC) as its economy adjusts to more balanced growth will offset to some extent the stronger demand expected from the industrial countries as their economies recover.

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia in 2014: Opportunities and Challenges

    Indonesia's Finance Minister Chatib Basri is optimistic that Indonesia's economic growth can reach 5.8 to 6.0 percent in 2014. According to Basri, three factors support this expectation: strong household consumption, an improving global economy, and the impact of Indonesia's legislative and presidential elections (scheduled for April and July 2014). However, one of the biggest challenges for the Indonesian government will be to offset the impact of further US Federal Reserve tapering and US interest rate hikes in 2015 and 2016.

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  • Bank Indonesia Optimistic on Posting Trade Surplus in February 2014

    Bank Indonesia Optimistic about Recording Trade Surplus in February 2014

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects a trade surplus of around USD $700 million in February 2014. If Martowardojo's forecast is realized, it would be a sharp contrast to the USD $430.6 million trade deficit that was recorded one month earlier. In January, the trade deficit was mainly due to declining exports of coal and vegetable oil (which together account for 26.7 percent of total non-oil & gas exports), among others, due to ongoing annual contractual negotiations at the year-start.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate (BI Rate) at 7.50% in March

    It was decided at the Board of Governors' Meeting (on 13 March 2014) to hold the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the lending facility rate at 7.50 percent and the deposit facility rate at 5.75 percent. The policy is consistent with ongoing efforts to guide inflation back towards its target corridor of 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4.0±1 percent in 2015, as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable level. Recent developments indicate that the rate of inflation is under control and the current account deficit is shrinking.

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  • Indonesia's Largest Trading Partner China Targets 7.5% GDP Growth in 2014

    Indonesia's Largest Trading Partner China Targets 7.5% GDP Growth in 2014

    Based on the annual work report that China's Premier Li Keqiang delivered in the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) in Bejing, China targets economic growth of 7.5 percent in 2014. This modest but stable growth should ensure sufficient availability of jobs. Keqiang also hinted at government efforts to reduce the level of pollution as well as credit expansion. furthermore, the country's targets for inflation and money supply are also in accordance with predictions. Last year, China's GDP expanded by 7.7 percent.

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  • Expatriates in Indonesia: Number of Foreign Workers is Declining

    Expatriates in Indonesia: Number of Foreign Workers is Declining

    The number of expatriates working in Indonesia has declined in the last three years. Based on data from the Ministry of Manpower & Transmigration there were 68,957 expatriates working in Indonesia in 2013, a 4.8 percent decline from 2012. The main reason for this falling number is tighter government policy. Minister Muhaimin Iskandar stated that curtailing the influx of expats is one way of developing the country's human resources. Only when a foreigner has such exceptional qualities - not easily found in Indonesia - should he/she work in Indonesia.

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  • Government Aims to Limit Coal Production of Indonesia in 2014

    Government Aims to Limit Coal Production of Indonesia in 2014

    Chairman of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) Bob Kamandanu expects that Indonesia's coal production will decline about 5 percent to 400 million tons in 2014 after the government asked miners to scale back production rates in order to safeguard future domestic supplies as the country needs sufficient energy resources for its future energy supply. Amid low domestic demand, the government asked Indonesian coal mining companies to limit the country's total coal output at 397 million metric tons.

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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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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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