The Jakarta Globe RSS: Business http://www.thejakartaglobe.com 2013 The Jakarta Globe Your City, Your World Wed, 28 Jan 2015 04:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/images/jakarta-globe.gif http://www.thejakartaglobe.com 100 Days Into His Presidency, Jokowi Garners Plaudits From Indonesia’s Environmental Groups http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370811 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 02:27:39 +0700 A boat passes by Riau Islands, on Jan. 26, 2015. (Antara Photo/Ricardo Cardoso) A boat passes by Riau Islands, on Jan. 26, 2015. (Antara Photo/Ricardo Cardoso)[/caption] Jakarta. Amid rising tensions and an onslaught of criticism triggered by the ongoing skirmish between the National Police and the national antigraft agency, President Joko Widodo has managed to come out on top in the eyes of one group. One hundred days into Joko’s term in office, Indonesia’s environmental activists extended their appreciation to the president for his commitment to protecting the nation’s forests, saying the moves he has made so far have been largely “positive.” Forest Watch Indonesia chairman Togu Manurung praised Joko’s “brave” stance against large corporations that control  — and destroy — large swathes of Indonesia’s forests, while also defending the interests of the local communities. “In his very first month in office, Joko flew to Riau to witness firsthand the devastation caused by haze and forest fires. He also addressed the issue of forest management, suggesting that the local people control the land; not big companies,” Togu told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday. “Although it’s still much too early to evaluate Joko’s administration in terms of its commitment to the environment, Joko himself has been very supportive of our plight to save the nation’s forests and peat lands from fires and corporate mismanagement,” he added. Togu’s sentiments were made on the same day Joko ushered in his 100th day in office amid a barrage of media reports scrutinizing his unpopular policies, most notably his recent controversial pick of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan as the sole candidate for the influential role of National Police chief. Joko chose not to withdraw his nomination of Budi, flagged in 2010 for his suspiciously “fat” bank accounts, even after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) declared him a graft suspect. The matter has since escalated into an all-out brawl between the police and KPK, with the president heavily criticized for failing to stand up for the antigraft body — widely popular among the public — against the infamously corrupt police force. Togu cited Joko’s visit to Sungaitohor village, Riau, in late November, following a request made through Petition.org. A Sungaitohor resident had asked the president to inspect a site not far from the village which has been ravaged by annual peat fires for more than 17 years. During the visit, Joko pledged his support for local communities, who have often been blamed by big corporations for intentionally igniting fires in order to clear forests and peat lands to make way for plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The slash-and-burn method has been deemed responsible for the recurring haze crises that regularly disrupt flights and force airports to shutdowns, while endangering the health of tens of thousands of people in region. The environmental disturbance has even drawn criticism from neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, who are also affected. Local farmers and activists, meanwhile, are pointing the finger at large corporate-run plantations, holding them responsible for the devastating fires. “We appreciate Joko’s visits to several locations [afflicted by haze], such as in Riau and Pontianak, to experience the problem firsthand,” Togu said. Joko has since repeatedly threatened to revoke operating licences of companies that cause fires in forested areas. He also pushed regional officers to quickly work on reducing the number of hotspots in their respective areas by whatever means necessary, adding that he would dismiss those who failed to do so. “Such measures may seem extreme, but they are needed to preserve our forests,” Togu said. “However, Joko needs to ensure that his promises are not mere lip service; he must push the minister to do her job,” he added, referring to Forestry and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya. Another move praised by environmental groups was Joko’s decision to grant clemency to Eva Susanti Bande, an activist convicted and sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 for defending farmers of Luwuk, South Sulawesi, in a land dispute against a local palm oil plantation. Still, Togu questioned the organizational restructuring of the Forestry Ministry and the Environment Ministry, which were merged into a single state entity under Joko. “Since the merger, the government has failed to explain the new ministerial structure. This has to be addressed immediately to avoid confusion,” he said. Executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Abetnego Tarigan, echoed the sentiment, saying the ministry’s performance in the next few years would largely depend on its bureaucratic structure. “How can [Siti] draw up new policies if the ministry’s organizational structure is still in disarray? How can [the ministry’s officials] fully understand their respective roles?” Abetnego said. The Walhi chief also questioned the implementation of Joko’s recent environmental promises. “Since assuming office, Joko has been issuing statements that seem to convey his commitment to [Indonesia’s] environmental issues, including on the haze and fire crises. However, there have been no concrete policies to support his statements,” he pointed out. Abetnego added that Joko’s administration still had the job of evaluating policies left by his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, including a contentious presidential decree issued last year that changed the status of Bali’s Benoa Bay from a conservation zone into a buffer zone, allowing commercial development in the area. Despite public protests — conducted mainly in Bali and Jakarta — demanding the government to retract the decree, Joko has so far stayed mum on the issue. The reclamation of Benoa Bay is now continuing under a massive development project by Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWBI), a property development unit of tycoon Tomy Winata’s Arta Graha Network. Abetnego last week expressed concern over what is now widely seen as systematic efforts to incapacitate the KPK through the criminalization of its leaders — four of them have been reported to police over different cases following the antigraft body’s naming of police general Budi as suspect. Abetnego said this would hamper law enforcement in the deeply corrupt forestry sector, which has allowed companies to irresponsibly cut down hundreds and thousands of hectares of trees by bribing local officials. “To Walhi, the KPK represents a force of change in the sustainable management of Indonesia’s natural resources, which for years has been marred by corruption,” Abetnego said. “Measures taken by the KPK have truly stirred fear among greedy government officials and businesses, even in the environmental sector. “Walhi supports and encourages the people of Indonesia to unite in their fight against these corruptors and save the KPK,” he added.]]> A boat passes by Riau Islands, on Jan. 26, 2015. (Antara Photo/Ricardo Cardoso) A boat passes by Riau Islands, on Jan. 26, 2015. (Antara Photo/Ricardo Cardoso)[/caption] Jakarta. Amid rising tensions and an onslaught of criticism triggered by the ongoing skirmish between the National Police and the national antigraft agency, President Joko Widodo has managed to come out on top in the eyes of one group. One hundred days into Joko’s term in office, Indonesia’s environmental activists extended their appreciation to the president for his commitment to protecting the nation’s forests, saying the moves he has made so far have been largely “positive.” Forest Watch Indonesia chairman Togu Manurung praised Joko’s “brave” stance against large corporations that control  — and destroy — large swathes of Indonesia’s forests, while also defending the interests of the local communities. “In his very first month in office, Joko flew to Riau to witness firsthand the devastation caused by haze and forest fires. He also addressed the issue of forest management, suggesting that the local people control the land; not big companies,” Togu told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday. “Although it’s still much too early to evaluate Joko’s administration in terms of its commitment to the environment, Joko himself has been very supportive of our plight to save the nation’s forests and peat lands from fires and corporate mismanagement,” he added. Togu’s sentiments were made on the same day Joko ushered in his 100th day in office amid a barrage of media reports scrutinizing his unpopular policies, most notably his recent controversial pick of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan as the sole candidate for the influential role of National Police chief. Joko chose not to withdraw his nomination of Budi, flagged in 2010 for his suspiciously “fat” bank accounts, even after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) declared him a graft suspect. The matter has since escalated into an all-out brawl between the police and KPK, with the president heavily criticized for failing to stand up for the antigraft body — widely popular among the public — against the infamously corrupt police force. Togu cited Joko’s visit to Sungaitohor village, Riau, in late November, following a request made through Petition.org. A Sungaitohor resident had asked the president to inspect a site not far from the village which has been ravaged by annual peat fires for more than 17 years. During the visit, Joko pledged his support for local communities, who have often been blamed by big corporations for intentionally igniting fires in order to clear forests and peat lands to make way for plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The slash-and-burn method has been deemed responsible for the recurring haze crises that regularly disrupt flights and force airports to shutdowns, while endangering the health of tens of thousands of people in region. The environmental disturbance has even drawn criticism from neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, who are also affected. Local farmers and activists, meanwhile, are pointing the finger at large corporate-run plantations, holding them responsible for the devastating fires. “We appreciate Joko’s visits to several locations [afflicted by haze], such as in Riau and Pontianak, to experience the problem firsthand,” Togu said. Joko has since repeatedly threatened to revoke operating licences of companies that cause fires in forested areas. He also pushed regional officers to quickly work on reducing the number of hotspots in their respective areas by whatever means necessary, adding that he would dismiss those who failed to do so. “Such measures may seem extreme, but they are needed to preserve our forests,” Togu said. “However, Joko needs to ensure that his promises are not mere lip service; he must push the minister to do her job,” he added, referring to Forestry and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya. Another move praised by environmental groups was Joko’s decision to grant clemency to Eva Susanti Bande, an activist convicted and sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 for defending farmers of Luwuk, South Sulawesi, in a land dispute against a local palm oil plantation. Still, Togu questioned the organizational restructuring of the Forestry Ministry and the Environment Ministry, which were merged into a single state entity under Joko. “Since the merger, the government has failed to explain the new ministerial structure. This has to be addressed immediately to avoid confusion,” he said. Executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Abetnego Tarigan, echoed the sentiment, saying the ministry’s