Two President and VP Candidates for 2019 General Election - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Good morning. The ruling coalition is under hot water for putting a newspaper advertisement, which is not yet allowed as per campaign regulation. The advertisement, displayed in a national newspaper, showed the ruling coalition’s Presidential candidate, Joko Widodo, and running mate Ma’ruf Amin and was an appeal for campaign donation.

Candidates are allowed to display advertisement in newspaper starting on March 21 to April 19 next year. The election supervisory commission said it has taken note on the advertisement though it is very unlikely that there will be any severe repercussions.

The ruling coalition had agreed to stop the advertisement but shifted the blame to the election commission for failures in socializing the rule with regards to campaign schedule.

As the political campaign heats up, instances and accusations of breaking campaign rules will become more frequent. Facing such accusation, the default response is usually denying any direct responsibility.

The opposition camp, meanwhile, was in a celebratory mood due to its Presidential Candidate Prabowo Subianto’s 67th birthday. Not one who like to dwell on trivial things such as birthday, Subianto continue his criticisms on the current government, focusing on economic issues such as poverty and income inequality.

The opposition also requested clarification on the Home Affairs Ministry’s disclosure that at 31 million of eligible voters had not been registered.

From the economic side, Lippo Group, one of Indonesia’s largest conglomerate, is at the center of public attention after several of its key executives were arrested for bribing Bekasi’s government officials for permits on the mega-project Meikarta. The bribery case also raised more doubts on the future of Meikarta, which is envisioned to equal that of Jakarta.

Furthermore, the domestic financial market recorded gains today as foreign investors bought Indonesian assets due to positive sentiment on corporate earning results. The rupiah strengthened to 15,178 per US$1 from 15,206 per US$1. The Jakarta Composite Index rose 1.2 per cent to 5,869 with foreign investors net bought equity worth Rp527 billion.

State-controlled PT Bank Mandiri Tbk (IDX:BMRI) was the first to release its financial performance for January-September period. Indonesia’s largest lender reported a net profit of Rp18.1 trillion for the first nine months, rising by 20 per cent from the same period last year.

The lender’s performance was supported by robust credit growth and a drop in non-performing loan. Another state controlled lender, PT Bank Negara Indonesia (IDX:BBNI) will announce its financial performance today

The domestic market’s gain can also be attributed to the lack of negative sentiment from the external environment. Concerns about a possible tension in United States (US) and Saudi Arabia bilateral relation, which would put pressures on the global oil market, eased after President Donald Trump appeared to make an conciliatory approach on the alleged murder of a prominent journalist by the Middle East country.

Oil prices experienced some downswing after the US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke revealed that the world’s largest economy is poised to reach 14 million barrels per day of oil production by 2020, up from 11.1 million barrels per day in September.

The additional production from the US is expected to fill the gap from Iran, which see its oil production suffers due to US economic sanctions.

May you have a profitable day.

Written by TIS Intelligence Team