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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

  • Overview of the Performance of Indonesia's Stock Market in 2013

    As we approach the end of 2013 it is worth taking a look back to the performance of the stock market of Indonesia this year. At the start of the year, investors and analysts were positive that the country's benchmark stock index (known as the IHSG or Jakarta Composite Index) would post steady growth. Initial forecasts claimed that the IHSG could surpass the 5,000 points level by the end of 2013 from 4,300 at end-2012. The actual performance of the IHSG in fact exceeded expectations as in May 2013 the index moved beyond 5,200 points.

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  • Indonesia’s External Debt Continues its Slowing Trend in October 2013

    Indonesia’s external debt growth continued to slow in October 2013. Debt grew 5.8 percent (yoy) to USD $262.4 billion compared to 8.6 percent (yoy) growth in the previous month. Slowing growth in external debt occurred both in the public and private sector. Public sector external debt position at the end of October 2013 grew 0.5 percent (yoy) to USD $125.8 billion compared to 2.1 percent (yoy) in September. Meanwhile, private sector external debt grew steadily at 11.1 percent (yoy) to USD $136.6 billion as compared to the previous month.

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  • Searching for Financial Stability: Indonesia's BI Rate Policy Questioned

    On Thursday 12 December 2013, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) remains unchanged at the level of 7.50 percent in December 2013. This announcement was a bit surprizing as about 80 percent of analysts expected Bank Indonesia to raise the BI rate in order to support the depreciating Indonesia rupiah exchange rate. Starting the year at IDR 9,670 per US dollar, the rupiah has fallen around 25 percent to IDR 12,081 per US dollar.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Will Continue to Ease in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) estimates that Indonesia's current account deficit will ease to 3.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2013. Indonesia's wide current account deficit has been one of the major financial troubles this year and managed to weaken investors' confidence in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Thus, Indonesia became one of the hardest hit emerging countries after the Federal Reserve started to speculate about an ending to its quantitative easing program.

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  • Bank Indonesia's 7.50% Policy Rate in Line with Current Economic Conditions

    Bank Indonesia's 7.50% Policy Rate in Line with Current Economic Conditions

    In Bank Indonesia's board of governors' meeting, which was held on Thursday (12/12), it was decided to maintain the country's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent. This decision was in line with market expectation but was unable to support the Jakarta Composite Index and rupiah exchange rate. The lending facility and deposit facility interest rates were also maintained at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively. Bank Indonesia decided not to change the rate as Indonesia's inflation outlook for 2014 is still within target.

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  • Monthly Economic Review: Overview of Indonesia's Macroeconomic Data

    ICRA Indonesia, an independent credit rating agency and subsidiary of ICRA Ltd. (associate of Moody's Investors Service), publishes a monthly newsletter which provides an update on the financial and economic developments in Indonesia of the last month. In the November 2013 edition, a number of important issues that are monitored include Indonesia's inflation rate, the trade balance, the current account deficit, the IDR rupiah exchange rate, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Below is an excerpt of the newsletter:

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  • Indonesia Financial Market Update: Indonesia's Current Account Deficit

    Currently, one of Indonesia's main financial issues (and one which puts serious pressures on the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate) is the country's wide current account deficit. According to data from Statistics Indonesia, Indonesia's current account deficit totaled USD $8.4 billion in the third quarter of 2013. This figure is equivalent to a whopping 3.8 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP). Generally, a current account deficit that exceeds 2.5 percent of GDP is considered unsustainable.

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  • ADB Report: Asia Should Strengthen Economies and Financial Systems

    Emerging East Asian countries should use the window of opportunity opened by the delay in US monetary policy normalization to strengthen their economies and financial systems, the latest quarterly Asia Bond Monitor from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) urges. “A delay in US bond tapering gives the region a bit of extra time to make sure its economy and financial systems are resilient enough to face the likely market volatility ahead,” said Iwan J. Azis, Head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration which produced the report.

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  • FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    The Federal Reserve, central banking system of the United States, expects that the current economic recovery of the USA is set to continue. In the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held at end-October 2013, it is mentioned that within the next few months the Federal Reserve can start winding down its monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (known as quantitative easing). The next FOMC meeting, which will shed more light on the future of the bond-buying program, is scheduled for December 2013.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Managing Stability and Promoting Transformation

    On Thursday 14 November 2013, Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), delivered his end-of-the-year speech at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner. The meeting was attended by leaders from Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR), economic ministers, leaders of the country's banking industry and business community, non-ministerial government agencies as well as a number of international institutions, thus representing a strategic forum in terms of the national economy.

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