performance in the next few years would largely depend on its bureaucratic structure. “How can [Siti] draw up new policies if the ministry’s organizational structure is still in disarray? How can [the ministry’s officials] fully understand their respective roles?” Abetnego said. The Walhi chief also questioned the implementation of Joko’s recent environmental promises. “Since assuming office, Joko has been issuing statements that seem to convey his commitment to [Indonesia’s] environmental issues, including on the haze and fire crises. However, there have been no concrete policies to support his statements,” he pointed out. Abetnego added that Joko’s administration still had the job of evaluating policies left by his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, including a contentious presidential decree issued last year that changed the status of Bali’s Benoa Bay from a conservation zone into a buffer zone, allowing commercial development in the area. Despite public protests — conducted mainly in Bali and Jakarta — demanding the government to retract the decree, Joko has so far stayed mum on the issue. The reclamation of Benoa Bay is now continuing under a massive development project by Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWBI), a property development unit of tycoon Tomy Winata’s Arta Graha Network. Abetnego last week expressed concern over what is now widely seen as systematic efforts to incapacitate the KPK through the criminalization of its leaders — four of them have been reported to police over different cases following the antigraft body’s naming of police general Budi as suspect. Abetnego said this would hamper law enforcement in the deeply corrupt forestry sector, which has allowed companies to irresponsibly cut down hundreds and thousands of hectares of trees by bribing local officials. “To Walhi, the KPK represents a force of change in the sustainable management of Indonesia’s natural resources, which for years has been marred by corruption,” Abetnego said. “Measures taken by the KPK have truly stirred fear among greedy government officials and businesses, even in the environmental sector. “Walhi supports and encourages the people of Indonesia to unite in their fight against these corruptors and save the KPK,” he added.]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370811 JCI Rebounds in All Sectors Amid Stronger Rupiah and Capital Inflows http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370791 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 01:28:08 +0700 Jakarta. Indonesian stocks rebounded on Tuesday following the strengthening of the rupiah and major capital inflows. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15. About  5.15 billion shares worth a combined Rp 6.42 trillion ($514 million) changed hands Tuesday on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). Gainers beat decliners by 183 to 107. Foreign investors made up 39 percent of the total trade as they bought Rp 647.5 billion in shares more than they sold. “The strengthening of rupiah affected the market, and there also were capital inflows that stimulated both foreign and domestic investors to add their portfolios,” William Suryawijaya, an analyst at Asjaya Indosurya Securities told Globe Asia. The bull trading session was supported by high capital inflows on the back of banks’ full-term financial reports, as well as expectations for stable economic forecast data due out in early February. “Investors are certain that Indonesia is still a potential market,” William said, adding there was no need for concern over potential spillover effects from the current turmoil between the police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). All sectors rose in Tuesday trading, except for “miscellaneous industry.” The leading index of 41 mining sector stocks gained 1.36 percent, followed by the agriculture index of 21 stocks, which increased 1.21 percent. Golden Energy Mines, a coal mining unit of Sinar Mas Group, saw its stocks shoot up 8.62 percent to 1,890 per share. In the agriculture sector, Astra Agro Lestari, the plantation arm of Astra International, gained the most, 3.19 percent, closing the trading day at Rp 24,275 per share.]]> Jakarta. Indonesian stocks rebounded on Tuesday following the strengthening of the rupiah and major capital inflows. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15. About  5.15 billion shares worth a combined Rp 6.42 trillion ($514 million) changed hands Tuesday on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). Gainers beat decliners by 183 to 107. Foreign investors made up 39 percent of the total trade as they bought Rp 647.5 billion in shares more than they sold. “The strengthening of rupiah affected the market, and there also were capital inflows that stimulated both foreign and domestic investors to add their portfolios,” William Suryawijaya, an analyst at Asjaya Indosurya Securities told Globe Asia. The bull trading session was supported by high capital inflows on the back of banks’ full-term financial reports, as well as expectations for stable economic forecast data due out in early February. “Investors are certain that Indonesia is still a potential market,” William said, adding there was no need for concern over potential spillover effects from the current turmoil between the police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). All sectors rose in Tuesday trading, except for “miscellaneous industry.” The leading index of 41 mining sector stocks gained 1.36 percent, followed by the agriculture index of 21 stocks, which increased 1.21 percent. Golden Energy Mines, a coal mining unit of Sinar Mas Group, saw its stocks shoot up 8.62 percent to 1,890 per share. In the agriculture sector, Astra Agro Lestari, the plantation arm of Astra International, gained the most, 3.19 percent, closing the trading day at Rp 24,275 per share.]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370791 Early in Jokowi's Term, Investors Still Upbeat on Indonesia's Economy Despite Concerns http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370775 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 02:09:02 +0700 The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15.  The index has gained 4.7 percent since Joko was inaugurated on Oct. 20 last year. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari) The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15.
The index has gained 4.7 percent since Joko was inaugurated on Oct. 20 last year. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)[/caption] Jakarta. The business community and investors are generally upbeat about the future of Indonesia’s economy, although some are worried that the latest spat between the country’s two main law-enforcement institutions, the National Police and the national antigraft agency, may damage the investment climate. It has been a 100 days on Tuesday since Joko Widodo became president of Indonesia. All was so-far-so-good for the former Surakarta mayor until he started making some controversial moves, including the appointment of an attorney general from a political party background; the execution of drug traffickers; and the nomination of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, a graft suspect, as chief of the National Police. Still, these controversial moves did not have a significant affect on the performance of the nation’s benchmark stock index. “The [stock] market has been climbing ever since Jokowi stepped up, and it even reached a record-high last week,” said Agustinus Reza Kirana, an analyst at state-controlled Bahana Securities. “Investors are still positive, but largely neutral. There was increasing political tension last week, but it made little impact on the [stock market] index,” he said. Augustinus added that investors are now much focused on the performance of Indonesian companies and the industry prospects, rather than worrying about the recent political tensions. Indonesian stocks bounced back on Tuesday following the strengthening of the rupiah and major capital inflows. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15. The index has gained 4.7 percent since Joko was inaugurated on Oct. 20 last year. The JCI reached a record high when it closed at 5,323.88 on Friday, as blue-chip stocks such as automotive distributor Astra International and consumer goods giant Unilever Indonesia rose significantly. It was on Friday when the police’s crime investigation unit arrested Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chief Bambang Widjojanto over an election dispute case dating back to 2010, when he was still a lawyer. Bambang offered to resign, three days after police detained and questioned him. The police and the KPK have a long-standing dispute, which escalated again when the antigraft agency named Budi as a suspect on Jan. 13, three days after President Joko Widodo nominated him to become the chief of the National Police. Worries But while not all measure the negative impact the conflict between the police and the KPK has on the index, the dispute has started to worry investors, putting pressure on the rupiah and Indonesian stocks. “The conflict between the KPK and the police shows that Indonesia’s government is weak. It gives a negative perception to investors,” said Norico Gaman, head of research at BNI Securities, as quoted by Reuters on Monday. “The business community is concerned. The spats between Indonesia’s most central law enforcers affirms the high degree of legal uncertainty in this country. It must be settled as soon as possible,” Indonesian Builders Association (Gapensi) secretary general Andi Rukman Karumpa said in a statement over the weekend. He said the increasing tensions between the two law enforcement bodies could hurt investment climate. But not all measure Joko’s performance based on the latest development. Many also take into account the breakthroughs the president has made, including his move to free more than Rp 100 trillion ($8 billion) in fuel subsidy spending to be diverted to more productive spending, including infrastructure. [caption id="attachment_370782" align="alignnone" width="640"]Finance Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, second from left, was talking with the president director of Bank Mandiri Budi G Sadikin, second from right, who was accompanied by Co-CEO Barclays Asia Pasific Andrew Jones, left, and the president director at Mandiri Sekuritas Abiprayadi Riyanto, right, at Mandiri Investment Forum 2015 in Jakarta on Monday (01/27). The business community remains positive about the future of Indonesia’s economy but worries about political fallout. (Investor Daily Photo) Finance Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, second from left, was talking with the president director of Bank Mandiri Budi G Sadikin, second from right, who was accompanied by Co-CEO Barclays Asia Pasific Andrew Jones, left, and the president director at Mandiri Sekuritas Abiprayadi Riyanto, right, at Mandiri Investment Forum 2015 in Jakarta on Monday (01/27). The business community remains positive about the future of Indonesia’s economy but worries about political fallout. (Investor Daily Photo)[/caption] Subsidized fuel Joko had to raise the price of subsidized fuel a month after he assumed office, just to lower it back again with the help from falling global oil prices. While some people complained that the move caused the prices of goods and services to escalate, analysts said the move would help Indonesia in the long term. Joko implemented a fixed subsidy scheme, which means the state budget will not be burdened as much by fuel subsidy spending in the future. “In the beginning, everyone was focused on one thing: the subsidies. And that has outperformed expectations. Now, what’s the next trick? What’s the plan for [infrastructure] execution?,” said David Fernandez, managing director and chief Asia economist at Barclays. Destry Damayanti, Mandiri Research Institute chief executive director, said she believed Joko’s big plan to speed up infrastructure development would likely yield positive outcomes for the economy, but it may not happen instantly. “The government has big plans for infrastructure and it tends to be clearer on stating its targets, for example building 100,000 kilometers of highways. But the point is at the implementation which we have to wait,” she said.]]>
