Daily Business Briefs – Nov 9

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Good Morning. We provide several important news items that might help your business decisions today, as follows:

Indonesian Retail Sales Weakens In September 

Indonesian retail sales grew by 1.8 per cent (yoy) in September, slowed down from 2.2 per cent in the previous month according to Bank Indonesia. A decrease in sales of information and communication equipment would weigh on the October figure, the survey said. Respondents expects price pressures to increase in December but to ease in March 2018, according to the latest survey. They expected sales to increase in December on an annual basis, but to decrease in March.

Saratoga sells 300.5 million shares in Adaro

PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya Tbk (IDX:SRTG) has sold 300.53 million shares in PT Adaro Energy Tbk (IDX:ADRO).  The shares of the coal producer are sold for Rp 1,800 per share. In a public statement submitted on Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), the company stated the purpose of this transaction is to manage liquidity in connection with the diversification of the company’s portfolio as an active investment company. Previously, SRTG owns 1.47 billion shares of ADRO or equivalent to 4.62 per cent of total outstanding shares. After the sale of shares on Wednesday (8/11), Saratoga ownership is little change at 3.68 per cent or equivalent to 1.17 billion shares.

High debt and slowing growth hit another retailer

High debt liability and declining sales had hit another Indonesian retailer PT Home Solution Indonesia, following the closing of several retailer such as Lotus, 7-Eleven, and Debenhams. The  house ware furniture retailer was request the court to postpone its debt repayment with a total debts of Rp70 billion (approx. US$5.17 million). Sales of home appliances declined sharply compared to 2015 sales. This is due to the emergence of new competitors who are engaging in the same business sector.

Government Collects Rp130 trillion from customs and excises

Customs and excise tax collection reached Rp130 trillion (US$9.5 billion) as of Nov.7, about 67 per cent of the Indonesian government’s target. Nearly 96 per cent of the Rp 95.9 trillion excise came from tobacco-related products. The government will impose a 57 per cent excise tax on vape oil next year, instead of banning electronic cigarettes, as previously planned. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani  still needs to calculate the potential additional revenue that the new tax can bring to the state’s coffers. He said, however, that the most important part of the policy is to limit the consumption of vapes.

IMF Suggests Japan To Keep Monetary Stimulus

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday urged Japan to maintain its massive monetary stimulus to support struggling consumer prices, a view echoed by a central bank board member, reinforcing expectations policy to remain accommodative. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was doing the right thing by committing to keep the money spigot wide open until inflation hits his ambitious 2 per cent target. With inflation distant from its target, the BOJ has said it is nowhere near dialing back its huge stimulus even as its U.S. and European counterparts eye an exit from crisis-mode policies. (*)