Southeast Asia braces for haze as forest fires keep burning

(Sept 13): Governments in Southeast Asia are taking steps to guard against a potential deterioration in pollution levels from Indonesian forest fires, as smoke and ash continue to blanket the skies over the region.

While Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and President Joko Widodo struck a cordial tone with each other -- Mahathir wrote a letter to Jokowi, as Widodo is known, offering help to put out the forest fires -- the two countries’ environment ministers took a less amiable tone, laying blame on each others’ countries for the haze.

TranSwap secures remittance licence in Indonesia

SINGAPORE (Aug 29): TranSwap, Singapore’s homegrown cross-border payment platform, has obtained its money remittance Fund Transfer Operator licence from Bank Indonesia.

The licence will enable TranSwap to provide services for outbound cross-border payments in Indonesia - the company’s third Asian location after Singapore and Hong Kong.

TranSwap was launched in 2017 to address payment pain-points faced by SMEs through a secure, cost-effective and convenient cross-border payment solution to businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Jokowi to announce new Indonesia capital to replace Jakarta

(Aug 26): Indonesian President Joko Widodo will announce the site of the country’s new capital on Monday, ending months of speculation about the location of the new city to replace Jakarta as the administrative headquarters.

The announcement will be broadcast live from 1 p.m. Jakarta on the official YouTube channel of the president’s secretariat. Jokowi, as the president is known, recently sought lawmakers’ approval to move the capital to Kalimantan island after first proposing the relocation in April.

Can Japfa overcome near-term cyclical pressures to see turnaround?

SINGAPORE (Aug 8): Lower average selling prices and higher costs drove earnings for agri-food company Japfa down to US$5 million ($6.8 million) for the 2Q19 ended June, a steep 83% drop from a year ago.

Segmentally, one of the key contributors of Japfa’s weak performance was Japfa Cornfeed Tbk (JPFA), which saw earnings decline 23% y-o-y to US$18.6 million. This was on the back of higher corn prices, which pressured margins, and softer broiler prices, which led to EBIT declining 27.2% y-o-y to US$65.2 million.

Emerging Asia’s US$5 trillion reserves put to test in currency war

(Aug 7): It used to be that a buildup in foreign reserves was seen as a bulwark against currency shocks and swift turns in investor sentiment.

Those days seem far away -- and that defense less robust -- as the trade conflict between the US and China evolves into a full-blown currency war that’s threatening emerging markets globally. Reserves of central banks in developing Asian nations, which have risen to almost US$5 trillion ($6.9 trillion) this year, will now be put to the test as currencies slide.


SINGAPORE (July 29): “Generally speaking, you have resilience in the services sector and in the construction sector. At the same time, this outlook is getting worse and worse. And it’s getting worse and worse in manufacturing, especially. And it’s getting worse and worse in those countries where manufacturing is very important.”Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, on the economic outlook, at a July 25 press conference.

Record penalty for violation of user privacy


GIC partners Polymer Connected to develop data centre campus in Jakarta

SINGAPORE (June 13): GIC, global long-term investor and manager of Singapore’s foreign reserves, and data centre provider Polymer Connected today announced a partnership to develop a data centre campus in Jakarta, Indonesia.

To be located in Jakarta Barat, the campus will be the first green Indonesian data centre to utilise Jakarta’s natural gas network to produce electricity.

Under the partnership, Polymer Connected has acquired the land to build the campus – its first in Indonesia.

6 protesters killed as Indonesia election rally turns violent

SINGAPORE (May 22): At least six people were killed and hundreds more injured in clashes between police and supporters of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto in the worst political violence to hit Jakarta in two decades.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan appealed for public order and urged police to exercise restraint and avoid conflict with the protesters in the capital city. About 200 injured protesters have been admitted to various hospitals in Jakarta, Baswedan told reporters. The violence is the worst since to grip the city since the downfall of Suharto in 1998.

Jokowi declared winner a month after Indonesia presidential vote

(May 21): Indonesian President Joko Widodo won last month’s bitterly contested election by a double-digit margin, official results showed Tuesday, putting the former furniture exporter in charge of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation for another five years.

Sinarmas Land announces 55% rise in 1Q earnings to $43.3 mil on revenue growth, lower expenses

SINGAPORE (May 13): Sinarmas Land has reported 54.6% higher 1Q earnings of $43.3 million from $28 million in 1Q18, which came on the back higher revenue and margins as well as lower expenses.

Revenue for the quarter grew 6.9% y-o-y to $199.9 million from $187 million on the back of higher sales of commercial land plots, as well as growth in sales of residential units in BSD City, Indonesia.

This, along with a higher overall gross profit margin of 73.7% compared to 69.5% a year ago, has helped to boost 1Q19 gross profit to $147.4 million from $130 million a year ago.

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