The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15.  The index has gained 4.7 percent since Joko was inaugurated on Oct. 20 last year. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari) The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15.
The index has gained 4.7 percent since Joko was inaugurated on Oct. 20 last year. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)[/caption] Jakarta. The business community and investors are generally upbeat about the future of Indonesia’s economy, although some are worried that the latest spat between the country’s two main law-enforcement institutions, the National Police and the national antigraft agency, may damage the investment climate. It has been a 100 days on Tuesday since Joko Widodo became president of Indonesia. All was so-far-so-good for the former Surakarta mayor until he started making some controversial moves, including the appointment of an attorney general from a political party background; the execution of drug traffickers; and the nomination of Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan, a graft suspect, as chief of the National Police. Still, these controversial moves did not have a significant affect on the performance of the nation’s benchmark stock index. “The [stock] market has been climbing ever since Jokowi stepped up, and it even reached a record-high last week,” said Agustinus Reza Kirana, an analyst at state-controlled Bahana Securities. “Investors are still positive, but largely neutral. There was increasing political tension last week, but it made little impact on the [stock market] index,” he said. Augustinus added that investors are now much focused on the performance of Indonesian companies and the industry prospects, rather than worrying about the recent political tensions. Indonesian stocks bounced back on Tuesday following the strengthening of the rupiah and major capital inflows. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index gained 17.13 points, or 0.33 percent, closing at 5,277.15. The index has gained 4.7 percent since Joko was inaugurated on Oct. 20 last year. The JCI reached a record high when it closed at 5,323.88 on Friday, as blue-chip stocks such as automotive distributor Astra International and consumer goods giant Unilever Indonesia rose significantly. It was on Friday when the police’s crime investigation unit arrested Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chief Bambang Widjojanto over an election dispute case dating back to 2010, when he was still a lawyer. Bambang offered to resign, three days after police detained and questioned him. The police and the KPK have a long-standing dispute, which escalated again when the antigraft agency named Budi as a suspect on Jan. 13, three days after President Joko Widodo nominated him to become the chief of the National Police. Worries But while not all measure the negative impact the conflict between the police and the KPK has on the index, the dispute has started to worry investors, putting pressure on the rupiah and Indonesian stocks. “The conflict between the KPK and the police shows that Indonesia’s government is weak. It gives a negative perception to investors,” said Norico Gaman, head of research at BNI Securities, as quoted by Reuters on Monday. “The business community is concerned. The spats between Indonesia’s most central law enforcers affirms the high degree of legal uncertainty in this country. It must be settled as soon as possible,” Indonesian Builders Association (Gapensi) secretary general Andi Rukman Karumpa said in a statement over the weekend. He said the increasing tensions between the two law enforcement bodies could hurt investment climate. But not all measure Joko’s performance based on the latest development. Many also take into account the breakthroughs the president has made, including his move to free more than Rp 100 trillion ($8 billion) in fuel subsidy spending to be diverted to more productive spending, including infrastructure. [caption id="attachment_370782" align="alignnone" width="640"]Finance Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, second from left, was talking with the president director of Bank Mandiri Budi G Sadikin, second from right, who was accompanied by Co-CEO Barclays Asia Pasific Andrew Jones, left, and the president director at Mandiri Sekuritas Abiprayadi Riyanto, right, at Mandiri Investment Forum 2015 in Jakarta on Monday (01/27). The business community remains positive about the future of Indonesia’s economy but worries about political fallout. (Investor Daily Photo) Finance Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, second from left, was talking with the president director of Bank Mandiri Budi G Sadikin, second from right, who was accompanied by Co-CEO Barclays Asia Pasific Andrew Jones, left, and the president director at Mandiri Sekuritas Abiprayadi Riyanto, right, at Mandiri Investment Forum 2015 in Jakarta on Monday (01/27). The business community remains positive about the future of Indonesia’s economy but worries about political fallout. (Investor Daily Photo)[/caption] Subsidized fuel Joko had to raise the price of subsidized fuel a month after he assumed office, just to lower it back again with the help from falling global oil prices. While some people complained that the move caused the prices of goods and services to escalate, analysts said the move would help Indonesia in the long term. Joko implemented a fixed subsidy scheme, which means the state budget will not be burdened as much by fuel subsidy spending in the future. “In the beginning, everyone was focused on one thing: the subsidies. And that has outperformed expectations. Now, what’s the next trick? What’s the plan for [infrastructure] execution?,” said David Fernandez, managing director and chief Asia economist at Barclays. Destry Damayanti, Mandiri Research Institute chief executive director, said she believed Joko’s big plan to speed up infrastructure development would likely yield positive outcomes for the economy, but it may not happen instantly. “The government has big plans for infrastructure and it tends to be clearer on stating its targets, for example building 100,000 kilometers of highways. But the point is at the implementation which we have to wait,” she said.]]>
http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370775
Indonesia Sees Falling Rupiah Boosting Exports, Finance Minister Says http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370777 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 01:35:21 +0700 Jakarta. The rupiah’s current level supports exports and helps narrow Indonesia’s current account deficit, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said, signaling the government is comfortable with the currency’s 3 percent drop since October. “[A rate of] 12,500 is already good to maintain our competitiveness,” the minister said during an interview in Jakarta on Tuesday. That level will also tackle the current-account deficit, he said. The currency was set for a third month of decline, weakening 3.1 percent since the end of October to close at 12,477 in Jakarta, as the dollar strengthened against the majority of regional exchange rates. That compares with the Malaysian ringgit’s 8.6 percent drop in the same period and the Philippine peso’s 1.8 percent gain. Southeast Asia’s largest economy has grappled with a shortfall in the broadest measure of trade in the past three years as exports contracted in seven of the 12 months through November. The current-account deficit this year will be similar to an expected level of about 3 percent of gross domestic product for 2014, Bank Indonesia said. President Joko Widodo has taken steps to reduce the risk of capital outflows this year by reforming subsidies and narrowing the budget deficit, Bambang said. The latest revised budget assumes a deficit of 1.9 percent of gross domestic product for 2015, from 2.4 percent last year. The priority in the coming year will be on building basic infrastructure to support the government’s goal of accelerating economic growth to 5.7 percent for 2015, he said, from a five-year low of 5.1 percent estimated for 2014. The European Central Bank’s pledge to embark on a quantitative easing program will spur additional domestic growth from capital inflows, the minister said. Global funds added Rp 30.4 trillion ($2.4 billion) to their holdings of rupiah-denominated sovereign bonds this month. Bloomberg]]> Jakarta. The rupiah’s current level supports exports and helps narrow Indonesia’s current account deficit, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said, signaling the government is comfortable with the currency’s 3 percent drop since October. “[A rate of] 12,500 is already good to maintain our competitiveness,” the minister said during an interview in Jakarta on Tuesday. That level will also tackle the current-account deficit, he said. The currency was set for a third month of decline, weakening 3.1 percent since the end of October to close at 12,477 in Jakarta, as the dollar strengthened against the majority of regional exchange rates. That compares with the Malaysian ringgit’s 8.6 percent drop in the same period and the Philippine peso’s 1.8 percent gain. Southeast Asia’s largest economy has grappled with a shortfall in the broadest measure of trade in the past three years as exports contracted in seven of the 12 months through November. The current-account deficit this year will be similar to an expected level of about 3 percent of gross domestic product for 2014, Bank Indonesia said. President Joko Widodo has taken steps to reduce the risk of capital outflows this year by reforming subsidies and narrowing the budget deficit, Bambang said. The latest revised budget assumes a deficit of 1.9 percent of gross domestic product for 2015, from 2.4 percent last year. The priority in the coming year will be on building basic infrastructure to support the government’s goal of accelerating economic growth to 5.7 percent for 2015, he said, from a five-year low of 5.1 percent estimated for 2014. The European Central Bank’s pledge to embark on a quantitative easing program will spur additional domestic growth from capital inflows, the minister said. Global funds added Rp 30.4 trillion ($2.4 billion) to their holdings of rupiah-denominated sovereign bonds this month. Bloomberg]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370777 Bank Indonesia Upbeat on Growth But Not All Agree http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370774 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 01:18:57 +0700 Jakarta. The central bank expects Indonesia’s economic growth to accelerate this year despite challenges ranging from lower commodity prices to higher interest rates, its governor said on Tuesday. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said the domestic economy may expand by 5.8 percent this year, an increase from the bank’s estimate of last year’s growth of between 5.1 percent and 5.5 percent. Agus said that “structural reform” in 2015, including efforts by the government to enhance production of goods and add value to the nation’s natural resources, will help boost exports and reduce the current-account deficit. “Bank Indonesia, estimated the current-account deficit in 2015 will be in a range of [between] 2.5 percent [and] 3 percent [of gross domestic product],” Agus said at the Mandiri Investment Forum on Tuesday, which gathered investors, bankers and financial planners in Jakarta. The current account is an important indicator of a country’s economic health as it affects a country’s currency exchange rate. A country is in a current-account deficit when it imports more goods, services and capital than it exports. Indonesia has seen its current-account deficit narrow in recent quarters. In the third quarter of 2014, the deficit stood at $6.8 billion, or 3.07 percent of gross domestic product, compared to $8.7 billion or 4.06 percent of GDP, the previous quarter. Indonesia’s economy expanded by 5.01 percent in the third quarter last year over the corresponding period in 2013, marking the country’s slowest growth in five years, owing to a downturn in exports amid a slowing global economy last year. The central bank’s key interest rate has gradually increased from a record low 5.75 percent in 2013 to 7.75 percent now, a sizeable burdens on firms attempting to service their debts. Bank Indonesia’s 2015 economic growth projection is much more upbeat than multilateral lenders. Last December, the World Bank lowered its projection for Indonesia’s economic growth to 5.2 percent from its previous estimate of 5.6 percent in October. The Finance Ministry has also has lowered its estimate for economic growth in the latest 2015 draft budget assumption to 5.7 percent, from 5.8 percent previously. Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, also present at the investment forum, said the improving outlook for global economic growth this year is expected to help Indonesia’s economy. He said Europe’s quantitative easing, in which the European Central Bank will embark on an expanded stimulus program that involves asset purchases of 60 billion euro ($68 billion) a month in an effort to revive the zone’s struggling economy. Bambang also said the International Monetary Fund has revised its global economy growth forecast to 3.5 percent for 2015 growth from 3.8 percent previously. The IMF estimated 2014 world economic growth at 3.3 percent. Investor Daily, GlobeAsia]]> Jakarta. The central bank expects Indonesia’s economic growth to accelerate this year despite challenges ranging from lower commodity prices to higher interest rates, its governor said on Tuesday. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said the domestic economy may expand by 5.8 percent this year, an increase from the bank’s estimate of last year’s growth of between 5.1 percent and 5.5 percent. Agus said that “structural reform” in 2015, including efforts by the government to enhance production of goods and add value to the nation’s natural resources, will help boost exports and reduce the current-account deficit. “Bank Indonesia, estimated the current-account deficit in 2015 will be in a range of [between] 2.5 percent [and] 3 percent [of gross domestic product],” Agus said at the Mandiri Investment Forum on Tuesday, which gathered investors, bankers and financial planners in Jakarta. The current account is an important indicator of a country’s economic health as it affects a country’s currency exchange rate. A country is in a current-account deficit when it imports more goods, services and capital than it exports. Indonesia has seen its current-account deficit narrow in recent quarters. In the third quarter of 2014, the deficit stood at $6.8 billion, or 3.07 percent of gross domestic product, compared to $8.7 billion or 4.06 percent of GDP, the previous quarter. Indonesia’s economy expanded by 5.01 percent in the third quarter last year over the corresponding period in 2013, marking the country’s slowest growth in five years, owing to a downturn in exports amid a slowing global economy last year. The central bank’s key interest rate has gradually increased from a record low 5.75 percent in 2013 to 7.75 percent now, a sizeable burdens on firms attempting to service their debts. Bank Indonesia’s 2015 economic growth projection is much more upbeat than multilateral lenders. Last December, the World Bank lowered its projection for Indonesia’s economic growth to 5.2 percent from its previous estimate of 5.6 percent in October. The Finance Ministry has also has lowered its estimate for economic growth in the latest 2015 draft budget assumption to 5.7 percent, from 5.8 percent previously. Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, also present at the investment forum, said the improving outlook for global economic growth this year is expected to help Indonesia’s economy. He said Europe’s quantitative easing, in which the European Central Bank will embark on an expanded stimulus program that involves asset purchases of 60 billion euro ($68 billion) a month in an effort to revive the zone’s struggling economy. Bambang also said the International Monetary Fund has revised its global economy growth forecast to 3.5 percent for 2015 growth from 3.8 percent previously. The IMF estimated 2014 world economic growth at 3.3 percent. Investor Daily, GlobeAsia]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370774 Govt to Enact Regulation Requiring All Public Officials to Disclose Wealth http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/govt-to-enact-regulation-requiring-all-public-officials-to-disclose-wealth/ Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:49:30 +0700 Jakarta. The Indonesian government is set to enact a regulation mandating public officials on all levels to disclose their wealth, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi said on Tuesday. "We will issue a letter from the ministry mandating all officials without exception to disclose their wealth," he said. Currently, only ministers, directors general, division heads, generals, leaders of independent bodies and directors of state-owned companies are mandated by law to disclose their wealth. The asset declarations are submitted to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to be scrutinized before and after they hold office. Yuddy said the new requirement would be for officials on all levels. "This [requirement] will also apply to military and police officers. Because it is proven that corruption not only involves high-ranking officials but also middle- and even lower-ranking ones," he said. "This is a way to prevent acts of corruption." The declarations will be submitted to his ministry and the KPK and will be used for administrative evaluation purposes, although Yuddy did not rule out their use in legal cases. Failure to disclose their assets may result in a stay in promotion. "So all officials who want to get promoted must follow [the new regulation]," the minister said. Yuddy said the asset declaration drawn up by his ministry will be simpler than those designed by the KPK for top ranking officials. "Just two pages," he said of his ministry's version of an asset declaration form. The form will require all officials to list among others the properties they own, their values and also how much money they have in their bank accounts. Yuddy said that once the requirement was enacted, he wanted all public officials to immediately disclose their wealth. "The most important thing is that they disclose [their assets first]," the minister said, adding that each ministry will then make the necessary confirmations and corrections.]]> Jakarta. The Indonesian government is set to enact a regulation mandating public officials on all levels to disclose their wealth, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi said on Tuesday. "We will issue a letter from the ministry mandating all officials without exception to disclose their wealth," he said. Currently, only ministers, directors general, division heads, generals, leaders of independent bodies and directors of state-owned companies are mandated by law to disclose their wealth. The asset declarations are submitted to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to be scrutinized before and after they hold office. Yuddy said the new requirement would be for officials on all levels. "This [requirement] will also apply to military and police officers. Because it is proven that corruption not only involves high-ranking officials but also middle- and even lower-ranking ones," he said. "This is a way to prevent acts of corruption." The declarations will be submitted to his ministry and the KPK and will be used for administrative evaluation purposes, although Yuddy did not rule out their use in legal cases. Failure to disclose their assets may result in a stay in promotion. "So all officials who want to get promoted must follow [the new regulation]," the minister said. Yuddy said the asset declaration drawn up by his ministry will be simpler than those designed by the KPK for top ranking officials. "Just two pages," he said of his ministry's version of an asset declaration form. The form will require all officials to list among others the properties they own, their values and also how much money they have in their bank accounts. Yuddy said that once the requirement was enacted, he wanted all public officials to immediately disclose their wealth. "The most important thing is that they disclose [their assets first]," the minister said, adding that each ministry will then make the necessary confirmations and corrections.]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/govt-to-enact-regulation-requiring-all-public-officials-to-disclose-wealth/ Russia Scorns ‘Politically Motivated’ Downgrade to Junk Rating http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370737 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:23:39 +0700 Moscow. Moscow on Tuesday slammed Standard and Poor’s for downgrading Russia’s credit rating to “junk”, saying the move was motivated by the West’s current standoff with Russia over Ukraine. A Russian deputy foreign minister, Vasily Nebenzya, even claimed the S&P downgrade to BB+ was “ordered from Washington [in a] new wave of anti-Russian hysteria”, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called ratings a “purely political instrument”. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies it was a “politicized” decision that will not sway “serious companies” because it does not reflect the “real state of affairs”. The Central Bank’s first deputy chairman, Kseniya Yudayeva, said the downgrade would have little effect since the sanctions have already cut Russia off from foreign lending markets. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said it was based on “too much pessimism” and does not take into account the strengths of Russia’s economy such as its ample reserves. Nevertheless, analysts said the downgrade would further hurt the economy by making borrowing even more costly. Western sanctions and plunging oil prices have mired Russia’s economy into a contraction expected to reach up to 5 percent in 2015. The Russian ruble on Tuesday was trading flat at 67.7 to the dollar after losing ground Monday, but was still a long way off from a record low of 80 to the dollar in December. But the European Union is looking at piling further pressure on the Russian economy, with the bloc’s leaders tasking their foreign ministers to consider a new wave of sanctions in response to an upsurge in fighting in Ukraine blamed on Moscow. The “junk” rating could also lead to more spending from Russia’s oil reserves on early repayment of foreign loans in the amount of up to $30 billion, according to Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev. “There could be some political component in the decision, but ... one must recognize that the situation is taking a serious turn for the worse,” said Igor Nikolayev, who heads the FBK Strategic Analysis Institute. Moscow last week announced an anti-crisis plan amounting to 18 billion euros, part of which was approved on Tuesday. As part of the plan, the “volume of [government] spending will be less than planned,” Siluanov said, without elaborating on the planned spending cuts. “We will carry out a reasonable budget policy and see our goal as reaching a no-deficit budget by 2017 with oil price predicted at $70 a barrel,” he said, according to Russian news agencies reports. Prices skyrocket Inflation has risen sharply because of the weakening ruble, with authorities saying that checks carried out in supermarkets nationwide show that some food prices have soared six-fold since August. Rising prices have been among Russians’ biggest fears since the 1990s, when the ruble was so volatile that prices were frequently set in dollars while purchasing power was eviscerated. In another sign of the struggling economy, Russia’s biggest carmaker Avtovaz, which makes Lada vehicles, announced a 10 percent executive job cut. “We expect to decrease the number of managers by 1,100, Avtovaz spokesman Stanislav Bereziy told AFP in an email. The company has about 10,000 managers on its staff. Russia’s top opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday put concerns over the economy on the agenda of a new “anti-crisis” protest to be held on March 1, the first such rally focusing on economic demands. “Time has been lost, money has been eaten up. Yesterday’s downgrade of Russia to ‘junk’ returned the country to the year 2005,” he wrote on his blog. “Put March 1 on your calendars and don’t plan anything else. We will be saving Russia from crisis.” Agence France-Presse]]> Moscow. Moscow on Tuesday slammed Standard and Poor’s for downgrading Russia’s credit rating to “junk”, saying the move was motivated by the West’s current standoff with Russia over Ukraine. A Russian deputy foreign minister, Vasily Nebenzya, even claimed the S&P downgrade to BB+ was “ordered from Washington [in a] new wave of anti-Russian hysteria”, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called ratings a “purely political instrument”. