Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • Challenges for Indonesia's Economy to Persist in 2016

    Challenges for Indonesia's Economy to Persist in 2016

    With the year 2015 coming to an end, it is worthwhile to take a look at the challenges that Indonesia faced this year and whether these challenges will remain in 2016. In short, we believe that the current external challenges persist into the new year. Although the country's economic growth is projected to accelerate to 5.3 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2016 from an estimated 4.7 percent (y/y) in 2015 (the fifth consecutive year of slowing gross domestic growth expansion), this growth is primarily caused by improved government spending.

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  • Macroeconomic Assumptions Indonesia to be Discussed in House

    Macroeconomic Assumptions Indonesia to be Discussed in House

    The House of Representatives of Indonesia (DPR) is scheduled to meet on Thursday (22/10) to discuss the government's revised 2016 macroeconomic assumptions. In August 2015, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had unveiled the government's draft 2016 State Budget. However, due to overly optimistic assumptions, there has been the need for several revisions.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia Improves in July 2015 but Concerns Persist

    Trade Balance Indonesia Improves in July 2015 but Concerns Persist

    Indonesia’s trade balance surplus widened to USD $1.33 billion in July 2015, improving markedly from the USD $528 million trade surplus in the preceding month and being much higher than expectations of analysts. Based on the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia’s July exports fell 19.2 percent (y/y) to USD $11.4 billion, while imports plunged 28.4 percent (y/y) to USD $10.1 billion. The trade surplus is positive as it supports a narrowing current account deficit (which stood at 2.1 percent of GDP in Q2-2015).

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  • Indonesia’s Economic Growth to Slip below 5% Mark in 2015?

    Indonesia’s Economic Growth to Slip below 5% Mark in 2015?

    Several international institutions revised down their outlook for economic growth of Indonesia in 2015 as foreign investors have been somewhat disappointed with the performance of the new Indonesian government, while the global economic picture remains far from rosy. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings have all slashed Indonesia’s economic growth forecast this year to below the five percent (year-on-year) mark. Last year Indonesia’s economic growth touched a five-year low of 5.02 percent (y/y).

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  • What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    After seeing the disappointing GDP growth figure of 4.71 percent (y/y) in the first quarter of 2015, investors have become concerned about Indonesia’s economic growth in the remainder of the year. The poor Q1-2015 GDP growth was caused by the country’s weak export performance (due to the sluggish global economy and low commodity prices), Indonesia’s high interest rate environment (curbing people’s purchasing power and business expansion of local companies), and sluggish government spending.

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  • GDP Indonesia Update: Economic Growth 4.71% y/y in Q1-2015

    GDP Indonesia Update: Economic Growth 4.71% y/y in Q1-2015

    Indonesia’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 was recorded at 4.71 percent (y/y). Although it had been expected that Indonesia’s GDP growth figure would slip below the five percent mark, the slowdown was worse than initially expected. Suryamin, Head of Statistics Indonesia (BPS), stated earlier today (05/05) that the country’s economic growth slowed to a five-year low on the back of weak exports (the result of reduced economic growth in export markets) and lower crude oil prices.

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  • S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s remains the only credit rating agency among the big three to maintain its BB+/stable rating on Indonesia’s sovereign credit (which is one notch below investment grade). Both Fitch Ratings (BBB-/stable) and Moody’s Investor Service (Baa3/stable) had already brought Indonesia back to investment grade in 2011 and 2012. Standard & Poor’s has been reluctant to raise Indonesia’s status as it wants to see more results from the country’s economic policy reforms.

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  • OECD on Indonesia’s Demographic Bonus, Protectionism & GDP Growth

    OECD on Indonesia’s Demographic Bonus, Protectionism & GDP Growth

    The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization that works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change, is positive about the economic prospects of Indonesia. However, the institution also emphasized that Indonesia needs to do its homework in order to benefit optimally from the country’s demographic bonus and to join the ranks of the upper-middle-income countries.

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  • World Bank Releases March 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    World Bank Releases March 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    The World Bank released its latest Indonesia Economic Quarterly report on 18 March 2015. In this report, entitled ‘High Expectations’, the World Bank states that it praises the early reform progress in several key areas such as fuel subsidies as well as more key reforms that are underway. This raises high expectations about the Indonesian economy in the middle and longer term. However, the government also faces challenges to implement further complex structural reforms amid subdued growth prospects.

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  • Indonesia Conference Fitch Ratings: “An Agenda for Change”

    Indonesia Conference Fitch Ratings: “An Agenda for Change”

    International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings will host its annual Indonesia conference, with the theme “An Agenda for Change”, on Thursday 5 March 2015. This year’s theme refers to the ongoing process of reform amid political, economic and social challenges in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. High government officials, leading economists and investors will take part in this conference. For example, Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro is scheduled to make the opening keynote speech.

