Signing the Development of an Education and Health Center between Lippo Group and Investors in the Meikarta area, Bekasi, West Java in March 2017 - Photo: Special

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Good morning. The corruption eradication commission (CEC) expanded its investigation on bribery cases of Lippo Group’s executives and searched for evidences in the house of billionaire James Riady, the group’s second-generation patriarch.

The house was only one of the 12 locations where the CEC’s investigators look for evidence that has so far ensnared 12 people, including Billy Sindoro, the group’s operational director. He was arrested for bribing Bekasi government officials to smoothen permit processing for Meikarta mega-project.

Riady could be the highest-profile businessman to have ever come under anti-gratf body’s investigations. In 2013, CEC investigations put businesswoman Siti Hartati Murdaya, who had strong link to the previous administration, into a jail for 32 months for involvement in a bribery case of plantation permits.

The news that the agency’s investigations expanded to Riady puts pressures on Lippo’s listed companies. Shares of property developer PT Lippo Karawaci Tbk (IDX:LPKR) fell 4.9 per cent to Rp274.

Overall, the Jakarta Composite Index ended lower by 0.4 per cent at 5,845. Foreign investors net sold stocks worth Rp7.7 billion (US$531,034). Equity investors are re-positioning mode in anticipations for corporate earning results.

On Thursday (18/10), state-owned PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk (IDX:BBNI) become the latest to announce the financial result for the nine month period. The lender registered net profit of Rp11.4 trillion in the first nine months, rising by 13 percent from the same period last year. The bank’s credit grew 15.6 percent year-on-year, while non-performing loan ratio fell to 2.0 per cent from 2.8 percent.

Equity investors, however, appeared to be unsatisfied with the result, pushing BBNI’s shares down 1.7 per cent to Rp7,200. While, the Rupiah ended its two-day wining streak, falling to 15,187 per US$1 from 15,178 per US$1, according to Bank Indonesia’s reference rate.

Pressure on the Rupiah was due to the release of the Federal Reserve’ minutes of meeting, which showed that policy makers at the world’s most powerful central bank voted unanimously on rate hike path.

Despite failing spectacularly to achieve economic growth objective, advisors behind the re-election campaign of President Joko Widodo showed no hesitation in setting high goal. His campaign team said Indonesia’s economic growth could reach 7.2 per cent by 2023 if the President is re-elected. During its first election campaign, Widodo promised to achieve 7 per cent economic growth in 2019, which is increasingly unlikely.

The opposition camp claimed that the vote gap with the ruling coalition has narrowed, according to a survey conducted internally. The opposition’s vice president candidate Sandiaga Uno said the narrowing gap could provide an useful incentive for party apparatus in the campaign period.

Survey conducted by public pollsters showed that the opposition faces an uphill battle to win the election next year.  Uno also made his first foreign policy remarks as a vice president candidate, saying that Indonesia should continue to fight for Palestine’s struggle but emphasizing on the need to maintain good relations with all nations.

May you have a profitable day.

US$1: Rp14,500

Written by Staff Editor, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com

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