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies it was a “politicized” decision that will not sway “serious companies” because it does not reflect the “real state of affairs”. The Central Bank’s first deputy chairman, Kseniya Yudayeva, said the downgrade would have little effect since the sanctions have already cut Russia off from foreign lending markets. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said it was based on “too much pessimism” and does not take into account the strengths of Russia’s economy such as its ample reserves. Nevertheless, analysts said the downgrade would further hurt the economy by making borrowing even more costly. Western sanctions and plunging oil prices have mired Russia’s economy into a contraction expected to reach up to 5 percent in 2015. The Russian ruble on Tuesday was trading flat at 67.7 to the dollar after losing ground Monday, but was still a long way off from a record low of 80 to the dollar in December. But the European Union is looking at piling further pressure on the Russian economy, with the bloc’s leaders tasking their foreign ministers to consider a new wave of sanctions in response to an upsurge in fighting in Ukraine blamed on Moscow. The “junk” rating could also lead to more spending from Russia’s oil reserves on early repayment of foreign loans in the amount of up to $30 billion, according to Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev. “There could be some political component in the decision, but ... one must recognize that the situation is taking a serious turn for the worse,” said Igor Nikolayev, who heads the FBK Strategic Analysis Institute. Moscow last week announced an anti-crisis plan amounting to 18 billion euros, part of which was approved on Tuesday. As part of the plan, the “volume of [government] spending will be less than planned,” Siluanov said, without elaborating on the planned spending cuts. “We will carry out a reasonable budget policy and see our goal as reaching a no-deficit budget by 2017 with oil price predicted at $70 a barrel,” he said, according to Russian news agencies reports. Prices skyrocket Inflation has risen sharply because of the weakening ruble, with authorities saying that checks carried out in supermarkets nationwide show that some food prices have soared six-fold since August. Rising prices have been among Russians’ biggest fears since the 1990s, when the ruble was so volatile that prices were frequently set in dollars while purchasing power was eviscerated. In another sign of the struggling economy, Russia’s biggest carmaker Avtovaz, which makes Lada vehicles, announced a 10 percent executive job cut. “We expect to decrease the number of managers by 1,100, Avtovaz spokesman Stanislav Bereziy told AFP in an email. The company has about 10,000 managers on its staff. Russia’s top opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday put concerns over the economy on the agenda of a new “anti-crisis” protest to be held on March 1, the first such rally focusing on economic demands. “Time has been lost, money has been eaten up. Yesterday’s downgrade of Russia to ‘junk’ returned the country to the year 2005,” he wrote on his blog. “Put March 1 on your calendars and don’t plan anything else. We will be saving Russia from crisis.” Agence France-Presse]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370737 Indonesia to Announce New Safety Ratings for Airlines http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370723 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 22:25:21 +0700 Jakarta. Indonesia’s transport minister announced plans on Tuesday to introduce safety ratings for all airlines operating in the country starting as early as next month. Ignasius Jonan said airlines would be evaluated every three months and those that got poor safety ratings would be punished. “I want all airlines to follow the rating. We will become the inspector,” Jonan told reporters, declining to elaborate on what the ratings system or sanctions against airlines would entail. “We will announce [details] perhaps early next month,” he added. Indonesia’s patchy aviation record has again come under scrutiny since an AirAsia jet crashed into the Java Sea last month killing all 162 people on board. President Joko Widodo has called for an urgent overhaul of the aviation sector, which is among the fastest-growing in the region, with airlines mushrooming to cater to demand from a growing middle class. Analysts say infrastructure has failed to keep up with the boom in air travel in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, leading to overcrowded airports. The transport minister proposed a number of rule changes at a parliamentary hearing last week, including requiring daily health checks for flight crews and air traffic controllers, and that route permits be obtained four months in advance. The transport ministry has suspended AirAsia’s Surabaya-Singapore license for flying on a Sunday, for which it did not have permission. However, the ministry has said this had no bearing on the crash. Reuters]]> Jakarta. Indonesia’s transport minister announced plans on Tuesday to introduce safety ratings for all airlines operating in the country starting as early as next month. Ignasius Jonan said airlines would be evaluated every three months and those that got poor safety ratings would be punished. “I want all airlines to follow the rating. We will become the inspector,” Jonan told reporters, declining to elaborate on what the ratings system or sanctions against airlines would entail. “We will announce [details] perhaps early next month,” he added. Indonesia’s patchy aviation record has again come under scrutiny since an AirAsia jet crashed into the Java Sea last month killing all 162 people on board. President Joko Widodo has called for an urgent overhaul of the aviation sector, which is among the fastest-growing in the region, with airlines mushrooming to cater to demand from a growing middle class. Analysts say infrastructure has failed to keep up with the boom in air travel in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, leading to overcrowded airports. The transport minister proposed a number of rule changes at a parliamentary hearing last week, including requiring daily health checks for flight crews and air traffic controllers, and that route permits be obtained four months in advance. The transport ministry has suspended AirAsia’s Surabaya-Singapore license for flying on a Sunday, for which it did not have permission. However, the ministry has said this had no bearing on the crash. Reuters]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370723 Asia’s Rich Showing Less Love for Australian Dollar: UBS http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370719 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 22:20:02 +0700 China slowing China’s economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest pace in 24 years. The expansion will weaken to 7 percent this year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. “The biggest structural concern for Australia and the currency is probably the landing of the Chinese economy amid falling commodity prices,” Societe Generale’s Korber said last Friday. Australia’s dollar is set to end the year at 77 US cents, he said. An earlier-than-expected decline below this level may accelerate its descent toward 70 cents. The Australian dollar was little changed at 79.24 cents after declining on Monday to 78.55 cents, the weakest since July 2009. Forecasters see it finishing the year at 78 cents, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Surprise reduction The Bank of Canada’s unexpected decision to cut interest rates last week and the European Central Bank’s announcement of a bond-purchase program have spurred traders to increase bets the RBA will also loosen monetary policy. There’s a 40 percent chance it will lower borrowing costs on Feb. 3, up from about 25 percent odds on Jan. 16, interest-rate swaps show. Central bank chief Stevens last month signaled the cash rate will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. The currency will probably extend losses this year, he said in an interview with the Australian Financial Review published on Dec. 12, saying a level of 75 cents would be better than 85. “The weaker Australian dollar is easing monetary conditions for the RBA,” David Forrester, senior vice president for Group of 10 foreign-exchange strategy at Macquarie in Singapore, said on Monday. “The RBA would prefer to ease monetary conditions via the currency rather than having to cut rates and risk generating asset bubbles.” Inflation swaps Yields on Australian five-year inflation swaps, which signal expectations for consumer prices, dropped to a five-year low of 2.12 percent on Monday, toward the lower range of the central bank’s inflation target of 2 percent to 3 percent. A further decline in the Aussie will depend on what the Fed says about the US dollar at its two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, Forrester said. While Macquarie expects Australia’s currency to weaken to 78 cents in three months, there’s a risk the Fed “could talk down” the US dollar, providing a respite for its Australian counterpart, Forrester said on Monday. Bloomberg’s dollar gauge is set for its seventh monthly gain as the Fed moves toward raising interest rates. Some 45 percent of 53 economists in a Bloomberg survey said the central bank will raise the benchmark lending rate in June. Six percent said July, while 30 percent said the Fed will wait until September for the first increase since 2006. Fed officials last month said they expect to raise the rate this year. “The Australian dollar has fallen on a total return basis, lost people money and there’s an expectation that it will continue to depreciate,” UBS’s Smiles said. “Clients see it as a fairly compelling reason not to be invested there.” Bloomberg]]> China slowing China’s economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest pace in 24 years. The expansion will weaken to 7 percent this year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. “The biggest structural concern for Australia and the currency is probably the landing of the Chinese economy amid falling commodity prices,” Societe Generale’s Korber said last Friday. Australia’s dollar is set to end the year at 77 US cents, he said. An earlier-than-expected decline below this level may accelerate its descent toward 70 cents. The Australian dollar was little changed at 79.24 cents after declining on Monday to 78.55 cents, the weakest since July 2009. Forecasters see it finishing the year at 78 cents, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Surprise reduction The Bank of Canada’s unexpected decision to cut interest rates last week and the European Central Bank’s announcement of a bond-purchase program have spurred traders to increase bets the RBA will also loosen monetary policy. There’s a 40 percent chance it will lower borrowing costs on Feb. 3, up from about 25 percent odds on Jan. 16, interest-rate swaps show. Central bank chief Stevens last month signaled the cash rate will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. The currency will probably extend losses this year, he said in an interview with the Australian Financial Review published on Dec. 12, saying a level of 75 cents would be