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Latest Columns Macroeconomy

  • Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG): the Ship that is Rocked by a Storm

    For several weeks now, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) has been experiencing a sharp correction. As I wrote in my previous columns, market participants have been waiting for several important macro economic data, to wit Indonesia's economic growth figure for the second quarter of 2013, the July 2013 inflation rate, and the country's trade balance statistics for the first six months of this year. Now all above results have been released, we can analyze further the impact of these macroeconomic results as well as investors' reaction to it.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall, Current Account Deficit Grows

    The foreign exchange reserves of Indonesia keep on falling from its historical peak of USD $124.64 billion in August 2011 to USD $92.67 billion at the end of July 2013. This development seems to highlight long-standing weaknesses in Indonesia's sovereign's external finances, as credit agency Fitch Ratings detected on several occasions before. The republic of Indonesia is currently characterized by four deficits, to wit a current account deficit, a balance of payments deficit, a trade balance deficit and a fiscal deficit.

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  • Slowing Growth in Indonesian Cement Sales Continues in Semester II

    Slowing Growth in Indonesian Cement Sales Continues in Semester II

    Cement sales in Indonesia grew by seven percent to 32.9 million tons in the period January to July 2013. This pace of growth is significantly lower compared to the double-digit cement growth rate last year and thus forms another sign of cooling economic growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy (cement sales are a good indicator to measure the state of economic growth of a country). A slowdown in domestic cement sales is likely to continue in the second half of 2013, partly due to a decline in infrastructure projects.

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  • Revised Tax Holiday and Tax Allowance to Attract Investments in Indonesia

    Revised Tax Holiday and Tax Allowance to Attract Investments in Indonesia

    Apart from the five tax incentives that I have mentioned in a previous column, the Indonesian government also intends to ease two other tax rules in order to boost investments in Indonesia from 2014 onwards. These are the tax holiday and tax allowance. Relaxation of the tax holiday involves an alteration to the period as well as the size of the investment, and relaxation of procedural difficulties. Relaxation of the tax allowance involves the revision of the number of sectors that are eligible and a relaxation of procedures in the form of tax clearance.

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  • Bank Indonesia Raises Interest Rate to fight Inflation and Support the Rupiah

    Today, Bank Indonesia surprised many analysts and investors by raising its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps to 6.50 percent. Indonesia's central bank assessed that this measure is the correct one with regard to supporting the IDR rupiah (which is one of the worst Asian currencies against the US dollar this year) and to fight higher inflation after the government decided to cut fuel subsidies in June. It expects inflation to peak in July at about 2.3 percent (month to month) but to moderate soon afterwards.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Outlines its Macroeconomic Assumptions

    Bank Indonesia Macro Economy Indonesia Investments Richard van der Schaar

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects that economic growth of Indonesia in 2013 will not meet the government's target as has been set in the revised State Budget (APNB-P). Last month, both government and parliament of Indonesia agreed on a revised GDP growth assumption of 6.3 percent. However, Bank Indonesia believes that, due to slowing domestic consumption and investments in the current global economic context, the growth is more likely to fall between 5.8 and 6.2 percent.

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  • Draghi's Statement Results in Rising Stock Indices in Europe on Thursday

    Without any support from the United States, where Wall Street was closed due to the 4th of July festivities, stock indices in Europe found their way up. President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, caused positive market sentiments after stating that the interest rate will remain low for a long while and that the current monetary (easing) policy will remain unchanged. Stock indices in Germany, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands went up between 2.1 and 3.1 percent on Thursday's trading day (04/07).

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  • Two Important Questions in Indonesia's Highly Volatile Market

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) moved wildly last week. During the first two days of the week, the index fell to 4,609.95 points, which is considerably below its record high level of 5,214 on 20 May 2013. However, on the last trading day of the week (14/06), a 3.32 percent recovery occurred. Generally, it were domestic market participants that supported the IHSG. Foreign market participants continued to sell parts of their Indonesian stock portfolios. Total foreign selling totaled IDR 9 trillion (USD $910.4 million) last week.

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  • Press Release of Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Raised by 25 bps to 6.00%

    Less than 24 hours after having raised the overnight deposit facility rate (known as Fasbi) by 25 bps to 4.25 percent, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) also raised its benchmark interest rate (known as the BI rate) by 25 bps to 6.0 percent. Both these policy responses were conducted in order to support the IDR rupiah, which is one of the worst performing Asian currencies against the US dollar in 2013. Indonesia's central bank expects growing inflationary pressures as the Indonesian government intends to cut fuel subsidies this June.

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  • Indonesia's Current Account Deficit Improves in the First Quarter of 2013

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia or BI) announced on Wednesday (15/05/13) that the country's external balance has improved during Q1-2013 as non-oil and gas trade were up. Indonesia's current account deficit stood at USD $5.3 billion (2.4 percent of GDP) in Q1-2013, compared to the previous quarter's deficit of USD $7.6 billion (3.5 percent of GDP). Indonesia has experienced a widening trade deficit, although it recorded a trade surplus of USD $304.90 in March, the first trade surplus since September 2012.

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