Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Economy of Indonesia: Sacrificing GDP Growth for Financial Stability

    The economy of Indonesia is expected to slow further in the next six months ahead according to Standard Chartered Bank economist Fauzi Ichsan. As the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise its key interest rate next year, emerging economies - including Indonesia - will be affected by capital outflows. Moreover, China (one of the most important trading partners of Indonesia) has been experiencing a period of declining economic growth, thus leading to weak demand for Indonesian commodities.

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  • JP Morgan and Standard & Poor’s about Indonesia’s Equity Market

    Executive director of equity research at JP Morgan Securities Indonesia Aditya Srinath painted a positive picture about the equity market in Indonesia despite the lingering risks emerging from domestic political instability and looming capital outflows due to higher US interest rates in the second quarter of 2015. Srinath stated that Indonesia’s economic resilience so far as well as falling domestic interest rates among Indonesian financial institutions are positive signs for the equity market.

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  • Higher Interest Rates in 2015 Could Further Limit GDP Growth of Indonesia

    The economy of Indonesia, which has been slowing since 2011, will have difficulty to rebound in 2015 as the central bank’s key interest rate (BI rate) is expected to be raised again to avert capital outflows brought on by higher interest rates in the US and to combat accelerated inflation after domestic subsidized fuel prices have been raised by the new government led by president-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi). After a GDP growth pace of 6.5 percent (y/y) in 2011, economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy fell to 5.8 percent (y/y) in 2013.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 28 September 2014 Released

    On 28 September 2014, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic topics such Indonesia’s fuel subsidies, US interest rates, poverty, inequality, GDP growth, palm oil, rice, the Anas Urbaningrum graft case, as well as the passing of a new bill that ends direct voting in the regions, and more.

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Regional Election Bill and US Economic Data

    The most controversial and heatedly debated news story from Indonesia in the past week was parliament’s approval of a new bill that puts an end to direct voting in the regions. This means that it are not the people but instead the regional legislatures that will elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this is a major setback for the democracy process of Indonesia and will make local elections prone to corruption, collusion and nepotism as Indonesia’s legislatures - both at the national and regional level - are believed to be corrupted to a high degree.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken on New Bill and Wall Street Fall

    Indonesian stocks and rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably on Friday (26/09) after Indonesian parliament approved a new bill that puts an end to direct local elections. Moreover, market sentiments were negative after stocks on Wall Street plunged on Thursday because of increasing concern about the global economy as well as consumers’ problems with Apple's latest software updates and new product launches (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) resulting in a 3.8 percent slide of Apple shares.

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  • Car Industry Update Indonesia: Car Sales Increase in August 2014

    Indonesian car sales, an important indicator to measure consumer confidence and domestic consumption, surged 24.1 percent (year-on-year) to 96,728 vehicles in August 2014. However, this growth pace is heavily influenced by public holidays and thus does not signal a marked improvement in Indonesian consumer confidence. In August last year, Indonesian car sales fell because of the limited amount of working days amid the Lebaran holiday (Idul Fitri), causing reduced production and distribution of cars and motorcycles.

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  • 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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  • Bank Indonesia’s Dilemma: Reducing or Maintaining the BI Rate at 7.50%?

    There are mixed opinions about the interest rate policy of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). Tomorrow (11/09), at the Board of Governor’s Meeting, the central bank will decide whether or not to change the country’s interest rates. Indonesia’s benchmark interest rate (BI rate) has been held at 7.50 percent for ten consecutive months. This relatively high figure managed to ease high inflation (which emerged after prices of subsidized fuel prices were raised in June 2013). However, it also further slowed economic growth.

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Latest Columns US Interest Rates

  • Weaker Yuan Likely to Weigh on Indonesian Businesses

    Weaker Yuan Likely to Weigh on Indonesian Businesses

    For most of this year, the financial media has held a generally positive tone. There have been some exceptions in cases like the Eurozone which is still mired in a deeply divided sovereign debt crisis. But for most of the world, 2015 has been a positive period in terms of general growth in their broad trends. So it might be easy for macro investors to assume that most markets are currently establishing themselves in the bullish direction.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Headed for more Declines against US Dollar