better than 85. “The weaker Australian dollar is easing monetary conditions for the RBA,” David Forrester, senior vice president for Group of 10 foreign-exchange strategy at Macquarie in Singapore, said on Monday. “The RBA would prefer to ease monetary conditions via the currency rather than having to cut rates and risk generating asset bubbles.” Inflation swaps Yields on Australian five-year inflation swaps, which signal expectations for consumer prices, dropped to a five-year low of 2.12 percent on Monday, toward the lower range of the central bank’s inflation target of 2 percent to 3 percent. A further decline in the Aussie will depend on what the Fed says about the US dollar at its two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, Forrester said. While Macquarie expects Australia’s currency to weaken to 78 cents in three months, there’s a risk the Fed “could talk down” the US dollar, providing a respite for its Australian counterpart, Forrester said on Monday. Bloomberg’s dollar gauge is set for its seventh monthly gain as the Fed moves toward raising interest rates. Some 45 percent of 53 economists in a Bloomberg survey said the central bank will raise the benchmark lending rate in June. Six percent said July, while 30 percent said the Fed will wait until September for the first increase since 2006. Fed officials last month said they expect to raise the rate this year. “The Australian dollar has fallen on a total return basis, lost people money and there’s an expectation that it will continue to depreciate,” UBS’s Smiles said. “Clients see it as a fairly compelling reason not to be invested there.” Bloomberg]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370719 ‘Blind’ Faith in Samsung Makes Cheil a Pricey Gamble http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370712 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:53:45 +0700 chaebol, bears say there’s too much guesswork to justify a valuation that’s the priciest among Samsung’s 17 listed units. “Cheil is unresearchable,” said Michael Na, a Seoul-based strategist at Nomura. “The company’s value basically depends on what the owners end up doing and no one knows the content of their minds.” Stock valuations Cheil declined to comment on its share price and what role it may take in any restructuring by Samsung. Cheil complies with disclosure rules and there’s no obligation so far for the company to explain Samsung’s business plan, Korea Exchange spokesman Kim Kyeong-deok said. The stock trades at 88 times projected 12-month earnings, more than four times the average of the other listed Samsung companies, after jumping 144 percent since its Dec. 18 IPO through Monday. Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker, has a multiple of 10.6. Cheil was established in 1963 and was previously called Samsung Everland. In 2013, it added fashion to its interests, which include theme parks, zoos, food catering and construction. The Kospi has risen 1.5 percent this year after dropping 4.8 percent in 2014. The nation’s economy grew last quarter at the slowest pace in more than two years. Cheil rose 4.3 percent to 135,000 won at the close of trading in Seoul. The Kospi added 0.9 percent. While Cheil has “good” businesses, its stock performance has already priced in becoming Samsung’s holding company, said Sinn Min-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Credit Suisse. Sinn has an underperform rating on the stock, which he predicts will fall 23 percent over the next 12 months from yesterday’s close. Heir apparent Even some professional money managers who own Cheil shares say it’s unclear exactly how the company will create value for stockholders. “We’re investing in unrealized future value,” said Huh Nam Kwon, chief investment officer at Shinyoung Asset Management, which oversees $12 billion and bought shares during the company’s IPO and first day of trading. “We don’t know how yet, but Cheil will eventually be at the top of Samsung.” Samsung heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong, 46, is the largest Cheil shareholder with a 23 percent stake, while his two sisters each hold 7.75 percent and Samsung Electronics chairman Lee has 3.45 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Under a group restructuring, Cheil would probably be merged with part of Samsung Electronics to become the holding company for the entire group, Hyundai Securities analyst Jun Yong Ki wrote in a note on Dec. 22. Cheil would then receive brand-use fees and profit contributions from affiliates, said Jun, who has a buy rating on the stock and estimates it will gain around 54 percent over the next year. Hyundai sale A similar bet on rival Hyundai Motor went sour this month when the patriarch and his only son unexpectedly tried to sell a stake in a logistics affiliate Hyundai Glovis, dashing speculation Glovis would become the holding company for the group. Glovis fell 23 percent in the two days through Jan. 14 on the news, after surging 26 percent in 2014. Whatever Samsung’s plans for Cheil, the stock is still overvalued, according to Kiwoom Securities analyst Park Joong-sun. Cheil has a market capitalization of 17.7 trillion won, making it the 13th-largest company in the 760-member Kospi. The stock is eight times more expensive than the benchmark index on an estimated price-earnings basis. “It’s hard to explain the current market cap,” said Park, who cut his rating on the stock to underperform this month. “The stock is clearly overheating.” Bloomberg]]> chaebol, bears say there’s too much guesswork to justify a valuation that’s the priciest among Samsung’s 17 listed units. “Cheil is unresearchable,” said Michael Na, a Seoul-based strategist at Nomura. “The company’s value basically depends on what the owners end up doing and no one knows the content of their minds.” Stock valuations Cheil declined to comment on its share price and what role it may take in any restructuring by Samsung. Cheil complies with disclosure rules and there’s no obligation so far for the company to explain Samsung’s business plan, Korea Exchange spokesman Kim Kyeong-deok said. The stock trades at 88 times projected 12-month earnings, more than four times the average of the other listed Samsung companies, after jumping 144 percent since its Dec. 18 IPO through Monday. Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker, has a multiple of 10.6. Cheil was established in 1963 and was previously called Samsung Everland. In 2013, it added fashion to its interests, which include theme parks, zoos, food catering and construction. The Kospi has risen 1.5 percent this year after dropping 4.8 percent in 2014. The nation’s economy grew last quarter at the slowest pace in more than two years. Cheil rose 4.3 percent to 135,000 won at the close of trading in Seoul. The Kospi added 0.9 percent. While Cheil has “good” businesses, its stock performance has already priced in becoming Samsung’s holding company, said Sinn Min-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Credit Suisse. Sinn has an underperform rating on the stock, which he predicts will fall 23 percent over the next 12 months from yesterday’s close. Heir apparent Even some professional money managers who own Cheil shares say it’s unclear exactly how the company will create value for stockholders. “We’re investing in unrealized future value,” said Huh Nam Kwon, chief investment officer at Shinyoung Asset Management, which oversees $12 billion and bought shares during the company’s IPO and first day of trading. “We don’t know how yet, but Cheil will eventually be at the top of Samsung.” Samsung heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong, 46, is the largest Cheil shareholder with a 23 percent stake, while his two sisters each hold 7.75 percent and Samsung Electronics chairman Lee has 3.45 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Under a group restructuring, Cheil would probably be merged with part of Samsung Electronics to become the holding company for the entire group, Hyundai Securities analyst Jun Yong Ki wrote in a note on Dec. 22. Cheil would then receive brand-use fees and profit contributions from affiliates, said Jun, who has a buy rating on the stock and estimates it will gain around 54 percent over the next year. Hyundai sale A similar bet on rival Hyundai Motor went sour this month when the patriarch and his only son unexpectedly tried to sell a stake in a logistics affiliate Hyundai Glovis, dashing speculation Glovis would become the holding company for the group. Glovis fell 23 percent in the two days through Jan. 14 on the news, after surging 26 percent in 2014. Whatever Samsung’s plans for Cheil, the stock is still overvalued, according to Kiwoom Securities analyst Park Joong-sun. Cheil has a market capitalization of 17.7 trillion won, making it the 13th-largest company in the 760-member Kospi. The stock is eight times more expensive than the benchmark index on an estimated price-earnings basis. “It’s hard to explain the current market cap,” said Park, who cut his rating on the stock to underperform this month. “The stock is clearly overheating.” Bloomberg]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370712 Indonesia Halts Granny Smith, Gala Apple Imports From US, Citing Bacteria http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370504 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:45:24 +0700 [Updated at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 to add comment from a US embassy spokesman] Jakarta. Indonesia has stopped importing Granny Smith and Gala apples from Bakersfield, California, citing bacterial contamination that could result in fatal infection to babies, children or adults with weak immune systems. “The apples, which are traded under Granny's Best and Big B trademark, are allegedly contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes,” said Widodo, the Trade Ministry's director general of consumer protection and standardization, in a statement on Monday. Widodo said the government was acting on an alert from the International Food Safety Network on Jan. 17, announcing a recall of “internationally distributed apples and commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples from the US due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.” A spokesman from the US Embassy in Jakarta said on Tuesday that the ban on apples from the US applied only to Gala and Granny Smiths produced by the Bidart Brothers in California and that all other kinds of apples were unaffected. Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency said Indonesia has not imported prepackaged caramel apples in the past, but the Trade Ministry is still tracing Granny Smith and Big B apples in the domestic market. “Consumers who already bought them, please do not consume the apples,” Widodo said. GlobeAsia  ]]> [Updated at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 to add comment from a US embassy spokesman] Jakarta. Indonesia has stopped importing Granny Smith and Gala apples from Bakersfield, California, citing bacterial contamination that could result in fatal infection to babies, children or adults with weak immune systems. “The apples, which are traded under Granny's Best and Big B trademark, are allegedly contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes,” said Widodo, the Trade Ministry's director general of consumer protection and standardization, in a statement on Monday. Widodo said the government was acting on an alert from the International Food Safety Network on Jan. 17, announcing a recall of “internationally distributed apples and commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples from the US due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.” A spokesman from the US Embassy in Jakarta said on Tuesday that the ban on apples from the US applied only to Gala and Granny Smiths produced by the Bidart Brothers in California and that all other kinds of apples were unaffected. Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency said Indonesia has not imported prepackaged caramel apples in the past, but the Trade Ministry is still tracing Granny Smith and Big B apples in the domestic market. “Consumers who already bought them, please do not consume the apples,” Widodo said. GlobeAsia  ]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370504 Facebook Takes Blame for Service Outages, Which Hit Wider Web http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370668 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:21:12 +0700 Frankfurt. Access to Facebook, the world’s largest social network, and its Instagram photo-sharing site, were blocked around the world for up to an hour on Tuesday, which the company said later was due to an internal fault and not an outside attack. The outage at Facebook, which started around 0600 GMT, appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites, according to web and mobile user reports from around the globe. US-based online match-making site Tinder, a unit of IAC/InterActive, and Hipchat, the workplace instant-messaging service of Australian enterprise software company Atlassian, were also down around the same period, but recovered. A hacker group associated with other recent high-profile attacks on other online services sought to claim responsibility for the outages, but Facebook said the fault was its own. “This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems,” Facebook said. “Both services are back to 100 percent for everyone.” Users in the United States and many countries in Asia and Europe reported that they were unable to log on to the websites of Facebook, Instagram and corresponding mobile apps including Facebook and Facebook Messenger. During the outages, Facebook users were greeted with the message: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.” “If you run a service with the capacity [and complexity] to deliver media for hundreds of millions of users, it’s inevitable that things don’t always go according to plan,” said Steve Santorelli, a former London police detective and now a researcher at US threat intelligence firm Team Cymru. Facebook counted more than 1.35 billion web and 1.12 billion mobile-phone users on a monthly basis in September, the latest date for which official figures are available. Earlier on Tuesday a Twitter account that purports to speak for hacker group “Lizard Squad” posted messages suggesting that it was behind an attack that temporarily blocked several major web sites, including Facebook and Instagram. The Lizard Squad is a group of unknown hackers that has taken credit for several high-profile outages, including the attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network last month. Santorelli said that attacking Internet sites which operate at the size and scale of Facebook via a classic distributed denial of service attack would be a huge undertaking, which, while not entirely impossible, would be “monumentally hard.” Denial of service attacks direct thousands of infected computers under an attacker’s control to ping a site or sites, thereby slowing or blocking access for regular users. Such attacks can create congestion on branches of the Internet where the site is located, slowing Web traffic and affecting access to unrelated services. As a precaution, Facebook users are advised to change their passwords and review their privacy settings, Santorelli said. Reuters]]> Frankfurt. Access to Facebook, the world’s largest social network, and its Instagram photo-sharing site, were blocked around the world for up to an hour on Tuesday, which the company said later was due to an internal fault and not an outside attack. The outage at Facebook, which started around 0600 GMT, appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites, according to web and mobile user reports from around the globe. US-based online match-making site Tinder, a unit of IAC/InterActive, and Hipchat, the workplace instant-messaging service of Australian enterprise software company Atlassian, were also down around the same period, but recovered. A hacker group associated with other recent high-profile attacks on other online services sought to claim responsibility for the outages, but Facebook said the fault was its own. “This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems,” Facebook said. “Both services are back to 100 percent for everyone.” Users in the United States and many countries in Asia and Europe reported that they were unable to log on to the websites of Facebook, Instagram and corresponding mobile apps including Facebook and Facebook Messenger. During the outages, Facebook users were greeted with the message: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.” “If you run a service with the capacity [and complexity] to deliver media for hundreds of millions of users, it’s inevitable that things don’t always go according to plan,” said Steve Santorelli, a former London police detective and now a researcher at US threat intelligence firm Team Cymru. Facebook counted more than 1.35 billion web and 1.12 billion mobile-phone users on a monthly basis in September, the latest date for which official figures are available. Earlier on Tuesday a Twitter account that purports to speak for hacker group “Lizard Squad” posted messages suggesting that it was behind an attack that temporarily blocked several major web sites, including Facebook and Instagram. The Lizard Squad is a group of unknown hackers that has taken credit for several high-profile outages, including the attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network last month. Santorelli said that attacking Internet sites which operate at the size and scale of Facebook via a classic distributed denial of service attack would be a huge undertaking, which, while not entirely impossible, would be “monumentally hard.” Denial of service attacks direct thousands of infected computers under an attacker’s control to ping a site or sites, thereby slowing or blocking access for regular users. Such attacks can create congestion on branches of the Internet where the site is located, slowing Web traffic and affecting access to unrelated services. As a precaution, Facebook users are advised to change their passwords and review their privacy settings, Santorelli said. Reuters]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370668 AirAsia Probe Vets Possible Computer Glitch, Crew Response http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370655 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:30:20 +0700 Singapore. Investigators probing the crash of an AirAsia jetliner are examining maintenance records of a key part of its automated control systems, and how the pilots may have handled the plane if it failed, two people familiar with the matter said. An outage of the twin Flight Augmentation Computers (FAC) could not have directly caused the Dec. 28 crash, experts say, but without them the pilots would have had to rely on manual flying skills that are often stretched during a sudden airborne emergency. "There appears to be some issue with the FAC," a person familiar with the investigation said, adding that more information was being sought from the manufacturer and airline. Indonesia has said the Airbus A320 jet climbed abruptly from its cruising height and then stalled, or lost lift, before plunging out of control into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board. A second person familiar with the probe said investigators were looking at how the pilots dealt with the chain of events leading up to the crash. Neither person agreed to be identified, because details of the investigation remain confidential. The pair of computers comprising the A320's FAC system is mainly responsible for controlling rudder movements and helping to keep the airplane stable, as well detecting windshear, or sudden changes in wind speed or direction. Indonesian magazine Tempo reported a series of maintenance problems with the computerised rudder system of that particular aircraft in the days and months before the loss of Flight QZ8501. Pictures of wreckage retrieved from the Java Sea provide little evidence that the crash was caused by problems with the rudder. But, after partially analysing data from the "black box" voice and flight data recorders, investigators have extended their interest to the FAC computers, the two people familiar with the probe said. A problem with the system may help explain another key element of the crash - why the jet did not automatically correct itself before entering into a stall, even if accidentally encouraged to do so by crew. Manual control Airbus jets are designed to provide "flight envelope protection", making it virtually impossible to push them outside safe design limits when operating in normal flying mode. But when the computers are unable to perform their tasks, control is automatically handed to the pilots who must fall back on training and fly manually, in so-called "alternate" mode. A failure of both FAC computers - one primary, the other back-up - is one of those rare circumstances that can cause the usual stall protection to trip. That alone would not explain why such a jet might crash and it is unlikely to be the only scenario being considered by investigators. It was not clear when any fault might have developed, but it would, if confirmed, be one possible explanation of how the plane got into the state where the Indonesian pilot and French first officer would need to take over and display skill under stress. "Stall protection can trip in very exceptional circumstances and the pilots need to react to that," an A320 pilot said, asking not to be named since he is not allowed to talk to media. Airbus said it would not comment on the investigation or the crashed jet, but stressed that this type of aircraft is designed to be flown manually even when the safety buffer is not available. "The aircraft remains fully controllable if you lose the two FACs," an Airbus spokesman said by email. "The consequence of losing the two FACs is that the pilot has to fly manually like a conventional aircraft, which by definition has no flight envelope protection." Preliminary report due Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) declined to comment. The agency will submit its preliminary report to the International Civil Aviation Organization later this week, but said on Tuesday it would not include an analysis of the data from the black boxes. AirAsia, referring to the jet by its 5-letter registration, said it could not comment on the aircraft or the investigation. "We are unable to comment on technical matters related to PK-AXC at this time as we would like to avoid adding to speculation while the investigation by the NTSC is still ongoing," an AirAsia spokeswoman said by email. In October, airlines were given four years to upgrade FACs on A320 jets at the next repair after a design review. An emergency European safety directive in December instructed crew how to disable computerised flight protections themselves but only in extremely rare circumstances. There is no indication Airbus or regulators have identified anything that would raise wider concerns about the safety of the 6,100 A320-family aircraft in operation. Under aviation rules, Airbus must notify operators worldwide if it discovers anything that could affect the safety of the whole fleet and it has not so far done so. But investigators will want to examine what caused the plane to slip out of its usual safely cocooned flying mode, how it entered a stall and what actions the crew took in response. Some pilot unions, including those at Air France after an A330 jet crashed in the Atlantic in 2009, have argued in the past that Airbus systems are so complex that pilots can be overwhelmed when things go wrong. The jetmaker denies this. Reuters]]> Singapore. Investigators probing the crash of an AirAsia jetliner are examining maintenance records of a key part of its automated control systems, and how the pilots may have handled the plane if it failed, two people familiar with the matter said. An outage of the twin Flight Augmentation Computers (FAC) could not have directly caused the Dec. 28 crash, experts say, but without them the pilots would have had to rely on manual flying skills that are often stretched during a sudden airborne emergency. "There appears to be some issue with the FAC," a person familiar with the investigation said, adding that more information was being sought