Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • Construction Sector of Indonesia Feels Impact of Economic Challenges

    Construction Sector of Indonesia Feels Impact of Economic Challenges

    Indonesia's construction industry, which accounts for about ten percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), is experiencing turbulent times as the sector is impacted upon by three issues, namely higher minimum wages, higher subsidized fuel prices as well as the depreciating rupiah (against the US dollar). Concerns have arisen that a number of projects cannot be finished due to these issues. Moreover, companies may feel forced to dimiss workers in order to keep a healthy financial balance sheet.

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  • Official Joint Ministerial Statement of 2013 APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting

    Official Joint Ministerial Statement of 2013 APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting

    Finance Ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies convened its 20th annual meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on 19 and 20 September 2013 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri, Indonesia's Finance Minister. The meeting was attended by various delegates, including the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Managing Director of the World Bank Group, and the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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  • Growth of Indonesia's Foreign Debt Slows Down Conform Economic Trend

    Growth of Indonesia's foreign debt has slowed down in July 2013 according to data from Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia). Total foreign debt in July 2013 stood at USD $259.54 billion, a 7.3 percent increase compared to the same month in 2012. In June 2013, the year on year growth had been 8 percent. Bank Indonesia stated that it considers Indonesia's current foreign debt situation - both in the private and public sector - as healthy. Growth has slowed down as a consequence of the slowing national economy.

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  • DBS Group: Indonesia's Economic Growth Expected to Reach 5.8% in 2013

    Singapore-based DBS Group, a leading financial services group in Asia, expects Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to reach 5.8 percent in 2013, while it forecasts growth of 6.0 percent in 2014. This year, Indonesia has to cope with ups and downs due to several domestic and foreign factors. According to the institution, two issues stand out as being significantly influential this year. These are the government's decision to increase prices of subsidized fuels in late June and the country's sharply depreciating rupiah.

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  • Fitch Ratings: Slower Growth in Indonesia's Property Sector

    Fitch Ratings, the global rating agency, expects slower growth in Indonesia's property sector for the next 12 months. However, for the longer term, the institution still maintains a positive outlook as Indonesia is characterized by high urbanization, a rapidly expanding middle class and low mortgage rates. Since the revival in 2011, the average selling price of Indonesia's residential properties increased by about 30 percent year-on-year, particularly in the Greater Jakarta area.

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  • Optimizing Indonesia's Economic Potential: Early Childhood Education

    In the past decade Indonesia experienced economic growth, reduced poverty, and continued progress towards many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, for the poor families in Indonesia, national economic improvements have brought only modest gains in both health and education. Poverty and the lack of related opportunities continue to challenge the development, school readiness, as well as educational progress of many Indonesian children, according to the World Bank.

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  • IMF Downgrades Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2013 to 5.25%

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the economy of Indonesia to expand by 5.25 percent in 2013, which is considerably lower than the IMF's earlier forecast. In its World Economic Outlook, released in April 2013, the institution set economic growth of Indonesia at 6.3 percent. However, after emerging markets were hit by large capital outflows when the Federal Reserve began to speculate about an end to its quantitative easing program (QE3), Indonesia's GDP growth assumptions were quickly revised downwards.

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  • Statistics Indonesia Expects an August Inflation Rate of Below 2%

    Apart from Indonesia's current account deficit, another indicator that is closely watched by the investor community is the country's inflation rate. After subsidized fuel prices were raised in late-June, inflation soared to 8.61 percent in July (YoY), weakening people's purchasing power (as domestic consumption accounts for about 55 percent of economic growth), thus eroding economic growth, investments and the currency. On Monday (02/09), Statistics Indonesia will release the official August inflation rate.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Raises its Benchmark Interest Rate to 7%

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) decided to raise its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) by 50 basis points to 7.0 percent on Thursday (29/08) in order to support the weakening rupiah amid slowing global economic growth. The rupiah has been on a long losing streak and has fallen to its lowest level against the US dollar in four years. The BI rate had already been raised in June and July from a historically low 5.75 percent to 6.50 percent. Today, an extra meeting was scheduled to discuss policy measures.

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  • Indonesia's Banking Sector Has No Difficulty Facing Economic Turmoil

    Indonesia's banking sector is expected to have no difficulties in coping with current financial turmoil in Indonesia's economy. The country's banking industry is much stronger and healthier now than when the crisis in 1997-1998 or 2008 erupted. There have been reports that a few small banks have used the central bank's overnight lending facility, but various stress tests indicate that the banking sector is strong. Gross non performing loans per June 2013 have been kept below1.9 percent, which is significantly lower compared to previous periods.

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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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