    Indonesian Rupiah Headed for more Declines against US Dollar

    For most of this year, the Indonesian rupiah has met selling pressure against the US Dollar. Year-to-date price activity in the USD/IDR shows a rise from below IDR 12,250 to new highs above IDR 13,330 per US dollar. For Indonesian export companies, this is great news as it means that their products will be cheaper for foreign consumers to buy. For the domestic economy, this creates a different set of implications as it also makes it less likely that foreign investors will be looking to buy into Indonesian assets.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Rupiah Falls on Changing Global Expectations

    Financial Update Indonesia: Rupiah Falls on Changing Global Expectations

    When we look at the long-term activity in the Indonesian rupiah, we have seen a surprising level of strength when viewing the activity seen in recent months. This has been surprising for a few different reasons, as this is not something that can be said for markets in emerging Asia as a whole. This essentially suggests that economic activity in the region has been somewhat disjointed and that trends visible in one country cannot necessarily be expected in another. But when we look at chart activity in the rupiah itself, we can see that the broader trends have started to change over the last two months.

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Indonesia Update: Weak Performance Past Week

    Stocks & Rupiah Indonesia Update: Weak Performance Past Week

    Most stock markets and currencies in Southeast Asia weakened on Friday (29/05), including Indonesia’s benchmark Jakarta Composite Index and the rupiah. The Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.40 percent to 5,216.38 points, while the rupiah depreciated 0.01 percent to IDR 13,224 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Over the past week, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah weakened primarily due to the Greek debt crisis, looming higher US interest rates and the lack of positive domestic factors.

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  • Rupiah & Stocks Weaken Ahead of Bank Indonesia Policy Meeting

    Rupiah & Stocks Weaken Ahead of Bank Indonesia Policy Meeting

    Investors are clearly waiting for results of Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governor’s Meeting, conducted today (19/05). In this monthly policy meeting, Indonesia’s central bank will decide on its monetary approach. For most market participants it is of crucial importance to learn whether Bank Indonesia will adjust its interest rate policy in order to support the country’s economic growth (which slowed to a five-year low in the first quarter of 2015). Ahead of results, scheduled to be released this afternoon, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah weaken.

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  • How Will US Dollar Trends Impact the Indonesian Rupiah?

    How Will US Dollar Trends Impact the Indonesian Rupiah?

    Over the last year, the Indonesian rupiah has been rising when compared to a wide variety of world currencies. Some of the more pronounced strength has been seen against the US dollar, which has been travelling in the opposite direction for most of the same period. To many investors that are focused on the currency markets, it might appear as though these two currencies are largely unrelated. But when we look at the trends that have been developing over the last year, it quickly becomes clear that this is just not the case.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Maintained at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Maintained at 7.50%

    Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the deposit facility rate at 5.50 percent and lending facility rate at 8.00 percent. This interest rate environment is considered to be in line with the central bank’s ongoing efforts to push the country’s inflation figure within its target of 4±1 percent for 2015 and 2016, as well as to control the country’s current account deficit towards a healthier level at 2.5-3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the medium term.

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  • News Update Indonesia: Inflation Remains under Control in 2015

    According to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia recorded monthly inflation of 0.17 percent in March 2015. It was the first month this year in which Indonesia recorded inflation. In January and February Indonesia experienced deflation of 0.24 percent (m/m) and 0.36 (m/m), respectively. March inflation was primarily the result of administered price adjustments: higher prices of (low-octane) gasoline, diesel and 12-kg LPG canisters. These adjustments were necessary amid rising oil prices and rupiah depreciation.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Update: Could US Policy Weigh on Rupiah?

    When we look at market activity in the Indonesian rupiah, some very clear trends have started to emerge. When viewed against the US dollar the rupiah has seen pronounced weakness over this time frame. Many investors have started to view this activity as overdone and we have started to see analyst forecasts calling for more strength in the rupiah over the next few months. But there are also arguments that can be made against this outlook and it will be important for those investing in Indonesian assets to understand some of these factors, so that proper positioning can be undertaken.

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  • Pressures on Indonesia’s Rupiah to Continue in the First Half of 2015

    Pressures on Indonesia’s Rupiah to Continue in the First Half of 2015

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) stated that, besides global volatility caused by uncertainty about the timing of higher US interest rates, the rupiah has been - and remains - under pressure due to Indonesia’s increasing private sector debt and the wide current account deficit. Moreover, as subsidiaries of multinational companies in Indonesia tend to send back dividends to the foreign parent companies in the second quarter (implying rising US dollar demand), the rupiah is plagued by additional pressures up to June.

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