from the manufacturer and airline. Indonesia has said the Airbus A320 jet climbed abruptly from its cruising height and then stalled, or lost lift, before plunging out of control into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board. A second person familiar with the probe said investigators were looking at how the pilots dealt with the chain of events leading up to the crash. Neither person agreed to be identified, because details of the investigation remain confidential. The pair of computers comprising the A320's FAC system is mainly responsible for controlling rudder movements and helping to keep the airplane stable, as well detecting windshear, or sudden changes in wind speed or direction. Indonesian magazine Tempo reported a series of maintenance problems with the computerised rudder system of that particular aircraft in the days and months before the loss of Flight QZ8501. Pictures of wreckage retrieved from the Java Sea provide little evidence that the crash was caused by problems with the rudder. But, after partially analysing data from the "black box" voice and flight data recorders, investigators have extended their interest to the FAC computers, the two people familiar with the probe said. A problem with the system may help explain another key element of the crash - why the jet did not automatically correct itself before entering into a stall, even if accidentally encouraged to do so by crew. Manual control Airbus jets are designed to provide "flight envelope protection", making it virtually impossible to push them outside safe design limits when operating in normal flying mode. But when the computers are unable to perform their tasks, control is automatically handed to the pilots who must fall back on training and fly manually, in so-called "alternate" mode. A failure of both FAC computers - one primary, the other back-up - is one of those rare circumstances that can cause the usual stall protection to trip. That alone would not explain why such a jet might crash and it is unlikely to be the only scenario being considered by investigators. It was not clear when any fault might have developed, but it would, if confirmed, be one possible explanation of how the plane got into the state where the Indonesian pilot and French first officer would need to take over and display skill under stress. "Stall protection can trip in very exceptional circumstances and the pilots need to react to that," an A320 pilot said, asking not to be named since he is not allowed to talk to media. Airbus said it would not comment on the investigation or the crashed jet, but stressed that this type of aircraft is designed to be flown manually even when the safety buffer is not available. "The aircraft remains fully controllable if you lose the two FACs," an Airbus spokesman said by email. "The consequence of losing the two FACs is that the pilot has to fly manually like a conventional aircraft, which by definition has no flight envelope protection." Preliminary report due Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) declined to comment. The agency will submit its preliminary report to the International Civil Aviation Organization later this week, but said on Tuesday it would not include an analysis of the data from the black boxes. AirAsia, referring to the jet by its 5-letter registration, said it could not comment on the aircraft or the investigation. "We are unable to comment on technical matters related to PK-AXC at this time as we would like to avoid adding to speculation while the investigation by the NTSC is still ongoing," an AirAsia spokeswoman said by email. In October, airlines were given four years to upgrade FACs on A320 jets at the next repair after a design review. An emergency European safety directive in December instructed crew how to disable computerised flight protections themselves but only in extremely rare circumstances. There is no indication Airbus or regulators have identified anything that would raise wider concerns about the safety of the 6,100 A320-family aircraft in operation. Under aviation rules, Airbus must notify operators worldwide if it discovers anything that could affect the safety of the whole fleet and it has not so far done so. But investigators will want to examine what caused the plane to slip out of its usual safely cocooned flying mode, how it entered a stall and what actions the crew took in response. Some pilot unions, including those at Air France after an A330 jet crashed in the Atlantic in 2009, have argued in the past that Airbus systems are so complex that pilots can be overwhelmed when things go wrong. The jetmaker denies this. Reuters]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370655 Dubai Airport Claims Top Spot for Global Passenger Traffic in 2014 http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370641 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:20:09 +0700 Dubai. Dubai International Airport was the world's busiest for international passenger traffic last year, it said on Tuesday, taking that title for the first time from London's Heathrow Airport, which has been running into capacity constraints. The Dubai airport's operator said 70.5 million passengers passed through it last year, up 6.1 percent from 2013, as the emirate's trade and tourism industries boomed. Political unrest in the region has pushed more investors and tourists to Dubai, which is seen as a safe haven, while state-owned Emirates airline and budget carrier flydubai are expanding rapidly, steering traffic to the emirate. Heathrow hosted 68.1 million international passengers in 2014, up 1.2 percent, a Heathrow spokeswoman said. British politicians and authorities have been wrangling for years over how to increase airport capacity near London but have not reached a decision. A commission is due to make final proposals by this summer, choosing between three options: a third runway at Heathrow, an extension to an existing Heathrow runway, or a second runway at Gatwick Airport. "Britain has benefited from being home to the world's largest port or airport for the last 350 years. But lack of capacity at Heathrow means we have inevitably lost our crown to Dubai," the Heathrow spokeswoman said. Dubai Airports, which operates Dubai International, forecast this year's traffic would jump to 79 million passengers, helped by the planned opening of the new Concourse D, which would boost annual capacity to 90 million. In December alone, the airport's traffic rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier to 6.50 million passengers. Cargo handled by Dubai International totalled 2.37 million tonnes last year, down 3.4 percent because of the shift of freighter traffic to Dubai World Central, the emirate's other main airport. December's freight volume decreased 7.0 percent to 202,836 tonnes. Reuters]]> Dubai. Dubai International Airport was the world's busiest for international passenger traffic last year, it said on Tuesday, taking that title for the first time from London's Heathrow Airport, which has been running into capacity constraints. The Dubai airport's operator said 70.5 million passengers passed through it last year, up 6.1 percent from 2013, as the emirate's trade and tourism industries boomed. Political unrest in the region has pushed more investors and tourists to Dubai, which is seen as a safe haven, while state-owned Emirates airline and budget carrier flydubai are expanding rapidly, steering traffic to the emirate. Heathrow hosted 68.1 million international passengers in 2014, up 1.2 percent, a Heathrow spokeswoman said. British politicians and authorities have been wrangling for years over how to increase airport capacity near London but have not reached a decision. A commission is due to make final proposals by this summer, choosing between three options: a third runway at Heathrow, an extension to an existing Heathrow runway, or a second runway at Gatwick Airport. "Britain has benefited from being home to the world's largest port or airport for the last 350 years. But lack of capacity at Heathrow means we have inevitably lost our crown to Dubai," the Heathrow spokeswoman said. Dubai Airports, which operates Dubai International, forecast this year's traffic would jump to 79 million passengers, helped by the planned opening of the new Concourse D, which would boost annual capacity to 90 million. In December alone, the airport's traffic rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier to 6.50 million passengers. Cargo handled by Dubai International totalled 2.37 million tonnes last year, down 3.4 percent because of the shift of freighter traffic to Dubai World Central, the emirate's other main airport. December's freight volume decreased 7.0 percent to 202,836 tonnes. Reuters]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370641 Facebook Says to Blame for Temporary Outages of Its Sites http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370632 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:53:40 +0700 Frankfurt. Facebook, the world's largest social network, and its Instagram photo-sharing site, suffered temporary outages around the world for up to an hour on Tuesday and the company said later that an internal software networking error was to blame. The outage at Facebook appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites, according to web and mobile user reports from around the globe. A hacker group associated with other recent high-profile attacks sought to take credit for the outages, but Facebook denied in a statement that any outside party was responsible. "This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems," the Facebook statement said. "Both services are back to 100 percent for everyone." Users in the United States and many countries in Asia and Europe reported that they were unable to log on to the websites of Facebook, Instagram and corresponding mobile apps including Facebook and Facebook Messenger from around 0600 GMT. Services were restored within an hour of going down, users reported. During the outages, Facebook users were greeted with the message: "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can." A Twitter account that purports to speak for hacker group "Lizard Squad" posted messages suggesting that it was behind an attack that temporarily blocked several major web sites, including Facebook and Instagram. The Lizard Squad is a group of unknown hackers that has taken credit for several high-profile outages, including the attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live network last month. Reuters]]> Frankfurt. Facebook, the world's largest social network, and its Instagram photo-sharing site, suffered temporary outages around the world for up to an hour on Tuesday and the company said later that an internal software networking error was to blame. The outage at Facebook appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites, according to web and mobile user reports from around the globe. A hacker group associated with other recent high-profile attacks sought to take credit for the outages, but Facebook denied in a statement that any outside party was responsible. "This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems," the Facebook statement said. "Both services are back to 100 percent for everyone." Users in the United States and many countries in Asia and Europe reported that they were unable to log on to the websites of Facebook, Instagram and corresponding mobile apps including Facebook and Facebook Messenger from around 0600 GMT. Services were restored within an hour of going down, users reported. During the outages, Facebook users were greeted with the message: "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can." A Twitter account that purports to speak for hacker group "Lizard Squad" posted messages suggesting that it was behind an attack that temporarily blocked several major web sites, including Facebook and Instagram. The Lizard Squad is a group of unknown hackers that has taken credit for several high-profile outages, including the attacks that took down the Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live network last month. Reuters]]> http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=370632